At the end of October 2012, I experienced sudden hearing loss in my left ear. There was also a nasty sense of pressure bilaterally, but worse on the left. An audiology test showed significant hearing loss - particularly at lower frequencies – below 1500 hz. There is some high frequency loss bilaterally – which is not surprising since I am 54 years old. A MRI ruled out acoustic neuroma. On Dec 5, I went on a 7 day round of Prednisone and hearing mostly cleared within 24 hours after taking the first pill. By Christmas, I again experienced bi-lateral pressure (worse on left) and left-sided hearing loss again. Since then, I have had a consistent cycle of hearing loss for a day or two with associated pressure, followed by 6 to 8 hours of tinnitus and pressure reduction and then restoration of hearing for a day or two. The onset of each cycle of the hearing loss is gradual, with an initial muffled sensation. No vertigo, but some light-headedness during episodes. However, it seems that with each cycle, the good hearing is not quite as good. Periods of hearing loss are characterized by low frequency loss, pressure, and some pain, I've been taking a diuretic and keeping salt intake low. I'm worried about the gradual hearing loss, and possibility of eventual loss in right ear as well. Frustrated because of what appears to be a long wait to get into an ENT. In the meantime, I'm considering asking my GP to give me another trial of prednisone. I am otherwise healthy.
Looking for any insight into how to handle this problem.
Unfortunately Meniere's disease can dramatically affect your lifestyle and be an impediment to many physical activities. It is a highly variable condition by each individual. In addtion to your physician's advice, you might find it helpful to join a support group like the one below. There's also a facebook page. You may gain additional insight from others that have learned to manage their condition.
I finally got to see an ENT. The diagnosis is Meniere's disease. I still do not have vertigo symptoms and was told by the ENT that he really did not know if the disease would progress to vertigo - gave me a 50 - 50 chance. I've already reduced salt and I'm taking a diuretic. I can deal with the fluctuating hearing, although it is a bother, especially in certain circumstances. The potential of developing significant vertigo feels like my neck is in a noose and I'm balancing on a wobbly chair. I'm an avid skier and mountain biker, and often do these activities alone and will have to alter this.
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