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Your Hearing Can be Harmed by These Chemicals

diagram of inner ear canal

Taking good care of your hearing is one of the primary things that you need to focus on doing if you are keen to keep your overall experience of life as good as possible. Whether or not you have had issues with hearing in the past, it is important to make sure that you are doing all you can to take proper care of your hearing and your ear health in general.

There are a lot of things that you might want to think about when it comes to that, but one in particular is ensuring that you are keeping away from specific chemicals which can often harm your hearing in the long term. In this post, we’ll take you through a vital list of some of the main chemicals that you should take great care to avoid in order to make sure your hearing ability is not being harmed.

What Is Ototoxicity?

In general, you are going to want to avoid any chemicals that are ototoxic. What do we mean by this? Well, this is just a general term for any chemical that happens to have a particularly toxic effect on your ears, or on the nerves inside the ears. You might be exposed to many ototoxic chemicals in your day-to-day life without being aware of it – whether in the office, at a different workplace, in the home or out in the streets and even potentially in the countryside.

When you come into contact with these chemicals, you absorb them through your skin or inhale them, or otherwise accidentally ingest them in some way. Then the chemicals may start to impact on the delicate nerves in the ears as well as in other parts of the body, causing a lot of trouble, such as hearing loss. That hearing loss might be temporary or, in some cases, permanent.

Ototoxic Chemicals to Avoid

So, what kinds of chemicals might be ototoxic, how can you be sure which you should avoid and which might be okay? Next up, we’ll take you through a list of some of the major types of ototoxic chemicals which you should be sure to avoid as best as you can in your daily life. Avoid the following, and your hearing should not be impacted.


There are many kinds of pharmaceutical products which can affect your hearing. Of course, that doesn’t mean that all pharmaceuticals will do so, but it is best to be aware of some of the main ones that might, so you can avoid them wherever possible. These include antibiotics, diuretics, analgesics and more. It is best to always speak to your doctor about these if you are concerned about any of them.


These are chemicals which have the effect of decreasing the amount of oxygen that you have access to in the air around you. They can be toxic in many respects. For instance, tobacco smoke and carbon monoxide can be counted as asphyxiants. You should aim to avoid being exposed to these sorts of chemicals in large amounts.


Although these are not going to be quite as common in your everyday life, they are nonetheless something that you will need to still be aware of. Nitriles can be found in any products which contain rubber and seals, superglue or latex. Exposure to these products can harm your hearing, so you should take care around them as much as possible.


You are probably already well aware that solvents can be problematic in many respects and can be highly toxic if you are not careful. One of the effects solvents can have on your body is that they can affect your nerve endings in the ears, leading to worsening or a complete loss of hearing altogether. Be sure to take extra care around solvents, as they can be surprisingly dangerous in this regard.

Compounds and Metals

Finally, certain compounds and metals can also have this kind of effect on your hearing, so you should make sure that you are being careful around them. This includes lead and mercury, for instance, which should generally be avoided anyway for this reason and other reasons too.

If you are concerned about any of these or you just want to find out more about looking after your hearing health, you can speak to an audiologist at The Center for Audiology. You can contact us today at Houston: 713-255-0035 and Pearland: 713-800-5050, so don’t delay if you want to know more.