How Does Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Affect Hearing? Posted on August 5, 2022 by Advanced ENT & Allergy Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic condition that affects the parts of the body that make mucus and sweat. It can limit your ability to breathe over time. While hearing loss is not a side effect of CF, certain treatments for the condition have the potential to damage your hearing. Antibiotic Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis Can Damage Ears Patients with cystic fibrosis are prone to serious respiratory infections. These infections sometimes call for the use of power antibiotics. While these medications can be essential in life-saving situations, they are also known to be ototoxic. What Does It Mean When a Drug Is Ototoxic? If a drug is ototoxic, it means it has the ability to damage the ears. This damage can cause tinnitus, balance issues and hearing loss. These effects can sometimes be temporary, and your hearing will resolve itself once you have stopped using the medication. However, in other cases, they can cause permanent hearing loss. Research on Hearing Loss and Cystic Fibrosis Several studies have pointed to a link between hearing loss and cystic fibrosis: A 2017 study found that “cumulative IV-antibiotic dosing has a significant negative effect on hearing sensitivity in patients with CF.”An additional study that sought to identify risk factors associated with the development of hearing loss in CF patients found that age and frequency of hospitalizations are key predictors of hearing loss development. Researchers involved in the study recommended increased awareness and regular hearing loss screenings for CF patients who are at higher risk of hearing loss. Visit an Audiologist at the First Sign of Hearing Loss Hearing loss caused by medication can range from mild to severe. In certain cases, it may be difficult to know whether or not you have a problem. Being aware of the early signs of hearing loss can help you identify issues sooner and seek appropriate treatment. These signs include: Feeling as though people are often mumbling or needing them to repeat themselves oftenStruggling to follow phone conversationsDifficulty hearing in places with background noise, like when out with your family at Medport DinerNeeding to turn the volume up higher on the TV or radioRinging in the ears (tinnitus) If you notice any of these or have other reasons to be concerned about your hearing, schedule an appointment for a hearing test. These are quick, painless examinations that give your audiologist immediate insight into the severity of your hearing loss. Hearing aids are the recommended treatment in most cases of hearing loss. The right pair can improve your ability to understand speech and sounds and help you to better communicate with others. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our experts, contact Advanced ENT & Allergy today. Can Car Wrecks Lead to Hearing Loss?Learn About the History of Audiology Awareness MonthWhat Type of Hearing Protection Will Work Best for Me?