Four days ago, a Friday night, I suddenly loss my hearing in the left ear. That afternoon I had a ringing in my ear and feel some pressure. 13 days before that incident I had a cold and sore throat, and 10 days before that I went on a plane. But about 4 days before the incident I believe I have completely recovered with very small amounts of mucus and runny nose.
I read something online that says sudden hearing loss is a medical emergency so I went to the emergency room. The doctor there says, she sees fluid build up in the middle ear and told me to take claritin and I should be fine.
The day after I went to see another doctor with the same diagnosis and prescribed me Flonase.
What I am worried about is a sudden sensorineural hearing loss which can be permenant. I heard about a test where you make a hmmm sound and if you hear the sound better with the good ear then it is not a middle ear problem in the bad ear but a sensorineural hearing loss which needs steroid treatment. I did the test but really can't tell if the sound is heard better in my left or right ear.
If both doctors say they can see fluid or even air bubbles behind ear drum, could that still be a case of sensorineural hearing loss, or is that good enough to confirm the diagnosis that it is just Serous Ottis Media.
Did either of these doctors do ANY test of your hearing? I think there is a tuning-fork test that can distinguish conductive from sensorineural loss.
I went a MONTH with NO test whatsoever of my hearing and yes, my sudden hearing loss was permament. However, I did not have any fluid in my ears, per those first doctors--who blew me off anyway.
I can't answer your question as to whether fluid in the middle ear is by itself good enough to rule out sensorineural hearing loss. Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is rare and middle-ear fluid is common, so doctors are going to assume that fluid is the cause.
I went to a specialist the day after I posted my first comment. He looked inside my ears and see nothing and a normal ear drum. Then he did an audio test, I had profound hearing loss in my left ear. Basically over 90db loss.
He didn't exactly explain what happened but instantly prescribed 40mg of prednisone for 10 days and taper off 20mg then 10mg then 5mg for 9 days going half every 3 days. I am on my last day today and I did an audio test at some hearing aid place 3 days ago. Up to 750 hz, I have full recovery but it drops steeply to 65 db for all other higher frequencies.
The same day I started prednisone I started Chinese medicine taken atleast 4-5 hrs apart, vitamin supplements (A,E,B complex, zinc, magnesium, calcium) atleast 3 hours apart and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. I basically did everything I found online. Not sure which helped but I can use my left to talk on the phone with normal volume.
I am writing to share my experience and also want to ask about other people's recovery path. The first 7 days, the lower frequency sounds registered or made a buzz in my ears but not really a defined sound, then by the 15th day I can hear them more clearly. Now, my ears are reacting to higher frequencies, but again not very clear, what are the chances of them coming back?
I can't answer your questions, but I'm glad to hear you are getting some recovery of hearing. Your hearing loss sounds very similar to mine--normal to 500 Hz, then a steep fall at 750 Hz, down to 65-100 dB in the higher frequencies. I had no recovery whatsoever.
I was given a higher initial dose of prednisone--60 mg, if I remember correctly.
Good luck--I hope you continue to improve. Thanks for posting your results.
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