Deafness/Hearing Impairment/ototoxicity


QUESTION: Hi . I am recovering from sshl fortunately going well.I was prescribed Opatanol eye drops for allergy. Is it safe???I am sick with worry it might be ototoxic..I have been using it nearly 4 days now. I am on betahistine tablets 3xday.please urgent

ANSWER: Dear Tonia,

You say that you are recovering from SSHL.  Since you have been taking "betahistine" it sounds like you are recovering from an episode of SSHL and perhaps dizziness (vertigo) from Meniere's syndrome.

The Opatanol eye drops is an anti-histamine and does not-- to my knowledge-- have any "Ototoxic" properties.

It's a good sign that your hearing is improving, and I don't see any reason to be concerned about taking Opatanol.

I hope this helps to relieve your worry.


Levi A. Reiter, Ph.D.

P.S.  Please rate this answer.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thks!is it possible opatanol makes me slight dizzy(not lightheaded nor spinning )just like when y have a headache .should I stop the med? Should I just wait till allergy goes away on its own?

ANSWER: Dear Tonia,

You describe your symptom as a "headache". Yes, in about 10% of the population, Opatanol has been related to headache.  The headaches are usually mild and not associated with vertigo or dizziness.

As to whether to stop taking Opatanol, I would consult with your physician or allergist since they are familiar with your case.

I hope this has been helpful.

Levi A. Reiter, Ph.D.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I never had vertigo not even before sshl or during sshl treatment!!is it poss Meniere without vertigo/vomit etc?

I perhaps incorrectly assumed "Menieres" because (a) betahistine is used to treat menieres, and (b) Menieres is one of the few sshl (snhl) that improves-- as you described.

Normally, Menieres is accompanied by vertigo, tinnitus, and fluctuating snhl.  However there is a form of Menieres (cochlear hydrops) in which the hearing aspects are present, bu not the vestibular, thus no dizziness, no nausea.

Levi A. Reiter, Ph.D.

Deafness/Hearing Impairment

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Levi A. Reiter, Ph.D.


I am a full Professor of Audiology at Hofstra University and also in private practice. I can answer questions regarding hearing loss, auditory diagnoses, hearing aids, assistive listening devices, deafness


I have been teaching audiology at Hofstra University for 33 years. I have been in private practice for 31 years. I do hearing assessments, auditory diagnostic tests which are physiological, e.g., ABR, OAEs, etc. I also have over 30 years experience in fitting, and dispensing hearing aids.

ASHA (American Speech-Language and Hearing Associaton AAA (American Academy of Audiology)

My articles have appeared in: Journal of Auditory Research J of Speech and Hearing Disorders J of Speech and Hearing Research The Hearing Journal J of the American Tinnitus Association The ASHA Leader Plus.......

I have a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester, and two post-doctoral fellowships from NIH and NICHD. I am Board Certified by the American Academy of Audiology, and hold a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. I also have numerous professional publications in the field of Audiology.

Awards and Honors
Fellowship from the National Institute of Health Sciencess Fellowship from the National Institute of Child Development Scholarships from the U of Rochester, Connecticut College Faculty Development grants from Hofstra U. The Scholars Award from the American Academy of Audiology The ACE award from the American Speech & Hearing Association

Past/Present Clients
Not sure what this means. I see clients of all ages and from all parts of the world.

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