The Importance of Medication Lists in Hearing Health

11/16/2023 | Patient Resources

next time you schedule a hearing checkup, don’t forget to bring your medication list

Hearing is a precious sense that connects us to the world around us, allowing us to communicate, stay safe, and enjoy life to the fullest. However, many people take their hearing for granted until it starts to deteriorate. Regular hearing checkups with an audiologist can play a crucial role in detecting and addressing hearing issues early on. But did you know that having a list of your medications can significantly impact the effectiveness of your hearing evaluation and subsequent treatment plan?

When you visit Flex Audiology for a hearing evaluation, we are looking for various factors to assess your hearing health. Your medical history, including your list of medications, is an essential piece of the puzzle. Here’s why it’s important and how it relates to getting your hearing checked:

1. Medications and Hearing Health:

Medications can have a profound impact on your hearing. Some drugs are known to cause hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears) as potential side effects. This is known as ototoxicity. These medications include certain antibiotics, pain relievers, diuretics, and even some cancer drugs. If an audiologist is unaware of the medications you are taking, they might misinterpret hearing test results or miss the link between your medications and your hearing issues.

2. Accurate Assessment:

Audiologists use a battery of tests to evaluate your hearing, including pure-tone audiometry, speech recognition, and tympanometry. Your medication list is crucial in interpreting the results accurately. For instance, if you are taking ototoxic medications, your audiologist will need to consider this information when assessing your hearing thresholds. Without it, they might diagnose a hearing problem when it’s actually a medication-related issue.

3. Treatment Planning:

Should your hearing evaluation reveal any issues, your audiologist will develop a personalized treatment plan. Knowing your medication list is crucial in determining the best course of action. If your hearing loss is medication-related, your audiologist can work with your healthcare provider to explore alternative medications or treatment options.

4. Safety Concerns:

Some medications can interact with hearing aids or cochlear implants. Your audiologist needs to be aware of your medication list to ensure the safe and effective use of hearing devices. They can provide guidance on managing any potential interactions and offer solutions to enhance your hearing experience.

5. Holistic Care:

Hearing health is interconnected with overall health. Certain medical conditions, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, can impact your hearing. Medications used to manage these conditions may also have hearing-related side effects. By knowing your medication list and medical history, audiologists can offer holistic care, addressing both your hearing and any underlying health issues.

6. Prevention:

Audiologists play a crucial role in hearing loss prevention. If your medication list indicates you are taking ototoxic drugs, your audiologist can provide guidance on minimizing the risk of hearing damage. This might include regular hearing checkups, lifestyle modifications, or using hearing protection when necessary.

Your list of medications is a vital piece of information that should be shared with your audiologist during hearing evaluations. Audiologists are looking for comprehensive insights into your hearing health, and this includes understanding the potential impact of your medications. By providing this information, you enable them to make more accurate assessments, develop tailored treatment plans, ensure your safety, and offer holistic care that considers both your hearing and overall health. So, the next time you schedule a hearing checkup, don’t forget to bring your medication list—it could make all the difference in preserving and improving your hearing.

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Dr. Person Au.D, CCC-A

Dr. Person has been a private practice owner since 2005. She currently specializes in hearing aids, tinnitus management and vestibular diagnostics, while operating in an unbundled service delivery model. Dr. Person is the host of The Unbundled Audiologist podcast. She serves as the incoming VP of Audiology for ISHA for a three year term. Her greatest accomplishment is creating a life where she can serve others while still spending quality time with her husband and two small children.