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hearing issues with chemo

Kimmiann
Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2011

I had my first round of cisplatin/taxotere on Tuesday and Neulasta shot on Wed. I knew there was a chance of ringing in ears but I am having ringing and what feels like plugged up ears or muffled. It is hard for me to hear. Has anyone had this happen?

Kim

groundhog
Posts: 44
Joined: Jun 2010

Hello Kimmiann,
Hearing problems are very common due to chemo. I never had a ringing in my ears, but did experience some hearing problems. I'm not sure of the extent of it, but was told this is not reversible. I seem to have an inhibited hearing loss. I was told this could happen and am fortunate that it is probably my only long term side effect. I too had Cisplaten, it is notorious for hearing loss and hair loss, (but the hair grows back).

Best wishes,
gh

rozaroo
Posts: 667
Joined: Apr 2010

Please make sure to report these symptoms to your oncologist! Cisplatin caused partial hearling loss & tinnitus in my left ear. Also radiation caused hardening of ear wax which caused inflammation also. Best to keep on top of it asap. They may change your chemo etc.
Best of luck
Roz

Kimmiann
Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2011

Thanks everyone. I will let me oncologist know when I see him on Tuesday.

mamacita5's picture
mamacita5
Posts: 254
Joined: May 2010

My chemo was cisplatin and vinorelbine. I had my hearing tested before, during,and after my chemo. I was lucky to have no hearing loss, or hair loss! I guess everyone is different. Best of luck to you in your recovery. :)

bfp9548
Posts: 28
Joined: Apr 2010

Kim,

I had moderate hearing loss(40% in one ear, 50% in the other) due to my chemotherapy. I was treated with platinol/alimta. I now have to wear hearing aides. After a second opinion I elected to stop chemo. I was lucky, my cancer was 1B so my chemo could be stopped since it was considered adjuvent. Unfortunately, sometimes damage must be done in cancer treatment. These are very strong medications that we are given. I would agree that you should speak to your oncologist immediately. There may be other options available for your treatment.

Kim

Kimmiann
Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2011

I am having a hearing test on Tuesday next week.

How many cycles of chemo did you have before your hearing loss? I have only had 1 cycle. My cancer is only a 1B also and this is adjuvent.

Kim

bfp9548
Posts: 28
Joined: Apr 2010

I took two treatments. I immediately noticed that my ears were "funny" after the first treatment. My oncologist told me it was allergies since the pollen count was way up and to take Claritin. I took the Claritin for the next 3 wks and when I mentioned it wasn't any better, Sudafed was suggested. I took another chemo treatment that day. When it was worse, after the second chemo, is when I searched out a second opinion and started my own research. The second opinion felt that my side effects out-weighted the benefits at the time, so I stopped chemo. I kept the same original oncologist, who was not happy at all with me stopping chemo. But that was O.k. because I wasn't very happy with him for a while.

I am now taking the clinical trial vaccine. I still worry of course. What if my cancer returns and those two more treatments would have made the difference? My decision has been made. I just hope it was the right one. My advice to you is to do your research and make the decision that you feel is right in your heart.

Kimmiann
Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2011

Kim,

I sent you a PM.

Kim

joep531857's picture
joep531857
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2011

Hi,

My name is Joe and I am in the middle of my chemotherapy. I am on Cisplatin and Vinorelbine, I have had moderate ringing in my ears but i would say it is not bad enough to stop my chemotherapy. I had read about this possible side effect and have weighed the pluses and minuses of this side effect. I can live with some hearing loss in order to decrease my risk of a recurrence. This is a personal decision that you have to make. I am also stage 1b
Joe

Kimmiann
Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2011

Joe,

I am continuing on with my chemo. My hearing test showed a loss at the highest pitch but that could also be age. I will be having a hearing test 2 weeks after each round to make sure. I can live with hearing loss too but I want to make sure that it is not severe. The audiologist explained to me that Cisplatin can cause the muffled hearing I was having. That subsidded after about 10-12 days. I definitly want to do as much as I can to get a cure.

Kim

2catsmom
Posts: 7
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi! I'm new to this message board. I've been reading it for awhile and finally decided to join in.

I'm a 64 year old female and was dx'd with non-small cell adenocarcinoma, stage 2,in August 2009 with mets to one lymph node. I had a lower right lobe lobectomy (not vats). After my first chemo I was very sick. I started throwing up the first night, passed out in the bathroom and landed in the tub but fortunately was only bruised (someone was watching out for me that night!) I was throwing up for over a week, going back for fluids, back home again and finally a friend took me to the ER. I was admitted back to the hospital for four days with very low potassium and dehydration. I could only do the one round of chemo because of this. I had cisplatin and something else I can't remember, but reading about the problems with tinnitus and hearing loss is interesting. I started experiencing tinutus somtime after the chemo, can't remember exactly when. It is constant and pulses with my heartbeat. Lately my ear has been plugging up and hurting. I have an appt with an ENT in a couple of weeks and will tell him about this. I'm pretty sure I have hearing loss in that ear as well. Anyway, I am so glad someone wrote about this because I had no idea it might be caused by the cisplatin.

