Thanks, first off, for all the helpful comments. I'm a doctor, an OB/GYN, and I was diagnosed with SSHL today. I suddenly lost my hearing in my right ear while operating last week - like most doctor's I downplayed by symptoms and just chalked it up to stress and recent upper respiratory infection, but 5 days after the symptoms first occurred I felt it was getting worse - saw an ENT and immediately received transtympanic injections and started high dose oral steroids. I don't have my audiogram results with me, but I've been diagnosed with severe SSHL. This is super stressful, but I'm trying to stay positive.
Anyone have any other treatments they suggest - I read a little about Vit E and hyperbaric oxygen - any thoughts?
I share the experience recounted by you and others in this community. My "event" took place June 3 2014 - so I am coming up to 9 months. Steroid intervention helped a little but the bottom line is that I have constant low static in my left ear, a feeling of fullness that comes and goes, and distorted sound that creates major discomfort in noisy restaurants and has ruled out concerts, enjoyment of music and other events. More important, I still have little word in that ear. I can not carry on a phone conversation with my left ear and I simply miss what people are saying if there is ambient noise or they do not speak into my right ear. So.... I am seeing a specialist in a few weeks to look into a unilateral cochlear implant. This is practiced in Europe but I understand that a unilateral implant still does not have full FDA approval here. Nevertheless, they are starting to do more of them in the US and I don't see that I have any other promising resolution. I have a small educational non-profit in Africa and must travel and try to function to the best of my ability so this is what I am looking into.
Would always welcome any suggestions. Other than the above, I start each day with prayer... to rise above this condition. Best to you,
I got SSHL last Friday 27 Feb, took one shot of steroids, but the hearing is getting worse with more tinnitus and 0% hearing. Really frightened.
Taking Oral steroids too but don't think its helping out
I had SSHL April of 2013. Completely deaf on that Side. Anyone who needs somebody to talk to with please email me. I haven't searched on net for SSHL info since onset...because everything will improve I assure you. It is a slow process. ***@****
Stacey, any update? Sorry this happened to you. It's good that you didn't wait a month (as in my case) before getting treated. Hope you have got at least some of your hearing back. If not, I'm sure you've found out there are some great solutions out there...I love my Baha (going strong after 6.5years!). Best of luck.
Same exact date as me 2/27/15. I was told I had a sinus infection (which I did) 3 weeks later I insisted for a referral to an ENT that told me I had no fluid "stuck" like my GP told me. Taking steroids for a week has not helped. An MRI is scheduled, blood work done. Next is a shot for the nerves that he says are inflamed. Any instant luck with this anyone? What shall I expect? How can I not swallow for 1/2 hour laying there? I hope it helps.
I went to bed on Dec.16th 2014 and woke up the next morning with no symptoms of any kind that anything was wrong. Then I turned on the TV and heard nothing. When the volume reached 45 and still no sound was heard, I knew I had a serious issue. My right ear had no hearing at all and my left ear has always been an issue with only 15% hearing in it. Fortunately I grabbed the hearing aid I had for the left ear and was able to hear albeit not great. I saw and ENT that day who told me after many tests that I had SSHL and there was very little chance the hearing would return. I want to stress how important it is to get to an ENT immediately if you have this issue. After 3 days of no treatment, the odds go way down of any hearing returning. I was given prednisone pills that day and began 3 weeks of shots thru the ear drum with Dexamethasone. I had an MRI of the brain and ear canal which showed no tumors and no infection or stroke. If you lose over 30 decibels, your chance of hearing again are slim. Don't give up hope as people have gone two years before their hearing returned per my ENT. I would be thrilled if it returned in a year or even two. So far I have had very little improvement at 3.5 months. For those of you like me, who have poor hearing in the remaining ear the best option is a Cochlear implant in the silent ear. We are not alone with SSHL.
