Michelle Reed


Certain antibiotics linked to hearing loss

Certain antibiotics linked to hearing loss

While antibiotics could well be one of the best medical inventions in history, they don’t come without some drawbacks. We’ve recently become aware that overuse can be detrimental while being encouraged to avoid taking them for illnesses like viruses where they are not effective.

Recent research published in July this year points to a certain class of antibiotic putting those who take it at high risk for hearing loss, at least according to the research carried out on mice.

The antibiotic in question, aminoglycoside, is often used to serious bacterial infections like meningitis and bacteraemia and is replied upon to treat respiratory infections in those with cystic fibrosis. It’s been found that this class of drugs can cause damage to the sensory cells in the inner ear. Healthy mice given a low dose of aminoglycoside went on to develop a small degree of hearing loss while those mice that were already less than healthy ended up with a far greater and more profound loss due to the inflammation itself boosting the uptake of aminoglycoside into the inner ear.

While it is currently accepted that a loss of hearing is an acceptable price to pay for a life being saved, doctors and researchers are investigating alternative treatments without the same level of side effects.

If you are concerned about your hearing or any medication prescribed to you, please consult with your doctor.

Related links: 

10 commandments the hard of hearing wish you’d follow

People with hearing loss suffer in silence

What happens when your hearing is tested?