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Ototoxicity (deafness)

6080 Views 15 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Philly Bud
I've been hearing impaired since the age of 18 and I'm now 65. Recently my doctor, who is an advanced practice nurse, put me on Lasix for edema that I have in my legs and feet - which she thinks is caused by another blood pressure drug called Norvasc. After being on Lasix for about a week or less, I noticed that my hearing was being affected.

So I called her office and the decision was made to stop Lasix and try Bumex, which I guess is in the same class of water pills. Now after being on Bumex for almost two weeks I am again experiencing the same ototoxicity. My head feels like it is in a barrel - all hollow - can't hear worth a darn. I am 100% deaf in my left ear and hearing impaired in my right ear. So any hearing I have left I want to protect at any cost.

This past Wednesday, when I first noticed my hearing was being affected, I called the APN and explained my situation. She told me that since I was on a small dose twice a day she did not think it was the Bumex that was affecting my hearing and I should not stop the drug. I believed her....what a fool I am!!!

Today I woke up and I cannot hear hardly anything even with my hearing aid. I am feeling absolutely crushed.....just needed to rant on about my ear. Sorry if I've offended anyone.
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Thanks for your kind words. They almost make me want to a good way. Your idea of getting a 2nd opinion is good. I have an appointment with a ENT doctor at the UW hospital in Madison, WI. I have to drive 2 hours one way to get there and 2 more hours to return home.

That said, I did contact his office also on Wednesday and the advance practice nurse there was adamant for me not to stop the diuretic medicine that my doctor here had started me on. However in light of what is currently happening as far as my hearing goes, I have decided to stop the diuretic. I will see the ENT doctor on this coming Wednesday. He likely will not want to make a decision about stopping a blood pressure medicine. But when I tell him that my hearing is affected, he may be able to reach my local doctor where I cannot. It seems that one professional can contact another professional lots quicker than patients can...right?

Someone told me that dandelion root tea is a natural diuretic. Don't know if that is true. Shanny.....I'm very grateful to have friends on this forum.
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Thanks Chesney and Deafmack. I appreciate your responses.

Deafmack ~ Have you been deaf since birth or was it something that happened in your childhood? My hearing has been affected by chronic ear infections I've had since I was very young. I had a mastoid surgery when I was 18 and lost my hearing in that ear. Now it is the remaining ear that is being affected.

I always knew there was a possibility of total deafness so if it happens it won't be a total surprise. I feel that I don't belong to the hearing community nor do I belong to the deaf community since I can't sign very well. No one that I know is able to 'sign' either. If I go completely deaf it will make communication very difficult. And for that I am really scared.
Beetus97 ~ Any idea why the ANP at the clinic would tell me that Bumex has only a very small risk of otoxicity according to her 'sources'? The PA at the ENT dept of UW clinic in Madison told me the same thing. I see a ENT at UW clinic tomorrow. It will be really interesting to hear (if I can by then) what he has to say.

Ironic that you should mention Gentamycin because that is one drug I know 100% that I am allergic too. It produced facial numbness, trouble swallowing and breathing plus otoxicity. Thank You for taking time to write a post - very much appreciated.
IF there was a possible side effect of hearing loss with either Lasix or Bumex, I would have preferred the Doctor to advise me ahead of time. It isn't fun finding out the hard way.
Thank you deafmack for all of the information you've provided. I will make a printed copy of your response for future reference. Part of my hearing disability is also genetic in nature.

Let us know how the deaf expo went for you.
So sorry Jen for your situation. That must have been a frightening thing to wake up and not be able to hear from one ear.

I know of another man who was a piano tuner by trade and was attending a convention in San Francisco. In the middle of the particular lecture he was attending, he realized that all of a sudden he could not hear at all. He asked a friend to take him to the hospital as he was extremely dizzy as well. After many test and several days in the hospital, he recovered the hearing in one ear but not both. His situation essentially robbed him of his 'occupation' and he had to retire from tuning pianos. Prior to that he had worked all over the Midwest area tuning pianos for many, many people.
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