My SSHL was first thought to be barotrauma as it began while snorkelling but tests seem to have ruled it out. It may have been triggered by the pressure but with no real equalising problems and no pain or vertigo it seems barotrauma is not the problem. I have the roaring sound accompanied by a high pitch ringing in my right ear. The most annoying thing is the bell tones. Every 10-20 min I get a dingggggggggggg noise and sometimes 3 short dings in a row. Like I need reminding that my ear is unable to hear anything else! I am told none of these noises actually come from the ear but are created by the brain as a result of the loss of input from the ear. I think it shows just how screwed up my grey matter really is! I saw an ENT within a few days of my "episode" after getting my ears cleaned out. I have had wax cause a very similar feeling but at least I had some hearing.
I'm on the usual steroid treatment but there was suggestion of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy which is suppose to improve healing of the thing that has caused the problem. Problem is no one seems to know what the "thing"is.
My main concern apart from the obvious is the implications for employment and my love of the ocean. My mind has been put to some rest after reading the above comments that 2 weeks out from the start I may still gain at least something. I'm keeping my chin up by the realisation that I am not going to die from it (unless I don't hear that bus coming from the right) and the other ear is doing okay. Well there go the bells again. Must be time for bed or something. Shame it can't remind me to put the bin out on Mondays.
6 weeks now and I've gained some hearing back. I can hear words on the phone instead of "tinney sounds" I did oral steroids and one shot. The day I had the shot I felt hopeful and that I could hear better, but it's the same now, 1 week later. I have another scheduled in one and a half weeks. From reading here I'm getting used to the idea of poor hearing. I guess I really need to protect what I have left in my left "good" ear. Thank you all for your input.
I was posting here for awhile when I first had my severe SSHL (right ear) back in November 2013. I wanted to post an update. At the time, I had what seems to be the standard treatment - prednisone orally, and intratympanic dexamethasone injections 3x weekly for a month. I also had severe vertigo and pretty intense tinnitus.
As of right now, I have had no recovery of hearing. However, the vertigo is almost 100% gone, and the tinnitus has faded to a point where it's almost impossible to notice. Honestly, I would rather have the hearing loss than the vertigo and tinnitus. As difficult as those first weeks were, I found it surprisingly easy to adjust to having hearing in just one ear, once the dizziness and constant ringing faded away. I don't even think about it anymore. Once I had tried all treatment options and nothing had worked, I found that acceptance was the most powerful tool for me. It felt like a huge relief to stop obsessively trying to monitor my hearing and being constantly frustrated and disappointed. To just say, "okay, I'm deaf in one ear now. If my hearing comes back, great. But if not, fine". Since getting to that point mentally, I feel I've been happy and thriving again, despite the hearing loss. I realize that may not be helpful for a lot of people, but it was extremely helpful for me, so I wanted to share that.
Also maybe worth mentioning - I was prescribed a CROS hearing aid, which I elected not to get, because of the cost. So I'm just doing my best with one ear. However, I would NOT be doing so well if it weren't for my regular chiropractic adjustments. When you are constantly twisting your neck in the same direction to hear things, it gets really messed up. Hyper-extended on one side and pinched on the other. I saw my chiro twice a week for the first few months and now I see her about every two or three weeks. I cannot recommend this enough!!
how can you get these intertympanic injections and are they safe? the ENT resident wouldn't do anything until I got a hearing test
I have horrific hearing loss from antibiotics and can't hear whole sentences or consonants. I ran to the ER and started on 80mg/day of prednisone and it seemed to help a little bit. I also started taking piracetam which improves blood flow and oxygen to the brain.
I started taking valcyte and am not sure if it hurts the ear or helps with viral hearing loss.
should I get tympanic injections? I can't find an ENT that might do them. I heard one story of someone who went deaf and had bad vertigo after the injections. I'm not sure if they are safe, but I really am handicapped and can't study or work
Woke up at 7am on April 3rd 2015 with the part of my face around the my left ear numb.
I waited a few hours before going to the Emergency The main concern was the numbness and that ear region feeling numb.
I don’t recall any ringing at the time. The Dr at the Hospital stated that there was a build up of fluid behind the ear however could not fully explain the numbness of left part of my face. As I showed no other symptoms, (no temperature, no redness in ears, no signs of a cold or infection.) Provided me with an Amoxiciden script however not to use unless it got worse.
Whilst the numbness around the face subsided the blocked ear was the same. If I tap my ear with my finger it still didn't seem right even today
I visited the GP a few days later who said the numbness should go and it may be related to muscles issues with the neck and to visit a Physio.
