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SSHL recovery timeframe

at what point does a person with diagnosed SSHL, who has already been treated with oral steroids and tympanic injections of steroids, give up hope of experiencing any further hearing improvement?
244 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi Brenda,
I would say never! I am dealing with the same question. I had SSHL in November. Left ear completely deaf. I was told there was a minimal chance of any recovery. I saw numerous ENT's. The recovery timeframe I heard differed with each doctor & seemed to be based on their personal experience with the few SSHL patients they had cared for. Most people seem to think there is a primary recovery time & a longer term recover time. My ENT's answers to your question have varied from "All recovery will take place in the first month" to "Primary recovery period of 6 months followed by slower recovery up to 18 months". I recovered about 30% of my pure tone hearing at around 6 weeks (moreso in the lower frequencies), then my word discrimination shot up at around 10 weeks. I continue to experience improvement in my daily functioning now at 4 months, although my hearing tests haven't yet shown another "jump" & seem to be fluctuating somewhat. I am confident that I will continue to improve & I really can sense very subtle improvements ocurring continuously. If you would like to discuss this more please contact me! It would be nice to hear from someone who knows what I'm going through. This is tough!
Avatar universal
     thank you for your feedback.  i haven't asked this question of my ent because he has already referred me to his affiliated business which sells expensive hearing aids.  in my mind, there is a conflict of interests in terms of giving me hope for improvement.  
     i, too, lost all my hearing in my left ear back in december and recovered enough over the course of treatment to be considered for a hearing aid.  i don't want to spend money on a hearing aid (like most insurance companies, mine doesn't cover hearing aids) if there is a chance i will gain all or most of my hearing back.  the information you provided was very helpful and encouraging.  like you, i sense that i've improved somewhat in recent weeks, but i'm told we are the worst judges of our own hearing (my ent's mantra).
Avatar universal
I'm glad to hear you have also regained some hearing! How much have you improved?

My low frequencies are between 10-50 dB, but my higher frequencies (hearing test 4 weeks ago) were 60s-80s. Word discrimination is 60-70%. I am still noticing some subtle improvements; throughout the day I will notice noises like a bird chirping and realize I couldn't hear them a few weeks ago.

I also decided to do a course of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which is controversial. I did 20 sessions at 2 atm for 60min each. It was expensive, but I figured it was worth a try. Not sure if the improvements I'm noticing are a result of the hyperbarics or simply the natural healing process.
Avatar universal
Hi there,

I have just come across this forum and it has given me a little boost of hope.

Only 2 weeks ago i lost all hearing in my left ear with SSHL. I was misdiagnosed and it was about 8 days before I started my course of prednisolone. I have 3 days left on my medication but still no hearing in my ear. I currently have no word recognition and only hear buzzing with loud sounds in the affected ear.

My hearing test last week wasn't very encouraging, and i have been told there is only a small change of my hearing improving in the bad ear. I am so confused right now and don't know whether to try to except that i will never hear again in that ear, or to hold on and hope it might improve over the coming months !

I have read so many different opinions on recovery time and when to resign myself to the fact that its permanent. Its all very depressing and I am really struggling right now.

Just reading that you have had some hearing return after 6 weeks gives me hope that I still am in with a chance of getting a little better. Can you tell me what condition your hearing was at week 2 ?

I hope you continue to get better hearing returns for you...

152264 tn?1280358257
Sorry to hear your story, Dave... that darn misdiagnosis. I was told "wax" and "Eustachian tube dysfunction" and not diagnosed for a month! Too late.

I had no recovery of hearing whatsoever but mine was caused by some traumatic damage, apparently, when I sneezed, so there may have been no hope for me from the beginning.

I would not get your hopes up, but you never know. You can adapt to one-sided hearing loss if it doesn't return, and there are some good solutions for it. I have a Baha (bone-anchored hearing aid) for SSD (single-sided deafness) and it works great, though it has minor drawbacks.
Avatar universal
Hi Nancy,

It seems so many doctors just treat this as a cold or something insignificant! I cant believe there isn't more awareness of SSHL!

I have been looking into the BAHA as it seems like a great option.Have you had the device for long? I do think the ear has got better over the past week, even some speech recognition when its loud enough, so this may mean i will be eligible for a standard hearing aid to amplify sounds instead of the BAHA. I wont have another hearing test for about 8 weeks, so until then I am just hoping each week brings even a little more hearing!

Thanks for your encouragement Nancy, I have really found this week (weeks 4) that i am at last starting to get my life back and the tinnitus is becoming less obvious throughout the day.

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