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Avatar universal

SSNHL Sudden Hearing Loss

I Had a Viral Illness....http://www.medhelp.org/posts/show/297966

Thankfully I Have Nearly Fully Recovered except for Hearing Loss From Mystery Virus.

I have Suffered Sudden Sensorneural Hearing Loss in Left Ear.
History..I did Have a stapledectomy 20 years ago.
Viral ilness for 3 months, and also been on Several Planes recently.

It has been 10 weeks. Dr's Faffing About wt Antibiotics.
Finally I have been prescibed out of desperation Really:

Prednisolone 60mg/4days, Taper over 2 weeks.
Betahistine 16mg/tds for 1 month
Recommended Steam Inhalations/ Yogic Nostril Breathing
Exercise/Yawning Exercising
Magnesium Supplements 250mg/day over next 2 months.

I am Anecdotally Feeling Little Better. Audiograph was Flat, both ears, Left significantly worse. Definately Some Conductive Loss.

It happenned over night, I can't believe it.

Anymore Suggestions?

18 Responses
152264 tn?1280358257
I think the high prednisone dose is their best guess--that's what I got too, but my hearing loss wasn't even diagnosed and treated until a month after it occurred, too late.

You should have had the prednisone immediately.

Sorry about yoru hearing loss. I can't understand speech in my left ear--no improvement whatsoever since the day it happened eight years ago (when I sneezed hard).

How is the hearing in your other ear? Fortunately, mine is fine, so I manage fairly well although I'd love to get a BAHA if my insurance would only pay for it (it won't).

Nancy T.
Avatar universal
Tell me about it. I started Pred. V. late due To Doctors Ignoring the Problem Totally.

I Had a Nightmare. I thought i'd got HIV at the time from Dry Blood.
Had Mono/CMV Like Symptoms and Chronic Fatigue.
Apparently I Havent after 7 months of test!!
So at the time Hearing wasnt a priority!!!!

.................Finally Recovered after 4 Months Now this!!
However I though I Don't Have Anything to Lose. 3rd Day into Course.
Hey Its Nearly 3 months since Loss!! but I was getting Odd up/down Volume/ Full Feeling recently, so I got it privately in the end.

Similar thing Happened 2 years ago after Minor Cold, So I Guess I Had it Coming (im only 30)

Hearing Was Never Good in R. Ear Before but Useable. Left was Worse b4 anyway, but Such a Small Loss Suddenly has made a really Horrible Difference.

My Yawning Exercise Made Some Difference, Something Clicked. I am Seeing ENT Dr. Wed.
Hopefully Maybe I Just Need a Replacement stapledectomy.

Cosmetically I dont want a Hearing aid again like 20 years ago :-(
I will look into this BAHA thanx

Avatar universal
If you don't want a hearing aid due to cosmetics, a BAHA is not for you either.

Sudden SNHL does not cause a conductive loss. That is just the nature of the beast. The otoschlerosis can cause conductive of mixed. Mixed usually over a long period of time.

You mention configuration and type of hearing loss, but not severity. So I don't even know if your right ear has a hearing loss at this point.  I think stapendectomy last around 7 years.

Most folks with otoschlerosis end up with hearing aids down the road....   no matter what load of bull the ENT off loads on their otoschlerotic patient.
Avatar universal
Both Ears are below Whats Expected for Age.
I Thought Right was Perfectly Fine!! (mild) Until Saw Audiograph.
Both Flattish. Left way below.
Volume Seems to be the Major issue.

Its the Left thats the Problem, (severe) Because it Happened Overnight During this Non-specific Viral Ilness, I'm thinkin' Cochlear Viral infection/Hair Damage tipped otoschlerosis loss over edge.

Something similar happened after a Cold 2 Years ago to same ear, I don't think it fully recovered.

Being on Planes/ Music listening and Extreme Stress of Being ill with a Unknown illness at the time didnt Help in Retrospect.

When it Happened, I honestly Thought the Earphone on the ipod had broken. Like that.

Then again, if stapendectomy last around 7 years, its been at least 20 for me.