Visited Physio a few days later again who tried to work on my neck muscles however she felt this was an ear issue. I mentioned the ringing and she advised me to see an ENT asap.
Visited ENT ( this is new 3 weeks later) and he advised me that he feels I have been hit with an acute viral infection. He mentioned that I had lost hearing which would be permanent in the left ear above 4000mhz and in regards to the tinnitus that I would get used to it.
He requested MRI which has since come back clean - all pathways etc all good. No issues.
Unhappy I went to another ENT who gave me nothing....Concluded that all looks good. He cant not suggest anything at this point. To wait a couple of months it should improve.
This week I went for another hearing test & tinnitus consultation. The conclusion is SSHL and that's it. So at the moment I have three outstanding issues
1) The loss of hearing. ( I suspect this will not improve)
2) The tinnitus which is driving me mad.
3) The ear when feels a little numb when I feel inside my ear.
Happy to hear from anyone with sugegstions/thoughts.
I'm new to this community, a 25 year old otherwise healthy female living in the US. Today marks 4 weeks exactly since my hearing went out; here is my SSHL story:
May 12th, 2015 I was sitting at my desk at work and the hearing in my left ear suddenly faded out and was replaced with loud tinnitus. I wasn't too concerned at the time because this intermittent hearing loss/tinnitus had been happening in my left ear sporadically for the past 3-4 weeks, it would last anywhere from about 30 seconds to a couple minutes, sometimes it would happen a few times in a day and some days it wouldn't happen at all. Each time it would happen I made a mental note to schedule an appointment with an ENT but I honestly just thought maybe it was wax buildup or something, and then I would forget about it until the next time it happened. But on May 12th when it happened again, the hearing didn't come back quickly like it usually would and I started to panic. (Side note: did anyone here experience intermittent hearing loss before the actual onset of the SSHL?) That night I went to urgent care and the Dr told me to take Allegra and Flonase and follow up with an ENT in a few days if it didn't clear up.
The next day the hearing loss remained and so I decided to try to see an ENT ASAP, and luckily I was able to get an appointment with one that afternoon. They did an audiogram and the results showed profound deafness in my left ear (no measurable hearing), the ENT diagnosed me with SSHL and prescribed me Prednisone, Acyclovir (antiviral) and triamterene (a diuretic) so I filled the prescriptions right after the appointment and began taking the meds within 24 hours of the onset of hearing loss. The ENT mentioned steroid injections and an MRI but wanted me to finish the full course of meds first before even considering those things (which would have been in 16 more days). I wasn't quite satisfied with her bedside manner (she made it seem as though doing the injections would be a huge inconvenience to her) so I decided to get a second opinion and was able to get in with a new ENT the following day (May 14th). The new ENT confirmed the SSHL diagnosis and was much more thorough and knowledgeable. She said the meds the previous ENT had prescribed me were the standard course of treatment but she also brought up the intratympanic dexamethasone steroid injections and I decided I wanted to do that as well and she was able to do the first injection that day, so this was less than 48 hours after the onset of hearing loss. She also sent me for blood work and referred me for an MRI and hyperbaric oxygen therapy at the hospital. I had 3 more injections over the course of the next 2 weeks and began hyperbaric oxygen therapy one week after hearing loss onset, on May 19th. I was prescribed 20 hyperbaric sessions and have 2 left as of today. My MRI and blood-work came back normal.
I had a 2nd audiogram last week on June 3rd. Basically I have an ever so slight improvement but not enough to give me any sort of functional hearing. I can "hear" sounds in my left ear if there are very loud and close, but they come through as an extremely distorted buzzing/squealing sort of noise. I'm not able to differentiate between a voice, a tone, etc, all I hear is a distorted noise and only if it is very loud.
