​Hearing loss is a decrease in how well you hear. It can happen to 1 or both ears.



There are 2 main causes of hearing loss.

Damage to your nerves or inner ear

This can be caused by:

  • Age
  • Noise
  • Some types of medicine (including chemotherapy)

Cisplatin, a chemotherapy medicine, can cause damage to the nerves or inner ear. It may go away with time. Sometimes, it can take months or years to go away. For some people, it may never go away.

Some other causes are infection, noise, medication, and radiation therapy.

Blocked ears

This can be caused by:

  • Ear wax buildup
  • A hole in the eardrum 
  • Fluid behind the eardrum


What you can do

Talk to your family doctor about your hearing loss. Make a list of what you notice and bring this list to your appointment. It is also helpful to write down how long you have noticed these changes.


More information


Last reviewed: 11/4/2019
Last modified: 9/26/2023 11:07 AM
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