Guess these ENT can scan and Tune fork etc to find out the Nerve or Otoschlerosis loss mix.

It Seems a V.V Slightly better, but I may just be getting used to it now/Tablet placebo effect?

This BAHA device Seems Obtrusive, I can Still Hear Fairly well with the One Ear.
I think I could Get away with Smaller Pop in Ear Device if they Can't Operate.

Find out Wednesday. Thanks.

Avatar universal
Please tell me your ENT staffs a licensed audiologist rather than pulls out a tunning fork!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is like performing brain surgery based on a case history!

Avatar universal
I Goddamn Hope so,
If not I can tell u were i'll be shoving that fork after the last 6 months of Stress!
Avatar universal
Noticed tonight,
Iv tried Pinching the nose, and opening the Eustachian tubes. I Hear Whooshing in the Right/Good Ear.
But Absolutely NOTHING in Left/Deafened Ear....Also the Ear I Had the stapedectomy 20 years ago. Then there is The Fact Hearing Was Fairly Poor Before and This Bloody Viral illness That Never Got Diagnosed.

Guys, Help Me out, Seeing an Proper ENT Wednesday.

I am Not a Ear, Doctor, I need to know What to ask this ENT so they don't fool me.

1) Can they Determine the Cause? i.e Conductive/Neural....What Tests?
2) Can they tell if Cochlear has been damaged, How?
2) Can they Determine if the Previous Prosthesis is Buggered/ How? Just by looking in the Ear?
3) Can they Put a New One in??
4) A Simple Prelim Audiogram was Totally Flat, isnt SSNHL usually tapered? Graph just Dropped, straight dwn.
5) why dosent this Left Tube not Open, any Significance?

I Had No Pain/Vertigo or Discharge. I was on a plane 2 weeks before it happened, and I had Viral Lymphadenopathy for 3 months...Just Dont Understand what to Believe now.

I want to make sure I don't get screwed again.
152264 tn?1280358257
I can't answer all your questions, but I CAN tell you that in about 90 percent of cases of sudden hearing loss, they are unable to determine the cause for sure. They can only speculate. Viral infection is usually blamed if there isn't another obvious cause, but there's no way to say for sure whether a viral infection caused a hearing loss.

I hope you are seeing a good ear specialist (otologist or neuro-otologist). Write down your most important questions ahead of the visit, and give the doctor a chance. Their intent is not to fool people. The truth is, THEY DON'T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS, and that's not their fault. So be prepared for some uncertainty that you may have to live with.

Very best of luck--sounds like you've been through the wringer. Hope things improve for you soon.

Nancy T.
Avatar universal
For the money they ear, they darn sure know the answers or at least give more then 2 minutes effort!

To Isaac:

The only way to diagnose positively Octoschleroses, that is a diagnosis with 0% doubt, is to explore via surgery.  Now, aparently we know you have it because you have had a stapendectomy in the past. So there is little doubt regarding that. Otoschlerosis is never fully cured, like most things, it is treated.  Now by haveing an audiologists doing the diagnostic hearing tests, and reviewing the results chances are high that the audiologist can pin point some factors that indicate otoschlerosis.  Now, that said, otoschlerosis can invade the cochlea. when that happens, there is nothing that can be done. How a cochlear invasion is determined is by a complete hearing test, comparative audiograms from over the past etc.

Tests that should be run:

Full hearing evaluation

AIR/Bone Speech

If you have an ENT not willing to order such tests, this ENT is willing to make diagnossis without all available information...  That is common too.

The combination of tests can help narrow down the pathology & cause.  But as Nancy said before, many times there simply is no cause found.  
Avatar universal
Thanks Everyone. Yep, I Just Want Ppl to Do their Job Properly. Just Like I Do in My Life.

I Have Been through the Mill.
Previously Super Fit/ Ran 5 Miles 3 x Week Easily
Typical Type A. Went Abroad few times, Then..