So I am feeling very discouraged, anxious, disappointed, scared, frustrated.....It has been 4 weeks and even though I had very aggressive treatment and I started it early, I have basically seen almost no improvement. I'm scared that since I haven't improved by now, I never will. The first couple weeks were extremely hard for me, I was an absolute mess. I could barely feed or bathe myself or do small tasks around the house. I couldn't go to work. I was having breakdowns/crying spells nearly everyday. The tinnitus was extremely bad, it would overwhelm and compete with every other sound I was hearing 24/7. I felt so disconnected, I couldn't focus, I was feeling like I wanted to die. I lost my dad a couple years ago to suicide and as hard as that was, dealing with the hearing loss and tinnitus has been harder. I know that sounds stupid and over-dramatic but honestly losing half my hearing and having such extreme tinnitus absolutely turned my world upside down, it felt like constant torture. I felt like my sanity was dwindling by the day, I just wanted so bad for this nightmare to be over and to feel normal again.
My tinnitus is still there but it has gotten more bearable. Some days are worse than others. I guess I have started to adjust to this new lower quality of life. I am still so scared though of what the future holds, especially because I will probably never know why this happened to me....I will constantly be living in fear that this might happen again to my other ear. How could my body fail me like this? It's an incredibly unsettling thing. My anxiety and depression are through the roof and my temper has gotten very bad. I hope things will continue to get easier for me and if my hearing loss is permanent, hopefully someday I will get used to it and it won't be a big deal.
Sorry for such a long post - I just wanted to tell my whole story to get as much info on SSHL out there as I can. It's nice to know there are other people out there going through the same thing.
I had the same issue, it was 36 days before my hearing came back and it did so spontaneously. I had 2 dexamethesone IT shots and 12 days after the first shot was when my hearing came back. There are many people who claim 30 day window, and 10 days from onset - I happen to start oral steriods on 10th day from onset, although it was probably 12 days since I couldn't recognize whether I had become partly deaf in my left ear (I thought it was clogged from a cold or something until I couldn't hear any speech). 5 weeks later my hearing loss returned, but roughly 60% of the loss I first incurred. I'm on my 4th injection in 4 weeks. Stay away from FLONASE, it's a vasoconstrictor and will have the opposite effect of what Dexamethesone is suppose to do, which is anti-inflammatory vasodialator. You may begin to see if you can find a prescription for Betahistine. It's hard to find, but it targets the inner ear (cochlear) specifically. This vasodialates the area allowing more permeability of the steroids. Keep up on vitamin e 1000 iu, c (3g), a (8000iu), and d (5000iu), with Ginkgo. I'm also taking cranberry supplements, taurine (1 gram/day). These were part of my regime that returned my hearing and then I stopped taking them, prior to my hearing loss. I'm a big advocate of Intertempanic Dexa - if you look up blood brain barrier for Prednisone, it doesn't really even get to your brain (ie. above you neck). This is fairly useless, but inexpensive for insurance companies and low risk for ENT's.
I had SSHL in October.I was like my ear poped .but it was not notcable ,just a slight ringing ,then in late december it got really bad and I saw an ent.Steroids and in 3 weeks hearing was perfect.Then the hearing went away and i started with steroids again and injections,.Hearing came back ,perfect for 3 months ,then slight crack here slight crack there ,i felt it coming back .now I am on steroids injections and oral for 1 month and it is as bad as it ever was.its about a loss of 40 DB to 30 DB in the 3 low frequency .I feel a slight twinge of pain in the ear ,and a constant Hiss
Going to UC to see a specialist Thursday.Is more annoying with the Hiss then the hearing .I cant go to resrtaurants without getting annoyed
similar experience,Came back after 3 weeks ,then went away then after a month it came back ,lasted 3 months and now worse than ever .Been over a month now and its as bad as it was 6 months ago.
depressing,really but so busy at work i try to tune it out
going to UCSF Thursday ,see what they know
its the hissing sound that is the worst
i understand exactly.we have to patient .it takes 18 monhs for this to sort itself out i have head.
