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Hearing Disorders Message Board

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Hi all,

I have 50% loss in each ear. I was treated frequently with antibiotics for ear infections over the past two or three years.

I think the antibiotics actually caused some of the loss, unfortunately. Package insert has been updated recently to read "Neomycin can induce permanent sensorineural hearing loss due to cochlear damage, mainly destruction of hair cells in the organ of Corti. The risk is greater with prolonged use."

That wasn't on the insert from last year; it's been revised. Wish I'd been aware of that sooner, could have talked to my doctors about it. Because I have been treated with this stuff a LOT, and even in between infections, doctor said if I had something "brewing" by all means go ahead and use a few drops to "nip it in the bud".

I had a really severe infection in May 2005 (treated with neomycin) and after healing I had the 50 per cent loss on the left. Prior to that, the left was my "good" ear, clear as a bell.

Has anyone had this experience with antibiotics? I would be very interested to know if they have. And hoping against hope, is there any possibility that it gets better over time?

Thanks for reading this long post,
Hi Lynie.

I'm sorry to read about your hearing problems. Many of the 'mycin' drugs are quite ototoxic, meaning toxic to the ears.

Here's a good site to start with. He has neomycin listed as 'very toxic'. I hope this helps.

I am having problems with my ears as well. Well, mostly my vestibular (balance) system. At this point, I'm not sure if it is autoimmune related or possibly from a drug used to treat the autoimmune disease I already have.

Best of luck to you!
My son Paul now 7 &1/2 was crtically ill 2 years ago with a infection that went into his blood stream. He was on 6 different types of antibiotics for 6 weeks through a PIC line ( special IV that runs up arm right into the heart) We were warned some of the antibiotics could damage his hearing, but in his case the antibiotics were necessary to save his life. He has been left with hearing lost in both ears. I've been told it will not get worse but it is permanent
Guess those are the breaks with the antibiotics. Oneworriedmom, thanks for the link, I will look into that. Good luck with your autoimmune difficulties. I sure hope you will be feeling better soon.

Offkilter, Thank God your son pulled through that.

I'll look into getting hearing aids soon, I'm sure that will help.

Thanks to you both so much for your replies!

Take care, hope things are going better for you,

Lynie I assume you are a adult. I think some people are prone to ear infections. I matched my son ear infection for ear infection. I also went on 6 weeks of antibiotics when he did but have had no hearing loss. I did get tubes placed in my ears when he did. I was 46. unusual but so glad I did. he and I both have been ear infections free for 2 years. His tubes were replaced when they fell out.
Yes OffKilter, I'm 50. I've always been prone to ear infections, but the last 4 years or so have been really bad, don't know why.

Now I'm looking to get the tubes in, how much are we looking at? (just a ballpark). I have no insurance, and as I'm posting this feel an infection may be coming on in the left.

My GP just keeps prescribing the same stuff. Been to a couple of specialists, they just take my money and do diddley, that's my feeling by now.

(I know they're good guys & are trying, I'm just venting a bit. Sorry.)

Was going to go again in November but rescheduled, hoping application for some financial assistance will be accepted. Don't want to see the specialist and pay for being told, "your hearing's getting worse, and you have some kind of problem -- how about an MRI for $3,000?" This is what happened last couple of times. I saw three different people and I'm still paying the bills for that.

Frustrated, as I don't want any more hearing loss due to ototoxic drugs; but how will this infection clear up, without them?

At this point I'm afraid to try ANYthing, or put ANYthing into my ears. I'm pretty much at the end of my resources.

If anyone has advice, I sure would love to hear it.

Thanks if you've read to the end, these posts must be a bit boring as they're so long. I have never had the gift of succinct speech.

My insurance covered it. Like you I was always prone to ear infections. The reason children are prone to ear infections and not adults is because their ear drainage system is smaller. My Dr. says there are just some adults with small drainage tubes combine that with any allergies. ( I'm also prone to sinus infections )and the conditions are ripe for a ear infection. I did ask him why I was getting so many more infections he said there are more and more antibiotic strains out there. If a antibiotic doesn't completely wipe out a ear infection and there is fluid left in the ear it just becomes a breading ground for infection. The ear tubes are tiny , like tiny straws they are placed in the drum they allow any fluid in there to drain out and keeps the ear dry inside. The biggest change is no more ear pressure from fluid. WOW!!!
Wow, OffKilter, that does sound good. Do you happen to recall how much the procedure cost 4 years ago when you had it done (I realize yours was covered by insurance.)

Finally tracked down cost for myringotomy (physician plus hospital) is at least $6000. Thought I would post this as someone else might like to know.

I have been told thru-out my 43 yrs of permanent hearing loss that it was due to penicillen as a baby, about 50% in both ears, nerve damage. Different than your problem but similar in cause.
I have just had to accept it and learn to read lips. It could be worse tho'. So I try to look at the bright side. It'd be nice to talk with others who have social problems because of this tho.
My daughter for the first 2 years of her life had constant ear infections, strep throat.........and was constantly on meds. When she was 2, we had her tonsils removed. They also checked her ears and she did have a mild hearing loss, so they also put tubes in her ears. At her post op appt, everything looked good. Her hearing was back up into the normal range and everything. Fast forward to the age of 5 years daughter was exhibiting signs of hearing loss. Took her to the doctor, had a hearing test done, and found that she had a 20% bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. She began wearing hearing aids. From the age of 5 to the age of 7, her hearing went from 20% loss to about an 80% loss. We have had her to every specialist around (including the very reputable Mayo Clinic) and they could not find any health reason that was causing it. The doctors told us that all those meds during her 1st 2 years could have been the culprit. The tubes in her ears probably just helped prolong the inevitable, which if that is the case,thank God she had those tubes because they prevented her hearing from going at a younger age allowing her develop speech. Now, at the age of 12 years old, my daughter has a 90% hearing loss. Considering her level of hearing loss, her speech is pretty good. The hearing loss is is permanent. Nothing can be done to restore it. The only option we have is for cochlear implants, which we have been thinking about, but are unsure of at this point.

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