Can Cancer Treatments Cause Hearing Loss?

However, this miraculous win in life may result in complications that may eventually require patients to wear hearing aids. To find out more about how cancer and its treatments are related to hearing loss, continue reading below.

There are some cancers and cancer treatments that can cause hearing problems. Results may vary from mild to severe hearing loss. One may also experience tinnitus or ringing in the ears. Both of these may happen together or separately. If one is lucky, it may go away as soon as treatment ends. However, some cases result to permanent conditions.

Below explains how hearing loss problems arise from cancer or cancer-related treatments.

In Chemotherapy

Simply known as “chemo”, it is the most common treatment for cancer. It is a procedure that prevents cancer diseases from progressing by killing the cancer cells as they divide. The thing about cancer is that the cells in the body reproduce in an uncontrolled manner. The body produces a lot of cells and they start to occupy the space that useful cells need.

There are certain medications in chemotherapy that are ototoxic or damaging to the inner ear. Examples of these are cisplatin (Platinol) and carboplatin (Paraplatin) which are both platinum-based drugs. It is because of these drugs that the hair cells in our inner ear are damaged. Oftentimes, tinnitus is the first symptom of hearing loss in an individual and it usually affects both ears.

In Radiation Therapy

Radiation is a cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours. When cancer cells’ DNA are damaged enough for them to be unable to repair themselves, they stop dividing and die. These dead cells are then expelled from the body.

However, these significant doses of radiation to the upper body parts cause inner ear damage. Complications may include inflammation, fluid build up, and earwax blockage among others. Unlike chemotherapy, this oftens happens to one ear only.

In Surgery

There are many kinds of surgeries depending on the procedure that needs to be done. There are surgeries that remove the cancerous tumour, surgeries that remove tissues that don’t contain cancerous cells but may become malignant in the long run, and surgeries that removes only a portion of the tumour as removing the entire one may cause damage to an organ or the body. Some surgeries can damage the brain, ear, and auditory nerve that may eventually lead to hearing problems.

In Medication

A lot of medicines are prescribed to cancer patients. Many common cancer treatment medications may cause damages to the inner ear. Usually, these medications aren’t to be taken for just a few days, but rather, for a long period of time depending on their treatment. Frequency and amount of usage increases the chances of hearing loss.

Some of these medications include aminoglycoside antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, loop diuretics, and some anti-nausea and heart and blood pressure medications.

Who are at risk for developing hearing loss from cancer treatment?

The following cancer patients are at higher risk of developing hearing loss.

  • Children under 4 years old when given treatment
  • People with hearing problems before being diagnosed with cancer
  • Patients who received high doses of cisplatin or carboplatin
  • Patients who received combinations of treatments

If you are or you know someone who is battling with cancer, make sure to talk to your doctor about the possible results of your prescribed treatments. And if you want to know your options in treating hearing loss, please don’t hesitate to contact Listening Lab at +65 6817 5100.

About The Listening Lab

Listening Lab is a home-grown company whose mission is to help our clients restore their hearing to enjoy the life that they desire. Experiencing hearing loss can be detrimental to one’s quality of life. Hence we commit to providing high-quality hearing solutions.

Our hearing solutions include hearing tests and treatment and prescribing hearing aids. Clients may come to get their hearing checked, and we will assess whether hearing aids are required.

If hearing aids are required, clients can choose from a variety of the best hearing aid brands we provide. Each of the products offers unique features that complement daily use and perform well in helping our clients enjoy the life that they desire.

What Do Our Customers Say?

Person in charge nice and helpful with warm smiling face. Should you have hearing problem, can seek for her advise.
Catherine Tang Yap
Your service is marvellous! Patient and friendly. Mr Ching has been a customer of The Listening Lab since 2018. We have been attending to him for his follow up reviews and we are glad to see his progress!
Mr Ching
My husband purchased a Siemens Pure 7PX in 2016. We wish to appreciate Listening Lab for their ongoing attention and professional help they have been providing to us.
Mr & Mrs Sriram
madam Low
My mum has hearing loss for many years. Consultant of Listening Lab helped her fitted with Resound hearing aid. His patience and professionalism was greatly appreciated as the hearing aid enable her to hear and communicate with the people around her especially her grand children. We are happy with the services rendered by consultant. Keep up the good work!!
Madam Low
The Voice of two Generations in Singapore radio, Mr Brian Richmond, has chosen The Listening Lab to be his audiology and hearing services provider. We could not be prouder!

