Ototoxic hearing loss digital illustration

Ototoxic hearing loss Save

ICD-10 code: H91.0

Chapter: Diseases of the ear and mastoid process

Ototoxic Hearing Loss: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Have you ever heard of ototoxic hearing loss? It is a type of hearing loss that occurs when exposure to certain chemicals or drugs damages the inner ear. This type of hearing loss can be temporary or permanent, and it can affect people of all ages.

Causes of Ototoxic Hearing Loss

There are many causes of ototoxic hearing loss, but some of the most common ones include:

  1. Exposure to certain drugs such as chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, and aspirin
  2. Exposure to chemicals such as lead, mercury, and carbon monoxide
  3. Exposure to loud noises

It is important to note that not everyone who is exposed to these substances will develop ototoxic hearing loss. The risk of developing this type of hearing loss depends on factors such as the amount of exposure, the duration of exposure, and individual susceptibility.

Symptoms of Ototoxic Hearing Loss

The symptoms of ototoxic hearing loss can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some common symptoms include:

  1. Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  2. Dizziness
  3. Difficulty understanding speech
  4. Decreased hearing sensitivity

It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms, especially if they occur after exposure to a known ototoxic substance.

Treatment of Ototoxic Hearing Loss

Unfortunately, there is no cure for ototoxic hearing loss. However, there are treatments available to manage the symptoms and improve communication ability. Some of these treatments include:

  1. Hearing aids
  2. Cochlear implants
  3. Audiologic rehabilitation
  4. Tinnitus management

If you suspect that you or someone you know may have ototoxic hearing loss, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Early intervention can help prevent further damage and improve communication ability.


Ototoxic hearing loss is a serious condition that can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options, you can take steps to protect your hearing and manage the condition if it does occur.