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The I'm 'Just' Dizzy Podcast
The I'm 'Just' Dizzy Podcast
Bridgett Wallace, PT, DPT

How can we feel balanced in a world that never stands still? The I’m 'Just' Dizzy Podcast is your ultimate resource for conquering dizziness and living a balanced life – physically, spiritually, and emotionally. The title is a reminder that no one is “just dizzy.” You, your loved ones, a co-worker, a neighbor – someone in your life has most likely experienced disabling dizziness or who limits their daily activities due to fear of falling. This podcast gives you access to experts in the field and real-life tools to bring tangible changes in a safe community. Let’s work together to raise awareness and understanding for overcoming and conquering the challenges while living with dizziness and balance problems.

In this insightful episode, we dissect the delicate balance between essential medications and their potential ototoxic effects, which can harm the inner ear’s hair cells vital for hearing and balance. Ototoxicity, arising from certain drugs, can lead to irreversible damage, manifesting as hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance disorders. This condition underscores the importance of early detection and understanding the varied symptoms, including sudden or gradual onset of hearing difficulties, tinnitus, and dizziness, which can escalate with higher doses or prolonged use of these medications.

Over 200 drugs are known to be potentially ototoxic, spanning antibiotics like gentamicin and vancomycin, chemotherapy agents such as cisplatin—which affects up to 70% of pediatric patients—and loop diuretics like furosemide. These medications, crucial for treating life-threatening conditions, pose a significant risk to auditory and balance functions.

Addressing ototoxicity involves a multifaceted approach, including vigilant monitoring for symptoms, in-depth discussions with healthcare providers, and, where necessary, interventions like hearing aids, cochlear implants, or vestibular rehabilitation. Additionally, understanding the association between ototoxicity and peripheral neuropathy highlights the interconnected challenges of managing balance and sensation loss.

Diagnosis of ototoxicity leverages tests like Videonystagmography (VNG) and Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials (VEMP) testing, assessing the ear’s functionality and its impact on balance and hearing. Given the complexities of ototoxic drugs and the critical nature of their use, awareness and early intervention are paramount in mitigating risks and safeguarding quality of life.

Our commitment to guiding you through these challenges is unwavering, with a focus on informed decision-making and comprehensive support to manage the implications of ototoxicity on your health journey.

Bilateral loss of inner ear function can significantly impair balance, particularly in challenging environments like darkness or during rapid head movements. In such instances, teaching substitution strategies that leverage the visual system and neck muscles becomes essential.

Understanding the potential ototoxic effects of life-saving medications can provide a sense of clarity and control for patients, despite the difficulties posed by hearing and balance loss. Awareness and early detection are key, underscoring the importance of open communication with healthcare providers. Specialists such as ENTs, audiologists, and vestibular rehab experts play a vital role in managing and mitigating these effects. Though prevention of ototoxicity may not always be possible for those on essential medications, ongoing research and vigilant monitoring offer hope for minimizing its impact.

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