stem cell trial are working and they say it may be 5 to 10 years out.So there is that future .me Im old so will probably be too old for it
hang in there
So glad to find this forum and read your stories which are so similar to mine. I had sudden, total hearing loss in my right ear while shopping on March 15, 2015. The next morning I woke up with severe dizziness, nausea, terrible balance, throwing up, etc. I also had complete loss of sensation from mid-cheek to behind my right ear. Within 4 days, I was at the ENT, who prescribed Prednisone and started the steroid injections in my ear (had a total of 3). The feeling of sensation began to return after two weeks and is now normal. The ability to hear some loud sounds has returned to my right ear but is so distorted I have to wear an ear plug in public because the noise is very disturbing. I can hear the sound of a voice on the phone, not enough to have a conversation, but, again, the voices are very distorted. The dizziness is gone and balance is much better, but not normal yet. I have constant tinnitus in that ear but it's not as loud as it was (at first I heard constant loud clanging noises along with the buzzing noise, it was awful). Sensitivity to sound in my good ear is much better. After 3 months and with such distortion to the very few sounds I can hear, I'm very discouraged. Has anyone else experienced the distortion problem? I have another hearing test tomorrow. My specialist did talk about gene therapy and said I'd be a perfect candidate but that is a few years out still. Any encouraging words, anyone?
I forgot to add that for the 12 days leading up to the day I lost hearing in my right ear, I was under extreme stress and anxiety. Also, for four months, I had the sound of water in that ear, especially first thing in the morning. Three visits to my PC doctor and she kept telling me it would go away. Did anyone else experience any of these things prior to losing hearing?
hi iam also experiencing ear deafness suddenly with vertigo and was given medicines betahestine ,gingko bilabo, nootropil and top nerve my deafness was 113 decibles now after 3 weeks it came to 78 decibles hope i recover soon
Yes---the sooner you start treatment, the better. Treatment during the first two weeks is very, very important. If you don't find a doctor who can do the injections now and your hearing ends up being permanently compromised, you would always wonder if it was the delay or not. So, for your peace of mind, find one ASAP who will begin treatment. Best wishes to you that your hearing returns quickly.
I was only prescribed five days of 60 mg steroids and then three days of 40 mg, thee days of 20 mg and three days of 10 mg. from. All my reading, this does not seem like a long enough course of steroids. I've seen 14 days of 60 recommended. Has anyone else taken such a light dose?
Just wondering if you have recovered any hearing. If you read up a couple of posts, you'll see my story. I, too, can "hear" tones in my bad ear now if they are very close but I can't tell if they are voices, same as you. Has that improved for you? I lost my hearing in my right ear on March 15, 2015.
no i have not received any water just i had a bath on may 29 and felt my ear was numb with fullness then went to ENT he said due to blood pressure nerve has been damaged and my blood pressure is 140/90 and i went another ENT he made all tests like CT scan of brain and PNS then report was normal but only indicated tiny calcification in cisterna magna possibly vascular calcification then again he said to go for MRI brain it was normal now they say again to do MRI for inner ear ,i am frustrated lots of money gone and stress please some one pray for my recovery i belong to poor family.
This is just an update. You can see my post of Mid-Dec. 2014 in which I had SSHL during the night with no other symptoms of any kind. I had immediate treatment from an ENT that day of the usual protocol of corticosteroids both in pills and through the ear drum. I also had an MRI of the brain and ear canal which was negative. Unfortunately as of mid Aug. 2015, there has been no improvement in my hearing. I am providing a site which I found useful in that it provided information on the type of testing you can expect after suffering SSHL. http://otosurgery.org/2008_NEJM_RAUCH_SSNHL.pdf
I had hearing loss as well. It actually happened while i was using my cell phone. The noise in my ear sounded like and engine turbine like i was sitting on the wing of a 747. Then after hearing that for two hours it stopped and went to a hissing sound and i completely lost my hearing in my left ear. My ENT was hesitant to give me a steroid injection and urged me to wait another day to see what happens. When I went to work the next day I was working at my desk and as i got up to answer the phone I felt dizzy and had an attack of vertigo. Then I couldn't move without throwing up for two hours. I couldn't drive and I went immediately to the ENT whereupon he gave me the injection into my ear. And then started me on a a steroid pack. However I believe I was too late with the injection and since then i had another injection at the University of Pennsylvania along with another pack of steroids two weeks later. None of this has worked and I lost 60 deciblels of hearing. Had an MRI, a CAT scan and several hearing tests as well as a test for Meniers. I've been to two specialists and one general ENT and they all have diagnosed it as idiopathic hearing loss. They mostly sway toward it being of viral origin. That was in April of 2013 and I still hear hissing and I'm deaf in my left ear still. However comforting it is, I enjoy sharing my story and reading yours. Good luck to everyone.
