Hearing loss

Do you tend to ask other people to repeat themselves over and over again? Do you feel as if you sometimes miss bits and pieces of conversations, especially when you are in a crowd? Do you listen to music or watch TV at a high volume? Hearing problems can be a side-effect of some cancer treatments.

There are two main kinds of hearing loss:

Conductive hearing loss – happens when something obstructs the outer or middle ear, blocking sounds from traveling to the inner ear. Earwax or an ear infection in the middle ear, can be the culprit.

Sensory nerve hearing loss – can occur when the inner ear or the auditory nerve (the nerve that connects the ear to the brain), are damaged. If you experience any hearing changes during or after treatment, you should discuss it with your medical team. They can refer you to an audiologist (a hearing specialist) or an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) surgeon for further evaluation. Treatments depend on the cause of the hearing loss. If there is wax and/or debris in your ear canal, it can be easily cleaned. If you have an infection that causing a build-up of fluid, antibiotics may treat it. In some cases, the doctor might recommend hearing aids to increase the volume of sound. There are numerous designs to choose from, and if needed, the specialist can assist you in finding the most suitable type for you.