Chemotherapy has been a vital tool in treating cancerous tumours for decades. This specific type of therapy has been known to drastically shrink the cancer cells in a person’s body. Even though chemotherapy is very good at treating cancer, it can also have some negative side effects. People have been known to experience sudden hearing loss as one of the many unwanted side effects.
At The Hearing Care Shop, we’ve had personal experience with chemotherapy causing hearing loss. One of our employee’s father was diagnosed with stage four cancer mid-2016. The father, aged 68 had five months of chemotherapy treatment and towards the end of the treatment noticed that his hearing was affected. Eight months down the track, the hearing loss experienced in this case seems to be permanent, with severe to profound loss diagnosed. Luckily, we have been able to assist the father with hearing better by prescribing a pair of RIC hearing aids.
But What Is Chemotherapy?
Before we can discuss how chemotherapy can cause hearing loss, we first need to know what it is. According to chemotherapy.com, chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses a certain medication or a combination of medications in order to stop the growth of cancer cells. Some of the types of medications used in chemotherapy are ototoxic medications.
So What Does This Have to do With Hearing Loss?
Ototoxic medications are drugs that can cause damage to the inner ear, otherwise known as Ototoxicity. Because this conditions can cause extensive damage to the inner ear, it not only has the ability to cause balance problems but it can also result in temporary or permanent hearing loss.
How Will I Know if I Have Ototoxicity?
If you are using chemotherapy to treat your cancer, be sure to watch for these signs:
- Suddenly unable to hear as well
- Dizziness or feeling off-balance
- Frequent ringing in the ears
These symptoms may suggest that the medications you are taking are causing you to have ototoxicity. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms while going through chemotherapy, talk to you doctor immediately.
Is There a Cure For My Hearing Loss?
While there is currently no cure for ototoxicity, there are ways to treat hearing loss that is caused by this condition. Hearing aids can be successfully used in patients with ototoxicity and allow them to hear at a normal range again so that they are able to continue living regular lives.
Cancer treatments do have a history of causing hearing loss but, with today’s technology, there are ways to treat it.
If you have any more questions, please contact us today.