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sudden sensorineural hearing loss or sudden deafness - anyone had (have) this?

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by selketine, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. selketine

    selketine Approved members

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    I woke up one morning a few days ago with diminished hearing in one ear and a sort of "wind blowing" sound. I thought it might be an ear infection but it didn't get better so I went to the doctor today and she sent me to an ENT doctor right away. They did some tests and this is the diagnosis. I have moderate hearing loss (in the low ranges) in one ear and they put me on steroids and a diuretic. I go for an MRI in a month. My hearing is definitely diminished in that ear.

    From my reading it seems like the steroids sometimes work and sometimes don't and the hearing loss can be permanent. As you can imagine I was really surprised...and upset.:(

    Anyone else dealt with this?
     
  2. Wendy12571

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    Carol,
    That just stinks. Hopefully you will regain your full hearing. Of course don't let your kids know which side you can't hear from.
    Wendy
     
  3. selketine

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    Yeah - they already find me annoying - LOL! I haven't told them yet. I had no idea a person could just wake up deaf in one ear or partially deaf in one ear for no obvious reason. Apparently the earlier you get treatment the better chance you have - so don't delay going to the doctor is the message there.
     
  4. ecs1516

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    Carol

    Did they say what can cause this? I only have had the stuffed ear with a cold kind of thing.

    I hope the meds help you!
     
  5. selketine

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    Apparently in most cases (like 90%) they never know for sure what caused it. It seems the most likely cause is a virus (some people report being sick with a cold a week or two before) - I haven't been sick. That doesn't mean I couldn't have a virus though.

    I'm on steroids for 16 days and I go back in 12 days for another hearing test. Sounds like starting on steroids within a few days helps - maybe 50-70% regain their hearing. They do an MRI in a month to rule out a tumor even if the hearing comes back.

    I'll admit I'm freaked out a bit cause I just thought it was an ear infection.:(
     
  6. KRenee

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    Yes, about 5 years ago I was in the kitchen one morning. There was a 'pop' in my left ear, then it filled with fluid. Since it was Friday, I waited until the next week to call a doctor and it was another week until I saw and ENT. I was on the steriods too, but they didn't help. Diagnosis was Sudden Sensory Neural hearing loss with no known cause. Today I have severely diminished hearing in that ear and tinitus.

    Get the MRI because sometimes the cause is a tumor pressing on the nerves, but in my case there was no apparent cause.
     
  7. LJM

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    Not to alarm you (and I only know about this as I tested positive for the antibodies but have had no symptoms). An autoimmune disorder called Antiphospholid Syndrome (or Hughes Syndrome) can be the cause of sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

    I don't think this a real common cause but just an FYI.
     
  8. selketine

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    I'm am sorry to hear you have this. Just to have it this short of a time gives me some idea of what it's like and I'm very sympathetic.

    I think I notice a bit of improvement this morning. I'm holding out some hope that it is a virus and we caught it early and the steroids are helping. I think I was just incredibly fortunate to be sent asap to the right doctor.
     
  9. selketine

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    I will ask the dr. about it - I have a follow-up in 11 days. I was reading the possible causes of this and there are a lot of things (diabetes was listed? leukemia, etc).
     
  10. BrokenPancreas

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    I still get this from time to time.
    Sometimes it lasts up to a month.

    I had the MRI, the ENT scaring me to death, and there was no tumor

    Something could of crawled in your ear, it coud be ear wax, allergies, a cold, a virus..

    I'm surprised that they jumped to the MRI, before seeing if got better.

    Keep us posted
     
  11. selketine

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    From what I've read, the steroids and MRI are the standard treatment. If there is a tumor the hearing can come and go so they like to rule it out. I guess better safe than sorry on that one. The ENT examined my ear and did clean it - he said not much wax and nothing else in there.

    If your hearing loss comes and goes it could be Meniere's disease - which usually comes with extreme vertigo - but there are atypical cases that don't.

    You can tell I've done some internet reading! My hearing seems better but I still have tinnitus with a high ringing sound now (rather than a low wind roar). I have a constant headache that won't go away either and my ear is really sensitive to high pitched noise. I'm hopeful that's a sign that it is healing!
     
