Industrial Chemicals and Noise Can Damage the Inner Ear

by admin on June 29, 2017

Rande Lazar, MD, is a physician that specializes in ear, nose, and throat disorders. He serves as the chief of staff at LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee. He has a private practice at ENT Memphis, where he performs ear, nose, and throat surgeries. He offers surgical relief for sinus problems such as chronic post-nasal drip, congestion, allergies, and vertigo-related issues. According to the trade magazine Occupational Health & Safety, there are some industrial chemicals that may be ototoxic or poisonous to the ears. When a person is exposed to both industrial chemicals and industrial noise, this combination could have a particularly insidious effect on a person’s inner ears. Most ototoxins can damage the inner structures of the ear due to toxic oxidative stress. This is the same condition that can occur in people who are exposed to high noise levels. Oxidative stress is defined as an accumulation of free radicals from excessive metabolic activity. It can cause apoptosis or programmed cell death, which can result in extensive damage that cannot be repaired by the body’s natural healing processes. Ototoxic compounds can affect the balance organs, which can cause increased risk for falls, dizziness, general loss of balance, or in severe cases, vertigo. Animal studies also show that hearing can be impeded when ears are exposed to excessive chemicals and noise for long periods.

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