(V.Surreal Disturbing Accidental Suspicious Blood Exposure)  
Got Ill Weeks L8r, ..For 4 Months I thought I Had HIV......due to General Lymphadenopathy.
Extreme stress, Even Had a Adrenal Crisis I'm Sure. Brown blotches On Gums. Went Deaf.
Then They Said It was No Way Serious!! Blood Tests All Fine. Typical "its a Virus" Response.
But Didnt Know What...Retest at 6 Months. Fine.

Then CFS, Laid Out in Bed wt Brain Fog/ Lymphadenopathy for 2 months...Couldnt Walk. Due to Sleepiness/Depression/No Light at the End of the Tunnel ( Felt Like ****, But I could Hear Fine!!)

Then I got slowly Better After 5 Months!!
........Said it was Hepatitis B..................Then,  NOT. False Positive Apparently...

Then a Near Fatal Car Crash Due to Excessive Fatigue, Survived/ Minute T6 Fracture/Rib Compression.

I Have Survived this Hell.........I Can Run/Exercise/ No Fatigue/ (Prednisolone I'm Sure, Making Me Hyper)

Now This Ear !!!!!!!!!!!!  Iv Come so Close to Full Recovery Now
..13 Dr/s Couldn't give me a Clear Answer.

If They Can do Something,
I Will Be the Happiest Person on the Planet. Thanks.

Going to Read up on this,
AIR/Bone Speech
ABR ,Stuff
152264 tn?1280358257
Wow, "Jimmy," sounds like you've had some bad experiences with ENTs!

Avatar universal
I have seen too many arogant ENTs condem their patients to a life silence out of pure laziness, and they rarely ever get in any type of trouble for it.

Right now, we have 2 posters that show all the signs of a SSNHL, that should be treated within 2 weeks, or else the damage is usually permanent....

The ENTs push out the patients for golf games etc...   I don't no which is worse, ER docs or GPs treating ear pathologies, when all they could do with some amount of acuracy is fit a shoe on someone.
Avatar universal
Incompetent Dr's Really Annoy Me. Iv Saved Their ***** Too Many Times.
If it Was SSNHL Too, W/a/J is Right The GP's Were Woefully Slow in Reacting.

Even ENT Dr. Said, Why they Hell Did They Give You Antibiotics??

Went to ENT, Definately Conductive Loss.
Flattish Curves Again. Carhart Notch Prominant, L/ Ear.

Lol, Also they Did the Rinne/Weber Tests With the Famous Forks.
They Could See the Previous Implant.

In the Notes, Also Looked at a Chart 5 Years Ago, Apparently I Should Have Had a Hearing Aid/or Stapedectomy Then!!! Iv Just Been Coping.

Speech Recognition/Nerves Okay Apparently. Shown Them Your List of Tests, It Makes a Difference If you Actually Know What they are Talking About!!!!
I am Being Referred For More Tests and Surgeon who Specialises,  Air-Bone Gap.
Will Get a Operation in a Few Months..on Waiting List Now
152264 tn?1280358257
Apparently, they don't teach doctors about sudden hearing loss in medical school, until you get to be an ENT. Even some ENTs apparently don't know what to do for it (not that there is a whole lot of evidence, or at least conclusive evidence, for any particular treatments).

Virtually all of the SSNHL patients I've talked with have had their hearing loss initially dismissed as "water in the ear" or a cold. My GP said on the phone, "Ears can take a long time to unplug," and the doctor who actually saw me a few days later just cleaned out the wax and didn't even ask me if I could hear better. Was given Afrin, Dramamine, finally a steroid spray. No Rinne or Weber test or what have you, much less an audiogram. A month later, when I came back, I was sent to the ENT with a diagnosis of "vertigo" and "Eustachian tube dysfunction." Too late (although I really don't think early prednisone would have made any difference, as I think my hearing loss was most likely due to an inner-ear stroke). I didn't push, because I too thought my ear was "plugged up." Who the heck had ever heard of sudden hearing loss? Not me.

I just can't believe that doctors dont' have some little reference book they can carry in their pocket called "This Is an Emergency," with tabs for ENT, etc.

I looked on the AAFP (the family practice doctors') site at the time, and despite a huge section on hearing loss, NOT ONE WORD about sudden hearing loss. They are clueless. Why don't the neurotologists put the word out to them??? I don't get it.

