Clinically used drugs are well-known causes of ototoxicity, defined as the property of exerting a harmful effect on the end organs of hearing and balance. Additional noxious influences are becoming increasingly important in the modern world, among them industrial chemicals and solvents (Table 5.1) and the exposure to traumatic levels of noise. For example, presbycusis, or hearing loss with advancing age, may be in part the sum of lifelong exposure of our sensory systems to toxic insults (Hawkins 1973a).
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