Can Hearing Loss Be a Sign of Cancer?

Losing any of our senses can be alarming, especially one that we use every day such as our hearing. When we start to lose our ability to see or hear, we often try to find out the cause as soon as possible in an attempt to catch it early enough so we have the potential to reverse any loss of the sense. Overall, there are three types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed. 

Conductive hearing loss is due to reasons in the outer or middle ear and sensorineural hearing loss is due to reasons from the inner ear. No matter where the hearing loss comes from, the signs are all very similar to hearing muffled sounds, trouble hearing consonants, difficulty hearing conversations and background noises. Some of the causes of hearing loss include damage to the inner ear, too much buildup of earwax, chronic ear infections, ruptured eardrums, and bone growths or tumors. If you are unsure about the status of your ears, you can take this online hearing test to gauge where you stand and see if you need to schedule an appointment with a doctor. 

One of the causes of hearing loss that gives most people pause is tumors, whether cancerous or not. There are many types of tumors that are not cancerous, but one of the cancers that can cause hearing loss is nasopharyngeal cancer. This kind of cancer often brings people to the doctor for lumps and bumps in their neck that are often not painful. However, this kind of cancer can cause hearing loss, headaches, and other symptoms involving the head. This cancer is fairly rare, however, with less than one case per 100,000 every year.

No matter how rare a certain type of cancer is the best way to get ahead of it is early detection. Even if you do not have a mass on your neck, hearing loss is a symptom that you should not ignore. When you go to your doctor, it will be worth it to voice your concerns and discuss options for testing for the cause of your symptoms. Some of the differential testing that they may suggest include imaging tests, laboratory tests, diagnostic procedures, and genomic testing. One of the most advanced imaging tests that can be conducted today is magnetic resonance imaging or an MRI. The image that this test gives is best for soft tissues like your internal organs, skin, lymph nodes, etc. Medicine is constantly trying to advance and never stay stagnant, so new technologies are constantly being invented, tested, and established. 

One of the newest technologies the Ezra scan. Ezra is a scanning modality that uses MRI for a full-body scan, which is already one of the most sensitive imaging tests for detecting cancer, and pairs it with artificial intelligence (AI). This kind of technology helps board-certified radiologists, who are experts at reading these scans, be more accurate in their diagnosis and not miss anything on the scan. This technology is also beneficial because it requires no radiation exposure, unlike a CT scan or X-rays would. The Ezra scan can detect cancer in many major organs, including but not limited to the brain, liver, kidney, prostate, ovaries, uterus, and bladder. With more time and more technology, there will be even more detectable cancers with this machine and intelligence. To learn even more about this technology, you can visit the website, Ezra.com, to become familiar with the process. 

Hearing loss and deficits in other senses can not only be a scary process but can also let us know that something is happening in our bodies that need to be investigated. The best way to beat cancer is early detection, so ask your doctor about what testing and technologies they recommend for your specific symptoms. 

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