Cancer treatment can cause hearing loss

2016-04-20 06:00
Photo: supplied Councillor André Beetge (back, third left) shared a happy moment with Errol and Sharon-Ann Theron, who helped these seniors receive new hearing aids from Kind-2-Hearing in Seadoone (front, from left) Lucille Dawson, Roy Cass, Sharon-Ann Theron (facilitator), (middle, from left) Stella Homan, Maxine Gilpin, and (back, from left) Neville Ries, Joan Viljoen, Beetge, Errol Theron (faciltator) and Jimmy Ross.

Photo: supplied Councillor André Beetge (back, third left) shared a happy moment with Errol and Sharon-Ann Theron, who helped these seniors receive new hearing aids from Kind-2-Hearing in Seadoone (front, from left) Lucille Dawson, Roy Cass, Sharon-Ann Theron (facilitator), (middle, from left) Stella Homan, Maxine Gilpin, and (back, from left) Neville Ries, Joan Viljoen, Beetge, Errol Theron (faciltator) and Jimmy Ross.

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THE Kingsway Cancer Group, which meets at Kingsway Hospital once a month on the second Wednesday of the month at 4pm, discussed the effects of cancer treatments on patient’s hearing.

“Some chemotherapy drugs, other medications, or radiation needed for treatment of cancer can damage hearing. If you received these treatments, it is important to have your hearing checked and to obtain treatment if hearing loss is found,” guest speaker, Shaistha Sadek, an audiologist from Kind-2-Hearing said.

She said “ototoxicity” can be described as a temporary or permanent hearing loss because of medication (chemotherapy), or chemicals (radiation therapy). The hearing loss may be reversible or permanent, depending on the type of treatment used and the extent of hearing damage involved.

According to Sadek, there are two types of hearing losses associated with ototoxicity:

• Sensorineural hearing loss (SHL) refers to damage to the inner ear. This type of hearing loss is usually associated with chemotherapy medication and is often permanent and irreversible; and

• Conductive hearing loss (CHL) refers to damage to the outer or middle ear (the tiny bones of the middle ear). This hearing loss is associated with radiation therapy, and can be temporary and reversible.

She said the following cancer treatments can potentially cause hearing loss:

• Chemotherapy from the “platinum” group, such as Cisplatin or high doses of Carboplatin.

• High doses of radiation to the head or brain, especially when the beam is directed at the brainstem or ear.

• Surgery involving the brain, ear or auditory (eighth cranial) nerve.

• Certain antibiotics (medicines used to treat infections) and diuretics (medicines that help the body get rid of excess water).

Sadek recommended testing and monitoring by an experienced audiologist.

Earlier this month Kind-2-Hearing in Seadoone Mall donated new hearing aids to seniors. - Supplied.

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