Vestibular Ototoxicity Ototoxicity—damage to the inner ear from exposure to toxic agents—is a problem that is encountered by audiologists and other health care professionals. It is a negative consequence of the availability and use of medications that prolong life through the treatment of serious illness, including infection and cancer. There are ... Article
Article  |   September 01, 2005
Vestibular Ototoxicity
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jaynee A. Handelsman
    Vestibular Testing Center, Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Balance & Balance Disorders / Articles
Article   |   September 01, 2005
Vestibular Ototoxicity
SIG 6 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders: Research and Diagnostics, September 2005, Vol. 9, 26-30. doi:10.1044/hhd9.1.26
SIG 6 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders: Research and Diagnostics, September 2005, Vol. 9, 26-30. doi:10.1044/hhd9.1.26
Ototoxicity—damage to the inner ear from exposure to toxic agents—is a problem that is encountered by audiologists and other health care professionals. It is a negative consequence of the availability and use of medications that prolong life through the treatment of serious illness, including infection and cancer. There are numerous agents that are known to be toxic to the delicate structures of the inner ear, and in many cases the toxic effect of the agent is affected by the patient’s overall health as well as prior or concomitant exposure to other agents. Although there is ample evidence in the literature of ototoxicity and protocols exist for monitoring the effects of toxic agents on hearing, less is known about the impact of medications and other agents on the vestibular system. Specifically, little information exists about the prevalence of vestibular toxicity among patients who are exposed to toxic agents, and there are no commonly accepted protocols for monitoring the vestibular system function during exposure. This paper provides an overview of vestibular toxicity as it relates to audiologists, including the clinical features of vestibular toxicity, the tools that can be employed in monitoring vestibular system function, and some of the recent experimental evidence regarding the impact of toxic agents on the vestibular system.
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