Hearing Loss Community
sudden hearing loss
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to hearing loss, alerting devices, assistive listening devices, audiologically deaf, captioning, cochlear implants, culturally deaf, hearing aids, hearing dogs, home safety, Meniere’s disease, oral communication, safety, sign language, speech recognition, TDD, telephones, tinnitus, travel, and visual communication.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

sudden hearing loss

70 yr old female with fibromyalgia & chronic fatigue syndrome (20 yrs), migraines, celiac disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, all managed with meds.Had episode while Xmas shopping in clothing store.  Heard a loud crashing sound in right ear.  I thot a child had fallen from a cart, but there was no one around but me!  I heard gurgling, mushy sounds in my ear and I've nearly lost all my hearing in right ear. Only slight earache. No colds, or infections that I'm aware of.  I went to Urgent Care due to beginning of weekend.Doctors office was closed. Urgent Care doctor checked me twice .  Said my ears showed no signs of infections and looked normal.  She suggested the severe migraine I'd had at bedtime the night before, may have had a connection.  I've had migraines for 50 years, and I have ended up in E.R. due to strange symptoms from them, but nothing like this !  Could I have a vascular problem, or maybe a T.I.A? I've been on Vitamin B12 injections for 5 months due to deficiency, but have cut those down from 1cc to 1/2 cc every 10 days. I'm having difficult time adjusting.  Any helps?  Thanks
Related Discussions
17 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
We do know that diabetes does impact the cochlea. You may want to research that out. I know I have seen people with diabetes lose their hearing fairly rapid. (Not within minutes, though)

AuD ccc-a
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for quick response.  this episode lasted 24 hours plus, and hearing has returned, insidiously, tho not good as it was before.  But I'm not going to complain about that !  At least most of the hearing has been restored.  I've been online over the weekend, and see that these things happen.I can also understand how depression can sink in so quick. It was such an effort to try to communicate with the tiny bit of hearing I had.  I definitely did not want to be around  anyone that expected a conversation from me.  I went to Urgent Care.  The doctor checked me twice, said she'd never heard of such a thing, that my ears 'looked fine'...no inflammation, etc, and to come back next day if I wasn't better.  You know....'take and aspirin & wait' kinda thing.  I guess I was upset sshe couldn't fix me.  At my age, I'm concerned I may've had an Ischemic Attack (TIA) that affected that part of my ear  Thanks for your response.  
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
If you are recovering, it sounds as though you may of had a SSNHL (ggogle that) Google: SSNHL Herpes

See what you find, but ultimatley you should see an ENT within 2 weeks of onset.
Blank
152264_tn?1280358257
I think most doctors (other than ENTs) have NOT heard of sudden hearing loss, and they are not concerned about it. I talked to, or saw, family-practice doctors 3 times in the days and weeks after my sudden hearing loss and they were completely unconcerned. I didn't know any better--thought my ear was just "plugged" somehow and would eventually "unplug." Not til a month later when I saw an ENT was it diagnosed as a sensorineural hearing loss. And mine was irreversible. You are lucky.

You still should see an ENT as soon as possible and see what's up. "Within two weeks of onset" is too late. I think some study or studies showed that patients who seek medical treatment with two weeks of onset do better, but sudden hearing loss is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY and should be seen and treated within 24 to 48 hours. Most general doctors don't know that and don't recognize SSNHL.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
AuD ccc-A
Blank
Avatar_n_tn

You still should see an ENT as soon as possible and see what's up. "Within two weeks of onset" is too late. I think some study or studies showed that patients who seek medical treatment with two weeks of onset do better

Dr Nancy states that begining treatment within two weeks is too late, while other "Doctors" state, that they really are not too sure.

http://www.hearingreview.com/issues/articles/2003-12_05.asp

As a Doctor of audiology, I can say from what I have seen, and from the ENT (physicians) I have worked with, the dominant belief is 2 weeks.

I once saw a Highs School girl delay treatment because she did not want to miss her Senior H.School graduation trip to France......

That trip cost her,  dearly.  We warned her, but she simply did not want to "deal with it."

Oh to be young


AuD ccc-a
Blank
152264_tn?1280358257
"Dr. Nancy states..." :) OK, funny.

W/a/J, I know that you know I"m not a doctor, but for anyone else who might read this, I am certainly not a doctor or medical professional of any type. Not that I should have to state that, because anyone reading this site should assume I am not, since I haven't stated otherwise. I'm just another patient with experience to share with other patients who are looking for a clue, a place to start, or reassurance, or they want to hear about other people's experiences. Maybe these people either can't visit a doctor, aren't sure whether they should, or aren't sure whether their doctor is giving them proper diagnosis treatment, so they ask questions. If medical professionals such as you and Dr. Antony volunteer to answer questions, that is wonderful and very much appreciated, but you can't answer all questions. Patients have a lot to contribute here, and anyone using this site should be aware that most of the answers here are not professional ones.

