Hearing loss in patients with head and neck cancer post chemoradiotherapy


  • Raies Ahmad Begh Department of ENT, SMGS Hospital, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India
  • Disha Koul Department of ENT, SMGS Hospital, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India
  • Aditiya Saraf Department of ENT, SMGS Hospital, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India
  • Parmod Kalsotra Department of ENT, SMGS Hospital, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India




Chemoradiation, Hearing loss, Cancer, SNHL, CHL


Background: The aim of the study was to study incidence of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and conductive hearing loss (CHL) in patients receiving chemoradiation for head and neck malignancies and to ascertain the pattern of hearing loss in different frequencies.

Methods: The present study was conducted on 100 patients of histopathologically proven head and neck malignancy admitted in Department of Otorhinolaryngology and head and neck surgery, SMGS Hospital, GMC Jammu during a time period of July 2017 to June 2019.Inclusion criteria for our study were patients with primary site of malignancy at nasal cavity, nasopharynx, oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx, hypopharynx and salivary glands undergoing chemo-radiotherapy. Hearing loss was calculated with reference to the pre-treatment hearing threshold. A decrease of >20 dB in single frequency or >10 dB in two or more consecutive frequency was considered significant.  

Results: In the study, 65 patients (65%) developed sensorineural hearing loss and 22 patient (22%) developed conductive hearing loss during course of treatment. However, 7 patients (7%) developed a mixed type hearing loss during course of treatment.

Conclusions: Although chemo radiation affects all the frequencies significantly but SNHL is markedly seen in higher frequencies. Conductive hearing loss is also a common adverse event after radiotherapy to the upper head and neck area.


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Original Research Articles