Hi all, has anyone experienced hearing loss as a result of chemotherapy? If so, does the hearing eventually return? I started chemo in August and about a month later had tinnitus (ringing in my ears) and hearing loss. Last week my doctor opted to discontinue chemo after round 5 of 6 out of concern about neurological problems because I also have numbness of fingers, toes, and heels. I'm scared, not of loosing hearing or of numbness in fingers & toes but of not finishing all treatments and… read more
One of my chemo drugs was carboplatin, and it has left me with tinnitus. I hear cicadas in my head 24-7. For me, it did not happen while I was on chemo but not too long after. I was washing dishes, and thought I heard cicadas- and I couldn't believe I had missed seeing them (I am a certified Virginia Master Naturalist), so I finished the dishes and went outside to see what species was making the noise- once outside, I realized the sound volume- outside vs inside- no difference, the noise was in my head. Chemo has been over for more than two years and the noise is still with me, some days louder than others, more bothersome at night, when there are no other noises to detract from it. All research I have found say this is part of my new normal. The are two issues- the same way chemo takes our hair, it can destroy the tiny hairs in our ears and they do not regenerate. The other issue is that the drugs can damage the auditory nerves (just as it causes neuropathy), with that there is a teeny tiny chance of improvement.
The taxotere (another chemo drug) left me with neuropathy, and though the doctors said whatever was left after 6 months was what I would have to learn to live with- hah! fooled them, it continued to improve well past the 6 months. It is now just a slight numbness at the tips of my fingers and toes.
Now on to the the biggest worry- was it enough? No one can answer that for sure, but the biggest gains are with the earliest chemos, and like the rest of us, I bet you have reviewed everything about any risk factors and have already started making some healthier changes. We do what we can- but tomorrow isn't promised to anyone. I tell myself it's like crossing the street- we know it can be dangerous, but we REALLY want to do whatever is on the other side. So, we look both ways, listen for traffic, cross with the light, etc. In other words, we do the best we can to prevent the recurrence- but we have got to move on to enjoying life- we don't fight this hard not to enjoy it!! Relax, rest, heal- and make happy plans!! Hugs!!
Thanks for checking back in, I am so glad everything worked out!! Now, back to the rejoicing! We have lots of reason to be glad with this day!!
Thank you for your reply Virginiavalley! Update… yesterday I went to my ENT and had my hearing tested & ears examined. He got me in quickly due to concern about chemo possibly causing permanent damage. He determined that the hearing loss was NOT due to chemo (thank you Lord!) but due to other ongoing unrelated issues I have that he was able to address- my hearing is improving! You’re right, tomorrow isn’t promised, today is all we have. Let’s rejoice and be glad in it, no matter what.
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