W/a/J, I do not see anywhere in the article you cited that mentions 2 weeks other than “Spontaneous recovery has been reported in 40%-70% of SSNHL patients and usually occurs within the first 2 weeks," which doesn't have to do with TREATMENT time.

My layperson's belief that sudden hearing loss is an emergency (i.e., needs to be seen sooner than two weeks!) comes from having read (since way back when) statements from a number of national and academic sites.

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders says (http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/sudden.asp):
"It should be considered a medical emergency. A person who experiences SSHL should visit a doctor immediately."

An e-medicine article says (http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/856313-overview):
"Sudden sensorineural hearing loss has been called an otologic emergency. Patient evaluation should proceed promptly and expeditiously. Early presentation to a physician and early institution of treatment improves the prognosis for hearing recovery."

The University of Texas otolaryngoloy department says (http://www.utmb.edu/otoref/Grnds/SuddenHearingLoss-010613/SSNHL.htm):
"Sudden hearing loss (SHL) is a medical emergency."

The UC Irvine Otolaryngology Department says (http://www.ent.uci.edu/sudden%20hearing%20loss.html):
"Sudden hearing loss is a medical emergency."

Your experience with ENTs certainly may be different.

Happy holidays!

Nancy
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I agree the site I posted never mentioned the two weeks treatment, and that is the point. As far as I know there is no real concrete number such as 2-days etc that you posted. What I do know, is that me and my colegues go with the 2 weeks.

Your posts as well, menitioned an exact time frame.

Truth is, I have even seen people spontaniously recover years down the road, with no rhyme or reason. I would not bet the farm on this happening very often, but I can not refute that I have not seen it.

I am not refuting that SSNHL should not be considered a medical emergency, no where have I stated that. PERIOD  

BUT I WOULD for sure advise a person to seek assistance via an ENT rather than an emergency room 2 a hospital. Most of the docs there will DX a conductive hearing loss, give the patient some antihystimes & antibiotics and push them out the door. Which then the patient faithfully takes the meds, with no results, and

POOF there goest the window of oppertunity to be properly medicated, properly treated, properly diagnosed etc...

Pretty sad really, and I have seen this countless times.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Your posts as well, menitioned an exact time frame.


Sorry,

Your posts as well, mentioned no time frame.


AuD. ccc-a
Blank
152264_tn?1280358257
Excellent point--emergency room doctors may not be any better qualified than a regular doc (GP) to diagnose and treat SSNHL. You gotta see an ENT.

I guess if you do not already have an established relationship with an ENT and the loss occurs on a weekend, you could theoretically go to the ER and have them call in whatever ENT is on call--that's how I presume it would work, but again only if they recognize the SSNHL for what it is.

Regardless, I think the patients who fare best are probably the ones who insist on seeing an ENT, recognizing (as I did not) that something is badly wrong and do not let the regular doctor put them off.

Nancy
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
It is nuts that med students aren't taught to recognize SSNHL. It would take all of 30 minutes to cover the topic. But I guess the get hammered on A & P of the ear, cover middle ear infections and that about sums it up.  

Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Thanks to all for your replies.  My incident occurred 12/19/08, 4 pm.  I saw an Urgent Care M.D. that night.  (It was Friday night and all doctors offices were closed).  The Sudden Hearing Loss lasted about 24 hours, when at bedtime, Saturday night (12/20/08, I noticed my hearing had gotten better.  I had another episode on Monday (12/22/08), which started at 10 pm that Monday night.  This time it wasn't 'sudden', it was like a door slowly closing in my ear.  It lasted till Wed (12/24/08 till afternoon, when the hearing once again returned.  I have had none since.  I'm so HAPPY !  I was fortunate in that I found an ENT on Xmas Eve morning and got a hearing test, then I saw the ear specialist on Friday (12/26/08), and he gave me a questionable diagnosis.   He's not quite sure what happened to cause the sudden loss, but said it oculd be connected to a very sudden and severe Migraine I'd experienced the night before the first loss, (12/18/08).  I've had migraines all my adult life, but this one was one like I'd never had before!  I worried I'd need to go to E.R., it upset me so much.  The other 'maybe' is the beginning of Menieres Disease, which really petrifies me.  However, I don't think I fit that profile.  I have never had the vertigo these patients have.  He also mentioned Hypertension episodes I've had that are connected to moderate migraines. I get another hearing test on 1/9/09, and will get hearing aids.  I wore them maybe 6 yrears ago, but decided I didn't need them. lol.  I sing, and found lots of feedback with the hearing aids I had.  I'm convinced I need to follow thro with this, and that these devices have sooooo improved since then.  This audiologist said she has many musicians she's seen that carry on quite well with them.  So, my mind set has changed, and I'm actually looking forward to using them now.  Then the ENT specialist will follow up with me in 2 months.  I'm so lucky to have been treated as quickly as I was.  Oh, I also squeezed in a visit to my GP in those few days !!!!.  He didn't have a clue as to what was happening.  Except to say he thot the BP-migraine episodes might lessen if he changed my BP med, which is supposed to cause the blood vessels in the brain to also relax.  So, anyway, I'm pleased everything came together as quick as it did.  Thanks to all for your replies.  I appreciate.  This can be a scarey thing, as you all know.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Thanks to all for your replies.  My incident occurred 12/19/08, 4 pm.  I saw an Urgent Care M.D. that night.  (It was Friday night and all doctors offices were closed).  The Sudden Hearing Loss lasted about 24 hours, when at bedtime, Saturday night (12/20/08, I noticed my hearing had gotten better.  I had another episode on Monday (12/22/08), which started at 10 pm that Monday night.  This time it wasn't 'sudden', it was like a door slowly closing in my ear.  It lasted till Wed (12/24/08 till afternoon, when the hearing once again returned.  I have had none since.  I'm so HAPPY !  I was fortunate in that I found an ENT on Xmas Eve morning and got a hearing test, then I saw the ear specialist on Friday (12/26/08), and he gave me a questionable diagnosis.   He's not quite sure what happened to cause the sudden loss, but said it oculd be connected to a very sudden and severe Migraine I'd experienced the night before the first loss, (12/18/08).  I've had migraines all my adult life, but this one was one like I'd never had before!  I worried I'd need to go to E.R., it upset me so much.  The other 'maybe' is the beginning of Menieres Disease, which really petrifies me.  However, I don't think I fit that profile.  I have never had the vertigo these patients have.  He also mentioned Hypertension episodes I've had that are connected to moderate migraines. I get another hearing test on 1/9/09, and will get hearing aids.  I wore them maybe 6 yrears ago, but decided I didn't need them. lol.  I sing, and found lots of feedback with the hearing aids I had.  I'm convinced I need to follow thro with this, and that these devices have sooooo improved since then.  This audiologist said she has many musicians she's seen that carry on quite well with them.  So, my mind set has changed, and I'm actually looking forward to using them now.  Then the ENT specialist will follow up with me in 2 months.  I'm so lucky to have been treated as quickly as I was.  Oh, I also squeezed in a visit to my GP in those few days !!!!.  He didn't have a clue as to what was happening.  Except to say he thot the BP-migraine episodes might lessen if he changed my BP med, which is supposed to cause the blood vessels in the brain to also relax.  So, anyway, I'm pleased everything came together as quick as it did.  Thanks to all for your replies.  I appreciate.  This can be a scarey thing, as you all know.
Blank
152264_tn?1280358257
Scary indeed. Migraine is very weird--it CAN cause temporary loss of hearing or eyesight as well as all kinds of other things like numbness, tingling, nausea, diarrhea, you name it. You probably know, since you have a history of migraines.

I panicked when I had my first ocular migraine at age 42--thought I must be having a stroke. I never got a headache, just the visual aura. This was only about 3 months after the hearing loss, although that was not due to migraine in my case.

Sorry you did not get all your hearing back. I hope the hearing aids help. Best of luck!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have to agree with the ENT about the migraine, I am no expert in regards to migraines. (partly because I believe it's all in your head) (just kidding)  

But here is something I have seen in the past. Folks with a hearing loss, they function pretty good, but when the lose just a touch of hearing...  they know it instantly.  Folks with normall hearing... we can just blow it off fairly well because we function without a struggle.

I doubt that you have Menieres (sp) you do not fit the profile one bit. You best stay on top of your diabetes situation, that much is for sure. Every one knows that diabetes damages the eyes, but few people even talk about the ears.

That said, hearing aids are tons better than what they used to be. If you can use "open fit" technology, go with those.  I am really impressed with the GnResound DOT (20 or 30) hearing aids.  They pack a lot of power for their size.

I am not much of a fan for the Siemens/Rexton open products, although I do use them frequently. (Not everyong can afford GnResound)

Good luck

AuD CCC-A
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
thanks for hearing aid info.  I'll check into your recommendations..  I see audiologist tomorrow afternoon to see what they offer.I've developed neuropathy in my fingertips and am little concerned I won't be able to set the little dials, cause I can't feel very well anymore, like I used to when I wore then before.  Jan
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
if you are concerned about dials etc (rightly so) consider hearing aid with a remote control systme. The buttons would be bigger, and easer to manipulate.
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Hearing Loss Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Ear, Nose, Throat Answerers
612551_tn?1247839157
Blank
Jerry_NJ
NJ
9172364_tn?1405509763
Blank
SophiaJohn
Australia
1740498_tn?1328966185
Blank
beachcomber13
MD
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
gracemily