Has anybody heard if you can regain 100% of your hearing back? Five days ago I woke up and couldn't hear out of my left ear. It was buzzing/ringing really loud and it felt full like I had water in it. I didn't know what it was nor what to do and I kind of freaked a little. I jumped in a hot shower thinking it was from a migraine because I've had ringing in my ear(s) from that many times. Well, after another day of waiting for it to go away, I began to have vertigo. My head felt like it was in a vise, I was getting a headache, sounds were aggravating me since it seemed like all the sounds that should have gone into my left ear was now flying over to my right ear in a different direction. I called my ENT and he got me in the next morning, so I was 4 days total without meds. I'm only on my 2nd day of prednisone and I'm just dealing with it by trying to stay busy and not dwell on the possibility of a bad outcome. My hearing test showed 30-70% loss of hearing in that ear and they said that was a good thing that I could hear anything at all and that I might possibly get some of my hearing back. I'm wondering how long the recovery might take. AND for those out there that has had no recovery, does the ringing and fullness get better? Thanks so much!
Whether you will get your hearing back or not depends on the diagnosis. Sudden hearing loss with vertigo can be due to Ménière’s disease or due to infections of the ear. If the cause is Ménière’s disease then the symptoms will subside quite a lot but may not go away completely. If it is infection of any type, then treating the infection will improve your symptoms. Please discuss with your ENT. Take care!
The medical advice given should not be considered a substitute for medical care provided by a doctor who can examine you. The advice may not be completely correct for you as the doctor cannot examine you and does not know your complete medical history. Hence this reply to your post should only be considered as a guiding line and you must consult your doctor at the earliest for your medical problem.
Thank you for your response. At first I thought I did have an attack of Meniere's Disease but my symptoms didn't quite fit most people's experiences. My vertigo was slight and it came on after 2 days of my hearing loss. I've had ringing in my ears before, but never with vertigo. As I read about more about other hearing problems, mine fit the SSHL. My ENT had an audiologist MD do a full hearing exam and it showed my eardrums to be OK, no wax, but it did show nerve damage. My ENT said I had all the hallmarks of SSHL and I'm on the prednisone therapy for about 12 days. So far since about the 4th day into the meds, I'm beginning to get back some of my hearing! I still have the ringing and some of the fullness, but I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have another appointment in a couple of days and I'll let you know the outcome. Of course now I'm wondering if the SSHL will happen again in the future!! Blessings! Sandy
Glad to hear you are starting to regain some hearing. I'm no expert, but I bet that's a good sign. Time will tell. You may never have another episode of SSNHL. I lost the hearing suddenly in my left ear when I sneezed hard 14 years ago, never regained any hearing (but I didn't get treated til a month later, unlike you), but I have never had any more hearing loss in all these years. I have a bone-anchored hearing aid on my deaf side and it's great. You can really adapt to any residual ringing--mine does not bother me a bit. Good luck and I hope you get all or at least most of your hearing back! And be sure to let the doctor know the same day if you have any decrease in hearing.
P.S. Dizziness/vertigo usually goes with the territory in inner-ear problems, but it will probably get better. Just curious, are you a migraineur or have a family history of migraine?
Whoops, I see you already said you have migraines. I don't know what happened to your ear, but migraines CAN cause a sudden hearing loss (rarely), and they often cause dizziness/vertigo. Even if you've never had those symptoms before with a migraine, migraine symptoms can change over your lifetime. The theory for my sudden hearing loss was a blood clot (stroke) in the inner ear when I sneezed. Of course migraine can affect the blood vessels.
Here is some great info on SHL from a well-respected neurologist specializing in dizziness and hearing.
Among other things, Dr. Hain says:
"Migraine is also associated with SHL, presumably through vascular mechanisms. Migraine is very common (10% of the population), far more so than SHL, and even occasional SHL due to migraine could be very significant. The author's opinion is that migraine is a much more common cause of SHL than is generally appreciated in the otolaryngologic community."
BTW (just one last post!) it sounds like you are getting correct treatment for SHL--steroids, hopefully high-dose--but if your ENT is not a specialist in ears, you might well be better off with a NEURO-OTOLOGIST, an ENT with years of extra training in the inner ear and its connections to the brain. They are the real specialists in hearing and dizziness.
Hi Nancy! Sorry to hear you didn't get your hearing back. I was really worried I wouldn't get mine back either, but after 4 days on meds it kept improving almost by the hour! I just saw my ENT yesterday and the hearing test showed excellent recovery. It was almost normal. I still have some ringing and tones I can't hear, but nothing that bothers me. The fullness is abating, the dizziness is gone, and the echos are rare. I have a follow-up in a month unless my hearing decreases again. My doc is a great surgeon and he discussed all the reasons people get SSHL and he did mention my migraines could have been the culprit, probably not, but could...but then they treat it the same way. My migraines changed over time. In youth it was mostly about the pain. Now it's mostly about the auras (ocular and aural), prodrones, vertigo, etc. At least I don't get them as often. I was a complex migraineur, so I had headaches 15 days at least out of each month. It was nothing for me to have a migraine status that lasted 2 weeks! ARG! One thing though is I am afraid this will happen again because of how many ways you can get SSHL. I've been exposed to so many viruses when I worked in the medical field. Well, I'll try not to think about it! I'll post later to let everyone know if I recover fully. I'm almost there! :)
Great news!! How wonderful that you've had a recovery to near-normal, and your other symptoms are diminishing. Glad to hear that you have a knowledgeable and helpful doctor. Hang on to him!!
Yes, I didn't even realize I was a migraineur til I got ocular migraines at age 42--my adolescent headaches were so mild I never mentioned them to anyone and I thought they were normal! As an adult I've had only occasional and mild headaches, but migraine has manifested itself in dizziness, sometimes nausea, and vision disturbance (3 times only). Migraine is soooo weird...
I don't think you need to worry about SHL happening again; it can be just a one-time anomaly. My hearing has remained completely unchanged since 1999--I never had any further loss. The important thing is, you know to get in immediately if it happens again. I hope you will never have that problem again! Good luck!
Thanks Nancy for the encouraging words! My hearing, to me, is back to normal. No ringing or fullness, so I'll see what the test shows in a month from now. To know that you did not experience a set back in over a decade really reassures me that this is not going to be some on going health issue. I was so lucky to have had an ENT doc already or I would have just called my regular doctor! And yes these migraines are sooo weird. I don't think I've ever gotten used to how they've manifested themselves sometimes. It's nice to meet a fellow migraineur and hearing loss person! Thanks again!
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.