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Sudden Nerve Hearing Loss
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Sudden Nerve Hearing Loss

The other day while standing in my kitchen my left ear made a loud pop. The ringing was incredible and I found it hard to hear. Being it was in the eveing I went up to Walgreens to see what I could get for a ringing ear. I ended up purchasing some ear drops for ringing ears. (As it turns out I wasted my money).

The next day I went to my GP and he thought I had a hole in my ear and referred me to a local ENT. I went the next day and he checked me out and then sent me for hearing test. When that was done he diagnosed me with "Sudden Nerve Hearing Loss of my left ear which he said they have no idea how it happens but he's had 10 cases in the last month.  He wanted me on Steriods right away. He then had me go for MRI. Obviously in shock of the news went for the MRI. I contacted my GP and asked for another referral so I could get a 2nd opinion.  I scheduled appt for the  following Monday (Today).

Not comfortable going on steriods (it's now a Friday night) I talked to to friends in the health care field and they said yes you do want to go on them right away.  Today went for the 2nd opionin and they want to up my steriod by 1/2.
I am not sure whose advise to follow?  Anyone have any suggestions.

I am frustrated and confused.
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152264_tn?1280358257
I think the usual dose of prednisone for sudden hearing loss is 60 mg/day--it should be a high dose. Then you taper off gradually over two weeks. (Unless something has changed since I lost my hearing suddenly 10 years ago.)

Steroids is the standard treatment--sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. If it doesn't, you get an MRI to rule out a (benign) inner-ear tumor. Your doctors are doing the right things.

In 90 percent of cases, they cannot say why a sudden sensorineural hearing loss occurred. It's a mysterious thing. It's usually attributed (speculatively) to a virus that attacks the inner ear (even if you're not otherwise sick, it can happen) or to a blood-vessel problem (such as a "stroke" in the inner ear), but they can't ever be sure because they have no way of looking into the inner ear. All they can do is take an MRi to rule out a tumor. Sometimes they will do some testing to rule out an autoimmune condition, but even if that were the case, treatment would be the same (steroids).

Good luck--it's mystifying and shocking to lose your hearing suddenly, but it happens. You did the right thing by getting quick treatment. Take the steroids! I hope your hearing returns. If not, there are some good options for single-sided deafness, namely, BAHA, TransEar, or CROS aids. Hopefully you will get your hearing back and won't need them.

Best wishes and good luck.

Nancy T.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks Nancy T-
Right now they have me on 30 mg per day. I've been instructed to stay on that till I see the first ENT on Friday
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Avatar_f_tn
Are any of you all living in the South?  I ask because I am wondering if this could be a result of the Chinese Drywall used in some homes in Florida and Texas. I only ask as I was driving home today frustrated that I haven't heard back from the Dr.  and saw a gentlmen staning at the entrance of the neighborhood with a sign asking if you live there do you have headaches, dizziness, rashes that it could be due to mold. Of course, I came home and started to research further as when I went to the first ENT he told me after all the test how strange he has had 10 other patients come in with the same thing in the last month? Anyone live in the Central Flordia area with this problem?
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152264_tn?1280358257
There was someone on the forum recently with a sudden hearing loss who also said his ENT had had a lot of people coming in with sudden hearing loss recently. I think he was in FL or GA. Could be just coincidence, or just virus season. I've never heard that sudden hearing loss is caused by mold and I seriously doubt that would be the reason. I wouldn't worry about that. You aren't going to find a cause for it--like 90 percent of other cases.

Why did they put on 30 mg instead of 60 mg?
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I finally got up to Shands Medical Center in Gainsville and they confirmed Sudden Nerve Hearing loss in left ear. They increased the steriods to 60mg per day for 10 days. They also injected steriods directly into my ear. I've had two injecttions to date yesterday being the last one. BTW.. very painful. I will go for another hearing test next week to see if there are signs of improvement. If so they will continue w/ the injections. Has anyone else had injections of steriods directly into the ear? any success stories out there? also any suggestions on the constant noise I have in my head. It's driving me CRAZY>>>>>
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152264_tn?1280358257
Hi Jennifer--Timbo who was posting here earlier also had the oral steroids and the injections into the ear. Sounds like you're getting treated by very up-to-date doctors. Too bad you didn't get in to see them earlier. I did not get the injections because my hearing loss occurred 10 years ago when that wasn't commonly done yet.

