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Meniere's hearing loss or something else?

Hi everyone,

Two years ago, I had a severe bout of vertigo which declined gradually over 2-3 weeks, and which the doctors diagnosed as vestibular neuritis. At the time, they also gave me a hearing test and diagnosed the early stages of presbyacusis (age-related high-frequency hearing loss). I had already been prone to bouts of vertigo which would start without warning; they would go away after hours or days but I'd often be left with a kind of "brain fog" which could go on for weeks. The vertigo always seemed to come from the right side; often I would feel that I was going to fall over to the right, but I never had nausea or vomiting with it. Neither did I seem to lose my hearing, although I was and still am prone to tinnitus on that side. For a long time, the doctors said it was just stress and depression, because (until the bout of vestibular neuritis, when I had "decompensated vertigo in the horizontal semicircular canal") there were no pathological findings.

Thankfully the vertigo has become less extreme over the years (although it still affects me at times); however, over the last few months I feel as if my hearing has been getting worse. I often have to ask people to repeat themselves at least once or guess at what they are saying, and it is becoming a major nuisance.

Anyway, yesterday I saw an ENT specialist about the hearing loss. He did an audiogram of both ears, which showed the pattern typical for presbyacusis but also a low-frequency "notch" in the right ear:

Right ear:
250 Hz=15 db, 500Hz= 30 db, 1000 Hz= 20 dB, 2000 Hz=15 dB, 4000 Hz= 30 db, 8000 Hz = 50 db
Left ear:
250 Hz=10 db, 500Hz= 10db, 1000 Hz= 15 dB, 2000 Hz=15 dB, 4000 Hz= 30 db, 8000 Hz = 40 db

He also did a tympanogram, which - if I understood him correctly - revealed low pressure in the right ear.

Now he has given me betahistine (24 mg three times a day) and muttered something about cortisone infusions, but I have no clue why or what is going on? (to be honest, I was so baffled I couldn't collect my thoughts to ask more questions). Does this sound like Meniere's, or something else?

Many thanks in advance!
1 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi, from what I gathered your symptoms of problems with hearing is due to presbycusis. This is sensorineural hearing impairment in elderly individuals. Do you still have vertigo? Originally these intratympanic steroid injections were used in an attempt to control vertigo episodes in patients who have Meniere’s disease. What has been discovered is that these injections oftentimes do not help with the vertigo, but in many cases can help with the pressure, noise, and hearing loss of Meniere’s disease. So, check with your doctor, he could be referring to controlling both your symptoms with steroid injections. But this will help if you have Meniere’s disease. So, please discuss the options with your doctor. Regards.
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