How Does Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Affect Hearing?

Cystic Fibrosis is a hereditary condition that affects more than 40,000 adults and children in the U.S. alone. There are close to 105,000 cases worldwide. It is a genetic condition that affects the normal functioning of sweat and mucus-producing parts of our body. It can even affect our breathing ability over time.

Although Cystic Fibrosis is not directly linked to hearing loss, Cystic Fibrosis treatment can affect your hearing health and hearing ability.

How can Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Damage Hearing Health?

As we have mentioned above, hearing loss is not a direct side effect of Cystic Fibrosis. People who are affected by Cystic Fibrosis have a high likelihood of developing acute respiratory infections, and these infections require strong antibiotics for treatment. While there is no doubt that these medications are lifesaving, some of them can also be ototoxic.

What are Ototoxic Drugs?

Any drug or medication that can damage your hearing health is classified as ototoxic. A lot of drugs that are a part of Cystic Fibrosis Treatment are considered ototoxic. These drugs can cause side effects such as balance issues, hearing loss, and tinnitus.

These side effects can be temporary or permanent. In some cases, it has been observed that once the patient stopped taking these ototoxic medications their side effects went away with time, but in other cases the damage to hearing health was permanent.

Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Drugs And Your Hearing Health

There has not been a lot of research on this issue, but there are two major studies that provide some great insight into this issue.

  • A study done in 2017 has shown that cumulative IV-antibiotics have a highly adverse impact on hearing health when dealing with patients who suffer from Cystic Fibrosis.
  • Another study showed that hearing loss was more common in patients with Cystic Fibrosis who were older and would frequently be given ototoxic medication.

What Should You Look Out For?

If you are suffering from Cystic Fibrosis, then there is a high likelihood that you might be taking some medications that can affect your hearing health. Several early indications can help you identify this problem in the early stages. Here are some things to look out for:

  • If you are having a problem following phone conversations.
  • If you feel like people have to repeat themselves often when talking to you.
  • If you have a hard time hearing when there is a lot of background noise.
  • If you feel ringing in your ears.

These are all things that you need to look out for and see your doctor if you feel like you are having problems with your hearing ability. Getting a hearing assessment can help you get ahead of the problem. These tests are painless and quick.

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The purpose of this hearing assessment and/or demonstration is for hearing wellness and to determine if the consumer may benefit from using hearing aids, which may include selling and fitting hearing aids. Products demonstrated may differ from products sold. Assessment conclusion is not a medical diagnosis and further testing may be required to diagnose hearing loss. The use of any hearing aid may not fully restore normal hearing and does not prevent future hearing loss. Hearing instruments may not meet the needs of all hearing-impaired individuals.