Hi Barena, I'm sorry for your hearing loss. Are you completely deaf, then? Mine was also assumed to be viral in cause. Do you remember if you had a particularly stressful event in the days or weeks before you lost your hearing? I did. I went completely deaf in my right ear on 3/15/15 and also lost all sense of feeling around my ear, which has since returned. The next day, I was terribly dizzy and threw up for hours, as you did. I had 3 injections in my ear, plus oral steroid that first weeks. About a month after it happened, I began to regain a tiny bit of hearing but there is so much distortion that it isn't what I'd call useful hearing. The distortion makes things sound very high pitched and tinny. The further away the sound is, the more distortion there is. I also have constant tinnitus (buzzing) in that ear. I went to two doctors and found there isn't really very much they can do about SSHL. I'm hoping the distortion heals because I think a hearing aid would then work to help enhance the small amount of hearing I do have. I'm still having balance problems, although not nearly as bad as the first few weeks. I lose my balance very easily now. Thank you for sharing your story.
I did high dose prednisone and ginko, NAC, vitamin E and C and antivirals had a lot of improvement in speech comprehension but still can't understand people. I haven't tried aldosterone, but I can only get florineff right now which seems like it might increase aldosterone.
I was prescribed long courses of antibiotics for asthma (quackery) and an infection and accidentally took too many antibiotics and lost my hearing immediately after. now I'm horrifically crippled and handicapped and don't know if I can even work
Did you recovery from your SSHL? I am dealing with exact same thing. Had this for over a week now and been doing the 60mg Prednisone and hearing is starting to come back after almost two weeks, but high frequency sounds are distorted, plus constant ringing. Had two inner ear injections as well. Hoping to beat this but extremely frustrating. Hard to concentrate on phone calls.
I was driving to work on October 14, 2015 and I heard what I though was an accident - a very LOUD boom. Later that afternoon, I noticed my ears were still ringing and my left ear felt full (like I just got off an airplane). I tried using a nasal spray for 2 days. Nothing. Went to general practice doctor on October 17, 2015 and was told I had fluid in my Eustachian tube, prescribed Nasonex and told to take Sudafed; if not better in a few days to follow up with an ENT. Later that night I lost all hearing in my left ear. First thing Monday morning, October 19, 2015, I made an appt with ENT as my sense of balance was so off and all the while I have a non-weight bearing cast on my left foot (broken 5th metatarsal bone) making things especially difficult. I just figured I'd have the ear drained and be done with it. That's when the ENT said I have Sudden Sensory Hearing Loss. 100% deaf in my left ear. I had my first prednisone injection in my inner ear and started on 60 mg oral prednisone for 10 days and then step down every 3 days for the next 10 days (6/3/2/1). After my second injection on October 26, 2015, I could actually hear words - faint words, but words. I had my 3rd and final injection on November 2, 2015. I am just today finishing up my last prednisone pill. So I have been optimistic as my hearing seems to be coming back, even though the ringing is constant and does not subside I have just adjusted to it. However....today I feel again as if my head is full and my hearing is squawky/tinny. Has anyone experienced a set back like this? Thanks for reading and for all the other posts. I feel like no one around me understands what I'm going through...how devastating this is.
I can understand how devastating SSHL can be. I, too, completely lost all hearing in my right ear on March 15, 2015, as well as the feeling on that side of my face and my balance. I have had a slight return of hearing, mostly I can hear words if they are spoken really loud, but I have distorted hearing. Things always sound high and shrill and tinny. I also had 3 shots, plus oral steroids and after 3 weeks heard very faint shrill sounds in that ear, with continued improvement over the next 3 months. I am hoping to be cleared to get a hearing aid in the next month by my ENT, if my hearing has remained stable enough. I did not have any fluctuations in hearing once it began to return, so I hope your hearing has returned again since writing your post above. Did you have a particularly stressful event or time right before your hearing loss? I did and have always wondered if that's what caused it.
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