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carolhg

Ringing in ears

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It has been 5 years since I had surgery. I had an upper right lobectomy. By the Grace of God I am NED to date. I STILL have ringing in my ears as a result of the chemo that I had. I have become very good at finding ways not to notice it, but sometimes it becomes unbearable. Does any one else have this problem and what have you been able to do for it?

Carol

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I lost some of my hearing as a result of chemo, in addition to the ringing. My PCP sent me to an ENT who said that if I was having trouble sleeping due to the ringing in my ears, to try taking melatonin. It's done wonders for me. Doesn't do anything for the ringing in your ears 'cuz that's caused by nerve damage, but it enables me to get to sleep at night. My suggestion: see a doctor.

Muriel

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Hi Carol,

I'm so glad we are both doing so well years later!!! It will be 6 for me in just a few weeks. As to the ringing in the ears ~ I don't have that BUT, get this, I can hear music way inside my head. It started while on chemo and has improved some, but often I think our neighbors have outside music on or the kid down the street is practicing with his band in their garage. It is annoying. I can't even tell exactly what music it is ~ hard to describe. I'm not sure just what to do about it. Maybe Muriel's advice is the way to go.

Hope you are enjoying not having to go to school. I know each fall, I get real happy! Take care.

Kasey

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Hi there,

I have the ringing in my ears too. The Doctors television show had a segment on this recently. They said the ringing is a sign of hearing loss. True. We know that. They said there is no "cure" for the ringing, but that there are devices that can mask the white noise and make it not so noticable.

They said bottom line is our hearing is going bad, but they can take away the noise if it's too bothersome.

Some days I don't notice it, but other days it can be maddening.

Judy in MI

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My ringing in the ear(s), aka tinnitus, was brought on by Meniere's Disease, which started about 1995, over 10 years before I got cancer. Meniere's causes severe damage to the hearing and balance functions of the affected side, in my case the left side. Fortunately, the right side is still okay, and my brain has learned to disregard the faulty balance signals and rely on those from the good side, so I no longer have any serious balance issues or the spinning vertigo/nausea attacks which came on without warning at some very inconvenient times in the early years. But I'm essentially deaf on the left side, and the tinnitus is apparently generated by some part of the brain in response to the lack of valid sound signals from that side. It's known that the ringing does not necessarily come from the ear itself, although it sounds like it does, because it continues to exist and can get worse even if the auditory nerve is completely severed.

When this first started, the tinnitus bothered me a lot, because I considered it a barometer as to the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the varous drugs I was being given in an attempt to stop the damage (sometimes similar balance and hearing symptoms can be caused by a treatable condition like an inner ear virus or infection). But once I accepted the fact that my condition was incurable and that the hearing on the left side was truly gone, I relaxed psychologically and the tinnitus stopped bothering me. Today, the first time I noticed it was when I read this thread! But it's there 24/7, and is the pulsing type, so I can "hear every heartbeat," as it were. My pulse right now is about 105, and I get that number by comparing the pulse with my memories of a military marching band, which plays at a standard 120 beats per minute.

Some people do find that a white noise device helps them sleep, but I've never been motivated to try one.

More than you ever wanted to know, right? :P

Ned

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No Ned, I think it's fascinating the way the body compensates when we learn to go with it. Learning to do that, I believe, comes with learning as much as we can about a disease or dysfunction. Information truly is power.

Judy in KW

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Wow - I was so surprised to read these posts! I have had horrible ringing in my ears for the most part of the year. The ENT and my oncologist haven't been able to figure it out - although I do seem to have Tarceva sores in my ear canal. I have lost about 30% of my hearing which is bothersome, but not as bothersome as the very loud ringing! And Kasey - I hear music too! I walk from room to room to see if there is a radio on - but no - it is just my head - so glad to know I am not alone!

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