Dec 08, 2009 - 8:34 am
I am in my ninth week out of treatment for Stage 1 Left Tonsil Cancer. Had surgery, then 7 weeks IMRT and weekly Erbitux.
About 6 weeks out of treatment I noticed my hearing became affected and I wasn't hearing well as if my ears were blocked. I went to a GP and he said my ears were full of wax, gave me ear drops and said come back in 4 days which I did, and they flushed out my ears with a BIG syringe. My hearing improved but the quantity of wax I saw in the tray of water wasn't much at all, just a few flakes. Not enough to have caused the hearing loss I had.
My hearing then continued to get worse and I reckon I was almost 50% deaf in my right ear and 30% in my left. Serious worries started.
I saw my ENT guy yesterday and he stuck his light in my ears and immediately said " You've got fluid in your ears".
"What do you mean Doc ?"
He then explained that the radiation had affected my Eustachian Tubes (the one that connect you nasal cavity to go into your middle ear and in behind your ear drum). Basically, fluid was trapped and pressurized behind my eardrums.
He then told me to hold my nose and blow (Same as you when you equalize when diving or sometimes when you are in an aircraft when your ears become blocked due to the change in altitude)
This pushes air up through the Eustachian tubes and first increases then releases the pressure when you ears 'pop', as I suppose the excess fluid is then released.
My hearing returned almost immediately though I think this will continue for a little while but at least I know what to do.
I hope this helps some of you who may be experiencing the same problem. I know some people do suffer more serious hearing loss due to radiation and I STRONGLY advise you seek advice from your ENT Doctor if you have hearing issues.
Regds to all