Not many people may know this, but different medications and illnesses can negatively impact one’s hearing.
In this episode, Dr. Melissa Segev discusses the impact cancer can have on your ears, as well as various other types of medications and what to do if you are negatively affected by one.
How Certain Cancers can Impact Your Hearing
Sometimes, cancers and tumors can directly affect the auditory nerve. One of the tests that we do during a hearing test checks for symmetrical hearing.
This is a common test because your ears have lived the same life and should have the same amount of hearing loss if any is present. If one ear is significantly worse than the other, this can indicate that something is affecting that ear and we will investigate further from there.
One cancer that can impact your hearing is cancer within the neck. The auditory nerve, again, can be negatively affected and cause ringing in the ears or hearing loss.
For this reason, we do a lot of hearing testing to monitor your hearing loss if you are afflicted by cancer.
Medications That Hurt Your Hearing
Very strong, life-saving medications can sometimes cause hearing loss.
High-dose antibiotics and chemotherapy agents, to name a few, are very important to preserve life but can have negative impacts on hearing. Often, if you are going through one of these treatments, we will do much more regular hearing testing to find out how your hearing is faring during the duration of your medications.
Another surprising culprit of hearing loss can be high-dose aspirin. At the office, we have seen aspirin cause hearing loss.
Radiation that is directed at cancers within the head and neck can also cause hearing loss. This does not mean that radiation of a different part of the body will affect your hearing, only localized treatments of the head and neck.
What Should I Do If I’m Concerned?
With the average person taking between 7-10 years to seek treatment for hearing loss, it’s important to spot the signs early.
Speak with your doctor and ask whether your medication has possible side effects such as hearing loss. Often, you may not notice your hearing deteriorating straight away, and it’s only until your family points it out that action is taken.
That’s why early prevention and timely action are essential.
If you are struggling, don’t hesitate to call us at (410) 944-3100 to schedule an appointment to get help.