I'm on my 2nd course of oral Prednisone for Sudden Hearing Loss which came upon me 8 days ago. So far, I have noticed substantial improvement on two occasions, only to have slid all the way back again. So incredibly frustrating!! Today I am back where I started (thankfully not worse).
I know that my ENT is going to propose IT steroid injection as my next step after this. And I'm trying to do my research in advance. It seems that there are no really good controlled studies on the effectiveness of this procedure, but some good anecdotal reports. I really want to recover as much hearing as I can (who wouldn't?), but am concerned about the procedure and would like to hear about others experiences with it. Did it help you? Do you remember hearing of or reading about anyone it did help?
I'm also concerned that, at least according to two studies, IT steroid injections seem to be particularly useful in treating low frequency hearing loss. There is no mention of them being particularly helpful in high frequency hearing loss. I only have high frequency loss. At 1,000 hz and below, both ears are great. There is a very slight drop off (about 10 Db) between the bad ear and the good ear at 2,000 and 3,000 Hz. It is only at 4,000 Hz that the real problems start -- a big 55 Db drop, followed by 60 Db at 8,000.
I have no conversational disability. As I mentioned in a previous thread, I got a 100% in "Speech Audiometry" in both ears. When I experiment on myself, however, I do note some issues. I've been listening to the West Wing on Netflix with my bad ear *only* and the TV volume set to 14 (not too high). I can understand most of the speech, if I really focus hard. A few of the female characters are very hard to understand. And Toby, when he mumbles, forgetaboutit. It also sounds like all the characters have a bad lisp and are speaking with marbles in their mouths. But anyway, not being able to understand the West Wing with only my bad ear is hardly a disability. Not complaining, particularly after having read about many much worse cases than mine. (I really feel for you guys!) I'm just trying to explain where I'm at.
So, if the IT steroid injections have no downside expect pain (and I can deal with pain), I'd just go for them. But I've heard reports of them actually damaging people's hearing farther? Any opinions on this? I'm thinking that if I weren't a musician (who relies on the higher frequencies for discriminating pitch and timbre), I'd just hop off the treatment bus after the oral steroids, but but but. I want to get better!
And finally, I'm wondering if there isn't some kind of perverse incentive for docs to push IT injections since they get a much higher reimbursement than for merely a prescription. I'm not anit-doc. I'm just saying that everyone can be biased in their own interests, even when they don't think they are.
Worth the risk or not?