Nancy T.
Avatar universal
You are Right.
You Sneezed, Then Had Total Loss. If it was Minor, Fair Enough.
You'd Think they Could have Put 2 + 2 Together.  
I Hope They Checked Your Ossicles for Otosclerosis.

I Come from a Medical Family. Least 3 are in Training. I Emailed One. She Never Heard of It.
She will Now Look into It...Otosclerosis is Hereditary......
UK NHS GP's are Just Too General, They Just Want an Easy Life, Save Budgets so they can Claim More on Targets. No Awkward Patients........Next!         Hippocratic Oath?

W/a/J is Right, You Have to Educate Yourself, Then They Actually Perk up an Do Something.
Pity the Layman.
In a Ideal World, We shouldnt Need a Medical Degree and an IQ of 147 to Get Noticed!!

152264 tn?1280358257
Nah, if you educate yourself and ask questions, they think you're a hypochondriac. At least that's the case for middle-aged women.

I did have exploratory surgery in the hearing-loss ear by a good neurotologist, and everything looked normal. My hearing loss is retrocochlear.

Nancy T.
Avatar universal
They Brand you a Hypochondriac.
But I'll Tell you, Medical Professionals are the WORST!!
You Can Know too Much, It Really Messes you up.

I am Coming to Terms With The Loss. It's So True, you Don't Know what you have till it's Gone!
Life is Too Short. There is Some Light at the End of the Tunnel Now. So I feel Happier now I Know What's Causing the Problem and they May Fix it Partially.
It's the Not Knowing..........Because You Worry About the Other Ear!!

Been a Week. Stopped the Prednisolone. There Has Been No Real Improvement.
It was Too Late and There is No Way It's Gonna Help Conductive Deafness. I don't want Withdrawal. It Caused Major Insomnia and Mood Swings.

I plan to Take a Vacation and Wait for the Hopefully Successful Op.

Avatar universal
I'm in the middle of (hopefully) recovering from SSNHL - Was/is the scariest thing I've ever been thru (age 45 male) -

Went to bed 'fine', woke up 100% deaf in my left ear - Went straight to an ENT specialist (the long named one) within the 'golden hours' - and got straight on Prednisone - within 2 weeks, had 50% of my hearing back, now, 3 months later, have about 95% back - but the ringing and 'whooshing' is never-ending 24x7....

Anyway - Reason I'm posting is, I see this on EVERY SSNHL forum - yet I cannot find an answer -

Someone above said: "Viral infection is usually blamed [for SSNHL] if there isn't another obvious cause"

This is 100% true, my ENT, whilst 'good', didn't and doesn't have a clue what caused my SSNHL either - *I* thought it was due to a blockage in one of the veins/arteries behind the ear (e.g. TIA stroke) as my cholesterol is off the charts high - But after the steroid treatment - many of my 'other' symptoms went away too... was a wild ride - but that just nukes your immune system...

Point is, my ENT thinks it was a "virus" and now I happen to agree, for 3 months later, despite my hearing being back, I'm just sick as a dog... not flu/fever sick, just like I have a 'virus' (bug) - So, for the 1st time in my life, I started researching viruses, just to discover there really aren't all that many (like 21 or something) and of course there's nothing you can do about them (to kill them) -

So my question is, for all you that have suffered from "viral" SSNHL, has ANYone every told you 'what' kind of virus did the deed?? Man, I'm researching everything from HIV to HEP to Mono to tropical stuff that I may have picked up when I was travelling - I am LOW RISK (very!!) so this baffles me even more... I did have a few run-ins with some nasty insects in Polynesia and NZ - but that was like 6 years ago... It's possible they've been laying dormant, 'til the Prednisone came in and weakened my immune system - and now it's sprung up?

I really dunno...

Either way - the ones I mention (less Hep/HIV) "go away" in a few weeks, yet here I am going on 4 months... No high fever - Vitals are good - Heading back to my GP in 7 days to get my CBC results... I'd just like some thoughts about what kind of 'virus' I should be looking at here?


Thanks in advance -

Cheers -

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