I did go through a whole course of radiation after I recovered from that horrendous chemo experience and did well with that. I was off work for about four and a half months.

Although it's been almost a year and a half I still have pain in the right side of my chest and an intermittent cough, but other than that I'm doing well. I'm due for my 6 month CT scan in May and I'm already getting nervous! Reading about everyone's experiences (including scanxiety!) has really helped. This is a wonderful group of people. Thank you for reading this!

Kimmiann
Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2011

Did you finish all of the rounds of chemo or stop after that first one? How did your ENT appointment go?

I had my 2nd round of chemo last week and I have the loud ringing and muffled hearing again. I am scheduled for another hearing test next Tuesday. Keep us updated on your scan.

Kim

2catsmom
Posts: 7
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Kim!
I only completed one round of chemo. I was too sick to do anymore and my onc said "no more" after I ended up in the hospital for four days. I did have my ENT appt. I have mild hearing loss in both ears and moderate hearing loss in the high tones. The doc said without a baseline hearing test he doesn't know if the cisplatin contributed to it, but he seemed surprised that I wasn't given a hearing test before the chemo since they used cisplatin. Has anyone else who has had cisplatin been given a hearing test before beginning chemo? He said there probably isn't much they can do for the tinnitus but he has me on an antihistimine nasal spray to help unplug my ear. I found that a white noise machine helps me sleep, it kind of drowns out that ringing sound.

Good luck with your chemo and hopefully your hearing problems will go away once you've completed it. How are you feeling? Have you had or will you have radiation as well? I actually did quite well with that! Will let you know how my CT scan goes - thank you!

Kimmiann
Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2011

I didn't have a hearing test before chemo. But I had one after my 1st round once I complained to my oncologist about having trouble hearing. I am having another this Tuesday. It seems my hearing is worse since I got the 2nd round of chemo. The side effects in general were much worse this time :( I have not had radiation and do not have to have it.

medi_2's picture
medi_2
Posts: 506
Joined: Aug 2009

No I was not given a hearing test...hhmmmm
6catsmom ;)
Medi

Kimmiann
Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2011

I had my hearing test today and it showed a good bit of hearing loss at the higher frequencies. This will not effect my communication but hearing doc is calling onc because she is concerned since I have 2 more rounds of Cisplatin to go.

Kim

2catsmom
Posts: 7
Joined: Mar 2011

Kim, I had the same results. Mild hearing loss in both ears with moderate hearing loss in the higher frequencies. I asked if I need a hearing aid yet and he said it can probably wait awhile unless I notice I'm having trouble hearing. He did prescribe an antihistamine nasal spray to clear up my plugged ear (called Azelastine) but so far it hasn't made a difference. I saw my onc yesterday and showed him the audiogram results and he said the hearing loss might be from the cisplatin but the tinnitus, since it's only in one ear, probably isn't. Hard to say since I didn't have a hearing test pre chemo. Let me know what your onc says...

Kimmiann
Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2011

The onc said to continue on at full dose. This will be my 3rd round or 4 rounds. We are going to check my hearing again 2 weeks after and if there is more loss or the loss is in the communication area instead of only high frequency we'll decide then. I told him my main concern is being deaf to the point of no help from a hearing aid and if at all possible I want to preserve enough hearing to be able to communicate. Onc has assured me he will not let it get to the point of total deafness.

Kim

bfp9548
Posts: 28
Joined: Apr 2010

Kim,
My hearing loss was the high range too. I couldn't hear the microwave timer, the alarm clock, the telephone, and most importantly my 5 year old neice. With my hearing aides I can hear all of these important things. The tinnitis is always there even with my hearing aides. I've gotten used to it after a while and it usually does not bother me. Keep us up to date with what is happening with your hearing. Just remember, hearing loss is something that can be corrected with the aides if it starts to hinder communication.

Kim

Kimmiann
Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2011

Kim,

I barely hear the microwave timer. My little dogs yippy bark no longer bothers me. Sometimes I hear the phone. I am hoping I don't lose more hearing after this tx tomorrow but the audiologist was certain that I would. My oncologist assured me he would not let me go completely deaf. I don't mind being hearing impaired and/or wearing hearing aids if I have the chance for a cure. So, if there is more hearing loss I don't know what the oncologist will do.

My cancer stage is possibly a 2B instead of a 1B. There was a another very small nodule in my lobe that was removed. The pathologist indicated that is was part of the original tumor but the CT scan had showned the 14mm nodule and a 3mm nodule in the lower lobe and a 3mm nodule in the middle lobe that was still there and stable when I had a repeat CT before I tarted chemo.

