Can medications distort hearing test results?

Hi – Was wondering if certain medications can distort the results of a hearing test. My back went out on me, and my ortho has me on a muscle relaxant. Just wondering because I have planned on visiting an audiologist in the near future…


You know, I have had to take pain pill and muscle relaxant and I vaguely remember my ears feeling stuffy like I had a cold. I even remarked about it. Since I do not - thank goodness need to take regularly I’m just thinking back. I also have a bad back and have to occasionally take these meds. FWIW

I wouldn’t expect pain meds to have a dramatic impact on hearing thresholds, an the effect that they might have on speech testing wouldn’t matter too much in the long run.

You may be interested in an experience ~10 years ago (before my hearing got so bad that I got hearing aids). As I was walking into the building for a hearing test, there was a ventilation fan in the ceiling of the entrance way that was squealing (bad bearings). Very suddenly, my tinnitus in one ear got MUCH louder.

Of course, my hearing test was affected and the technician wondered if I had a tumor because of the extreme difference between ears. He INSISTED that I have an MRI scan of my hear even though I told him the increased tinnitus had just started. A few hours later the tinnitus returned to its “normal” level.

I should have followed my inclination and refused the test. As my wife kidded me “they didn’t find anything.”

Then 6 years ago during chemo for leukemia my hearing deteriorated significantly. Apparently one of the drugs caused nerve damage. I got my first hearing aids (KS-5) a few months later. I now have KS-7’s and plan to upgrade again next year.

I’ve also experience increased tinnitus after taking pain relievers (acetaminophen or ibuprofen) and once at a noisy wedding after my son brought me a really stiff drink.

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Some meds increase tinnitus. Some say it interferes with testing tones for high frequencies alone.