Today is the last day of October. Not just known as Halloween but also the last day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

National Breast Cancer Foundation, INC defines breast cancer as a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form the tissues of the breast. Some fast facts about breast cancer:

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers.
  • 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime
  • On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States
  • There are over 3.8 million survivors in the United States

A method commonly used to treat breast cancer is chemotherapy. It is known to cause hearing loss, however depending on the number of treatments and the individual person, the hearing loss can be permanent or temporary. Other treatment methods like antibiotics and anti-nausea medications can also cause hearing difficulty. It is a good idea to get routine hearing checks if you are having to go through chemotherapy or taking medications to help manage cancer.

Hearing difficulties come in a wide range of situations. Issues with hearing individuals in noise, having trouble distinguishing where noise is coming from, the feeling of your ears full are just a few common difficulties individuals face when they start to notice they are having hearing complications. If you find yourself in this situation, the first step would be to contact a hearing professional. They will be able to figure out what is the cause of your hearing difficulty. They will be able to put you on the right path. In addition, of help from professionals, Breastcancer.org lists some ways to assist in management of hearing complications:

  • Reposition you head: if you’re hearing annoying internal sounds. Tilting your head from side to side may stop the noises
  • Tell your friends and family about your problems and ask them to speak slowly and clearly: ask them not to shout- shouting can be more damaging to your ears
  • Avoid stress and anxiety: because they can make the tinnitus worse
  • Stay away from loud noises
  • Stay hydrated: dehydration can contribute to tinnitus
  • Get plenty of sleep: tiredness can make tinnitus worse. Use a fan, soft music, or quiet radio static to mask inner ear noise when you’re trying to sleep.
  • Keep your blood pressure at a healthy level: high blood pressure can make hearing problems worse
  • Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine: they can make your symptoms worse
  • Call your doctor immediately if you:
    • Develop severe ear pain
    • Begin vomiting
    • Lose you vision or hearing complete
    • Lose consciousness because of dizziness
    • Have a fever of 100.5 degrees F or higher

If you or a loved one are having hearing difficulties or concerns, please contact your local audiologist or hearing care professional.

Sources:

https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-facts

https://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/side_effects/hearing_probs