If you haven't had return of hearing yet, the prognosis is probably not so good. The tinnitus (head noise) will probably calm down a bit but not go away. Believe it or not, most people get used to tinnitus and it does not remain a problem for them in their life. (I am a case in point.)

Depending on the extent of your hearing loss, there are several solutions for single-sided deafness, including a CROS hearing aid, the TransEar hearing aid, or the Baha (bone-anchored hearing aid). I have a Baha and LOVE it. All of these work by transferring sound coming from your left side over to your good inner ear on the other side.

If you don't recover your hearing, your ENT will surely discuss these options with you.

Good luck--welcome to the "left-deafie" club, even if you had no desire or intention of joining! It's shocking to have it happen, but you will adapt, believe me. As long as you have good hearing in your other ear, you will be OK.

Nancy
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Avatar_n_tn
This will be short  and to the point.I am a caregiver of four years for my wife who has SLE lupus is dependent on me to correctly administer Prednisone.Recently both uf us came down with Labyrinthitis. She did much better because she was already on prednisone.I wound up in ER CATscan etc on diazepam with swimming head vertigo.But I cant stay like stay like this she is dependent on me.Son gets on web research three products you will need 1,Melatonin 5 mg sublingual stops vertigo fast. 2,Rescue remedy, lingual spray stops anxiety by Bach co.3 ,Vertifree.stops tinnitis head noise etc.these work and are only a stop gap mesure until you can get to a good ENT doctor this whole experience can really flip your wig but we are ok now if I can get through this so can you use the web wisely If you live alone you will need help do it get it. love you all    Joey Two Bears.
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm in the middle of (hopefully) recovering from SSNHL - Was/is the scariest thing I've ever been thru (age 45 male) -

Went to bed 'fine', woke up 100% deaf in my left ear - Went straight to an ENT specialist (the long named one) within the 'golden hours' - and got straight on Prednisone - within 2 weeks, had 50% of my hearing back, now, 3 months later, have about 95% back - but the ringing and 'whooshing' is never-ending 24x7....

Anyway - Reason I'm posting is, I see this on EVERY SSNHL forum - yet I cannot find an answer -

Someone above said: "Viral infection is usually blamed [for SSNHL] if there isn't another obvious cause"

This is 100% true, my ENT, whilst 'good', didn't and doesn't have a clue what caused my SSNHL either - *I* thought it was due to a blockage in one of the veins/arteries behind the ear (e.g. TIA stroke) as my cholesterol is off the charts high - But after the steroid treatment - many of my 'other' symptoms went away too... was a wild ride - but that just nukes your immune system...

Point is, my ENT thinks it was a "virus" and now I happen to agree, for 3 months later, despite my hearing being back, I'm just sick as a dog... not flu/fever sick, just like I have a 'virus' (bug) - So, for the 1st time in my life, I started researching viruses, just to discover there really aren't all that many (like 21 or something) and of course there's nothing you can do about them (to kill them) -

So my question is, for all you that have suffered from "viral" SSNHL, has ANYone every told you 'what' kind of virus did the deed?? Man, I'm researching everything from HIV to HEP to Mono to tropical stuff that I may have picked up when I was travelling - I am LOW RISK (very!!) so this baffles me even more... I did have a few run-ins with some nasty insects in Polynesia and NZ - but that was like 6 years ago... It's possible they've been laying dormant, 'til the Prednisone came in and weakened my immune system - and now it's sprung up?

I really dunno...

Either way - the ones I mention (less Hep/HIV) "go away" in a few weeks, yet here I am going on 4 months... No high fever - Vitals are good - Heading back to my GP in 7 days to get my CBC results... I'd just like some thoughts about what kind of 'virus' I should be looking at here?

Anyone?

Thanks in advance -

Cheers -

B
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