The extra area that the patholigist indicated as part of the 14mm tumor was 2.5mm. So, the oncologist is treating me as 2B since the hospital Tumor Board agreed that there was no way to know for sure now or ever whether I was truly a 1B as the path report indicates or 2B.

Kim

Kimmiann
Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2011

Kim,

I barely hear the microwave timer. My little dogs yippy bark no longer bothers me. Sometimes I hear the phone. I am hoping I don't lose more hearing after this tx tomorrow but the audiologist was certain that I would. My oncologist assured me he would not let me go completely deaf. I don't mind being hearing impaired and/or wearing hearing aids if I have the chance for a cure. So, if there is more hearing loss I don't know what the oncologist will do.

My cancer stage is possibly a 2B instead of a 1B. There was a another very small nodule in my lobe that was removed. The pathologist indicated that is was part of the original tumor but the CT scan had showned the 14mm nodule and a 3mm nodule in the lower lobe and a 3mm nodule in the middle lobe that was still there and stable when I had a repeat CT before I tarted chemo.

The extra area that the patholigist indicated as part of the 14mm tumor was 2.5mm. So, the oncologist is treating me as 2B since the hospital Tumor Board agreed that there was no way to know for sure now or ever whether I was truly a 1B as the path report indicates or 2B.

Kim

bfp9548
Posts: 28
Joined: Apr 2010

There is no comparison between living and hearing. Keep it up! I shouldn't admit this...but....sometimes... I used to use my hearing loss as an excuse to ignore things. I can't do that anymore since I have the aides. My coworkers say that I have bionic hearing now,. Ha!Ha!Ha! Just one more treatment to go, and you will be done. Keep me updated. Thinking of you.

Kim

Kimmiann
Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2011

Hi Kim,

I get my hearing test again the Tuesday after next. I can say the ringing is a lot louder this time and I think I am losing more in the conversation range. I am constantly saying what, huh and I can't hear you!! The oncologist said we will decide where to go on the last round after the next hearing test. But, he promised not to let me go deaf so I can deal with that.

I'll let you know about the next hearing test.

Kim

ToBeGolden's picture
ToBeGolden
Posts: 697
Joined: Aug 2010

Many medications (not just chemo) have a potential of causing hearing loss as a side effect. We also know that loud noise can produce a hearing loss. I believe that there are some studies which show that the combination of noise plus a medication can be much worse than either alone. My suggestion would be to minimize noise exposure, even exposure to noise that you might judge as moderate. This would include noise from vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, and even road noise. I don't think that reducing noise exposure can hurt. There will be little or no scientific evidence to support my suggestion. But I would limit noise exposure if I had ringing in the ears from taking a needed medication.

pkaz53
Posts: 84
Joined: Nov 2005

I did cisplatin/etoposide and developed significant hearing loss during treatment my onco said it was from the chemo. I am several years out of treatment and unfortunately my hearing loss has not returned, I also had PCI to the brain which I think has contributed to the hearing loss I am not complaining since for me the trade off was worth it I am a long time survivor of lung cancer.

2catsmom
Posts: 7
Joined: Mar 2011

Congratulations on being a long time survivor? How long? I love hearing that! I plan to say that someday! :)

I'm sorry your hearing has not returned. Do you also have tinnitus? I have a feeling mine is permanent too. You're right though, it's a small price to pay isn't it?

Stay well!

pkaz53
Posts: 84
Joined: Nov 2005

Thank you:) 7 years I was diagnosed in the fall of 2003 with sclc.
I have at times had ringing in my ears but it doesn't last long. I have trouble hearing conversations especially when there is background noise and if someone turns away from me I really can't hear what they say I usually nod my head in agreement with what they said and smile. The most frequent words I use are huh and what although my wife claims I have selective hearing - huh!:)

I am 57 years old, soon to be 58 I take each day as it comes try to maintain a positive attitude, I certainly realize how lucky I have been and hope some of that rubs off on others.
This board and community has been so helpful to those affected by cancer there are so many knowledgable people.

I read that you have placed a little distance from your original date diagnosed of August 2009 your a survivor --I wish you the best on your May cat scans keep us posted.

Be Well!

Ex_Rock_n_Roller's picture
Ex_Rock_n_Roller
Posts: 267
Joined: Mar 2011

I'm sure I have had some (Cisplatin + Etoposide), but it's been masked by, in probable order of importance:

(1) Decades of NSAIDs for arthritis (a veritable recipe for tinnitus)
(2) Explosion injury to one ear 45 years ago
(3) Hereditary high frequency loss
(4) See photo! Not a huge gigger (maybe 100 over the past ten years), but also not 100% conscientious with the earplugs. Sometimes you just gotta have the thrill of blasting yourself into next week.

In fact, I would have to say the cancer and treatments have taken my mind OFF whatever damage was occurring. I know it's far from this clear cut, but if I knew I had to take pronounced hearing loss to ensure lifespan extension, I'd sign the papers every time. I am finding it a little harder to hear some of my beloved birdies at a distance, though.

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