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viral or dental procedure
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viral or dental procedure

I also woke up without hearing in my right ear.  This was day after I had a filling at the dentist with lidocaine/novacaine. Went to ENT on emergency basis, and he called it neurosensorihearing loss or sudden hearing loss with no explanation. Put on Valtrex and Prednisone against my feelings about how bad these drugs are for you but I was at their mercy. He said only 50/50 chance it would come back.  My question is this: if everything I read so far says 98% of people do not recover their hearing, why is there a rush to get treatment at all? Doesnt seem successful no matter when you go or what you take. Treating it with steroids might be standard but sometimes it does more harm than good I think. I have been on it 2 weeks weaning down and just started every other day but I am getting heart palpitations and shortness of breath periodically so covering Dr. (Sunday) said to stop altogether.  Im now afraid to do that also. When and how much do you need of prednisone, sounds different for everyone, but why when its the same illness?
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1268057_tn?1399131913
Well, if you read 98% of patients do not regain hearing remember there is 20% that do.  The physician would not know where you fall as far as these statistics without treating you.  Apparently, he gave you a "50/50" chance.  

Hey, If I lost my hearing I would not be questioning what the physician gave me to try to regain it unless I was allergic to the medication.

As far as prednisone and dosing, it can go by a number of things; not everyone will get the same dose because they have the same illness.  Did this physician that told you to stop altogether mention anything about decreasing the dose first?  How much were you taking every other day?  mg?  

Any hearing regained at all?

Can't say it wasn't viral; I am leaning towards this is related to the dental work.
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152264_tn?1280358257
The stats that I've seen most commonly cited are that 1/3 of patients with sudden hearing loss will have full recovery, 1/3 will have partial recovery, 1/3 will have none. There may be newer stats that I haven't heard of (most of my hearing-loss "research" was done in the early 2000s.) And I think those 1/3 figures were from just one study. Sudden hearing loss is not very well studied nor understood.

Are you sure the "98 percent" wasn't the percentage of cases of sudden hearing loss that are never definitively explained? That sounds more likely (though I thought it was 90 percent or something like that).

Yes, high-dose prednisone and antivirals are the standard treatment for sudden hearing loss and you really should take them (as you did). You want to do everything you can to save your hearing, and quickly. Permanent hearing loss is PERMANENT.

I think I was started on 60 mg of prednisone daily and tapered down over 2 weeks. Did no good in my case, but of course that was a month after my hearing loss (and the way I lost it, by sneezing hard, suggests it wasn't an autoimmune thing that would respond to steroids, but they always try steroids anyway, because hearing is so important and they want to give it their best shot).
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Ooops, meant 2% vs 20% in my last post.  
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Yes I went from 50 Mg. prednisone (10 mg. 5 x a day) down to 1 a day and now was on every other day for next 2 weeks.  Apparently he wanted me on it a total of one month, but will call him later to see if covering Dr. was right to stop it now that I am on the one every other day.  Like I said, after reading all the effects of this drug it is very scary to put in my system unless I know this can cure my condition, which of course, I dont and cant afford to take chance.  I hope and pray it is 1/3 success but I get depressed and pessimistic at times, which never was me.  Thanks for your responses and everyone else. Still wondering about the coincidence of dentist and novacaine day before.
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152264_tn?1280358257
Hi merige--I don't think it could have been the dentist and novocaine. I have really read a lot about sudden hearing loss and never heard of it being a result of a dental visit or novocaine. It was almost certainly a coincidence.

If you were already on the prednisone for two weeks and you didn't recover any hearing, it probably isn't going to help you. I believe the taper is simply to avoid side effects from stopping it suddenly. So if your doctor said it was OK to stop, it's OK.

Have you had a repeat hearing test? Do you feel any difference in your hearing?

If you don't get it back, there are hearing-aid options: a CROS hearing aid (though most people don't like those), a TransEar (I don't know much about those--fairly new), or--probably the best option if you can--a bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA). I have a BAHA and I love it. When you next see the audiologist, talk to them about options for you.

Did they do an MRI with contrast to rule out acoustic neuroma (benign inner-ear tumor)? If not, they will. Also you should probably have some blood tests to rule out certain other things that are thought to cause SSNHL. But the MRI--WITH contrast--is the most important. Make sure they do it with contrast.

Good luck,
Nancy
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152264_tn?1280358257
P.S. Do not make the mistake I made and start worrying a lot about an acoustic neuroma. Only a very small percentage of people with sudden hearing loss have one. But they have to rule it out with an MRI. Most people with an acoustic neuroma experience gradual, not sudden, hearing loss, so the chances you have one are very small indeed.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have gone back weekly for hearing tests and each week improved ever so slightly. I go again today which is my third but dont feel any improvement. I was wondering if you are going to regain hearing what is the window for return? Is it up to 2 or 3 months and then after that it means no hope of it returning? I will also ask Dr. later and let you know as you have all been enormously supportive and helpful but I am trying to be optimistic with the time frame of hearing return.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hearing test was almost same with very slight to no improvement but Dr. said patients can recover hearing up to a year.  While that gave me hope, the tooth that was filled (that I thought started this) now is so painful that I either have to have root canal or remove it.  I am opting for removal at this point but my ear Dr. doesnt want me to have novacaine again and I ask, "how can you have an extraction without it?" I am back to square one and the horrible thing is I never had a problem with this tooth or toothache til now.  Dentist said it was routine filling, didnt look bad, no prediction of possible root canal. Im a mess and back on antibiotic Clindomycin.  I was so happy to be off them.  I am trying Oil of Oregano however in between, heard thats good for bacteria, viruses and toothaches. Anyone heard of that as a natural anitibiotic or tooth cure?
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152264_tn?1280358257
Sorry for the late reply. I suppose the time frame for possible recovery of hearing depends on the cause of the hearing loss, but I think if it's been this long, you shoudl not count on getting your hearing back. But I'm not an expert. Go with what your doctor says. Hopefully you are seeing an ENT who SPECIALIZES in the ear (neuro-otologist).

Why doesn't your ear doc want you to have novocaine? I would not think that would be dangerous. (But again, I'm no expert.) I would get another opinion from another ear doctor if your dentist says the tooth has to come out and the ear doc says no novocaine!

Good luck!
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