As we've mentioned before, certain antibiotics can cause hearing loss. Commonly used antibiotics such as streptomycin, neomycin, kanamycin, and amikacin can cause damage to the hair cells in the inner ear and lead to hearing loss. Research to create antibiotics that will kill drug resistant "superbugs" (bacteria that cannot be killed by commonly used antibiotics) without causing hearing loss has increased as the prevalence of "superbugs" has grown.
Recently, a team from Switzerland, England, and the University of Michigan discovered a new approach to the development of antibiotics that promises to create drugs that can kill "superbugs" while also preserving hearing. In this study, researchers detail how newer antibiotics such as apramycin show the ability to kill bacterial germs without causing hearing loss. While research is ongoing, the possibility of high-powered antibiotics that can combat bacteria without damaging a person's ability to hear appears to be within reach!