Brian is the definitive household name in English Radio since the early years of Singapore's founding, starting with Rediffusion followed by Radio One and now with Gold 90.5FM as well as Vintage Radio Singapore. His honeyed voice and selection of music filling our ears as we lived the bustle of our daily lives.

Soccer fans from the Malaysia Cup era of soccer will never forget his heart-pounding commentary from "live" matches, as we experienced the ups and downs of the Singapore Lions in the 1970s to 90s.

Our Executive Director Kelvin Lee is proudly beaming ear-to-ear in this photo with Brian. But you wont be able to see it through the masks!
Brian Richmond
I started experiencing loss of hearing sometimes in 2010 (41 years old) owing to some medical issue. I was having difficulties hearing conservation especially in meeting. Thus, giving me the fear in attending meeting.

Initially I started with Phonak hearing aid. It helps amplified the sound and I could hear better then. Somehow, my hearing loss deteriorated further that in late 2012 (43 years old), there was profound loss of hearing on my right ear. Even digital hearing aid could not help. On my left ear there is still about 50% to 60% hearing with hearing aid. I was lost at this point of time. I was considering learning sign language. I went to see my ENT specialist and my audiologist Mr. Bala advised me to go for an CI as an alternative to my hearing loss.

I also thank God for Engineer and Scientist, giving them the knowledge to create such a complex and sophisticate device to help those with hearing loss like me. It will be all perfect if the cost is affordable too.
Jonathan Po
madam goh
I took my mum to Listening Lab at Simei to get her hearing aid fixed, during our first visit, she patiently explained the whole procedure to my mum and also explain to my mum why she really in need to fix the hearing aid. She is very knowledgeable, and friendly, and we are encouraged to ask questions. she is also very patient with old people which is the most importance. Also her after service is superb so I highly recommend.
Mdm Goh
My mum, Madam Kek (73 year old) had the Cochlear implant (CI) done on her left side in 10th September 2019. Thereafter, thanks to the subsequent auditory verbal therapy, evaluation from SGH ENT team, as well as, the support from AB's and Listening Lab staffs; Madam Kek was able to hear, comprehend sound and music from her Cochlear implant, Naida CI Q90, and hearing aid (HA), Naida Link UP, for her right side before end year. We are happy that both the CI and HA have improved mum qualify of life. Now Madam Kek is looking forward to work again to pass her time as she can hear and better communicate with others.
Madam Kek
Titus was implanted when he was 18 months old. He is a happy, talkative 6.5 years old now. AB has been with him for 5 wonderful hearing years and we are looking forward to a bright future that lies ahead for him. AB’s Naída CI sound processors are reliable and the technology is constantly evolving and upgrading. When Titus was introduced to Naida Link CROS, his life was enriched. The wireless network established between his Naida CI sound processor and a Naida Link CROS transmitter allows him to hear from both ears. This changes Titus’s life and the way we interact with him. We are also very pleased with the prompt response and service provided to us. The staff in AB genuinely cares! We want to thank AB for making Titus’s hearing journey an enjoyable and a relatively stress free one!
Titus Pang
mr tan
I have been living with progressive hearing loss for more than three decades. Socially, I find myself fearful of communicating with people and at home, watching 'soundless' television programs is a norm.

An unforgettable experience. Trying on a pair of Resound GN hearing aid, I was energized and revitalized and overwhelmed with emotional tears of joy. The Resound GN is truly remarkable and uniquely equipped with three-friendly-user environmental modes that provide hearing comfort wherever we are.

In particular, I like to extend my utmost gratitude to Hearing Consultant. With her profound compassion and wisdom in guiding me, I am confident that I can forge a formidable partnership with the Listening Lab; So that I can rebuild a new chapter of a happy and value-creative life and simultaneously, leaving behind the painful memories of the past three decades.
Mr Tan

Consult our hearing
specialist and let us
assist you.

Vector (1)

Schedule a video consultation for this
service and let our hearing specialist
assist you with this service