  12. etringali

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    Sudden sensory nerve deafness. Yeah, i know that one. About 6-7 years ago I woke up one morning, realizing I couldn't hear anything in my right ear. It felt stuffy, stopped up. Went to my dr. he did a pitch fork test against base of my skull. unfortunately, being a musician, a could still "hear" the pitch when he tested the right side. Got a referral to ENT and some antibiotics as there was an infection as well. Anyway, it was 6 weeks before I could get into the ent. Damage was done by then. had the MRI, no tumors. After 6 weeks I finally got steroids. They at least relieved the feeling that the right ear was puffy/stuffed. We even tried a hearing aid. Helped for a little bit, but as I got used to it, it just made everything loud and I still couldn't differentiate sounds and direction sounds were coming from.

    So time has passed, I've learned to deal. I tend to maneuver myself so my left ear is to people when we chat. I frequently have to say " I'm sorry, could you repeat that?". My friends and family are used to it and they accomodate me quite well. I use closed captioning on the tv. helps me discern dialogue better.

    My confidence as a musician is not what it used to be. I'm frequently worried I'm out of tune, but I keep getting invited back to play, so I must be doing ok.

    Large groups are nerve wracking as I have a devil of a time sorting voices.

    On the plus side though, If I lay on my left side in bed the pillow blocks sound to good ear and I can not hear whiny kids :)
     
  13. selketine

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    Looking on the internet I found some other stories like yours - where the person had a cold/virus and was treated for that (or didn't go in perhaps thinking it would pass) - but the ear problem remained and the steroids were started late.

    I think I"m seeing improvement in my hearing so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the steroids will work for me - I started them 4 days after onset. I was just plain lucky to see the ENT right away. I have an HMO so my primary and ENT are in the same building and they just sent me over (and they kindly worked through their lunch break to see me). Really stellar on behalf of Kaiser.
     
  14. etringali

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    Hope the steroids do work for you. They can inject the steroid right into the nerve area as well.
     
  15. selketine

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    Yeah - he told me about that - LOL! I guess I'd try it but .... ouch!:eek:

    Were headaches a part of this for you (or others who had it)? I've had a pretty much non-stop headache since onset (last Monday) and it isn't just located by that ear. I'm getting more of a high pitched whining noise now in that ear rather than the low "wind roar" it was. Today my ear feels more "numb" though - sort of full. I'm on my last day of 60mg steroids and I drop to 40 tomorrow. My hearing does seem better still though.
     
  16. VinceysMom

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    I was going to suggest the MRI for brain scan as well but I see that is in the works. I know someone who had swooshing in her ears and they say it was due to "sodium" and she was put on a low sodium diet.

    Good luck!!
     
  17. selketine

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    They did give me a diuretic but didn't say to limit the sodium.

    The noises are better but my ear feels sort of numb. I think the hearing is better though! My face feels odd on that side around my ear my not exactly like it did.
     
  18. momandwifeoftype1s

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    I had this happen recently in my right ear. Everything sounded muffled for months after I had a cold, and I kept hearing high-pitched ringing in my ear. I never went to the doctor. I had no idea that it could have resulted in permanent hearing loss. I'm glad you alerted me, so I know to take it seriously next time. I just had an MRI for another reason, so at least I know that I don't have a tumor. I hope your hearing is restored quickly. Feel better, Carol.
     
  19. selketine

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    Yeah - isn't that the crazy part? From my reading, they think there could be more cases that present with a head cold beforehand so the person never goes in - and it clears up on its own - so it is never tracked. However some people come in saying they had a cold 3 weeks ago and their ear never got better - and never get the hearing back! By then they think the steroids are less likely to work but they still try it.

    For the record - I haven't had a cold/virus/anything recently and I still don't. I think my hearing is better but I have the ringing in my ear, fullness and the headache that rarely subsides - not a horrible headache but an ache all the time. I can't tell if my hearing is back all the way or not but hopefully this is just part of the virus moving through and getting better.

    I figured I start this post if nothing else maybe someone would read it and perhaps save their hearing if it ever happened to them. Apparently sudden hearing loss on one side is a "medical urgency" - they can test to see if it is caused by fluid or by nerve damage so they can treat it appropriated.

    Thanks for stopping by my "pity party" thread - LOL! :p It has actually been really stressful (maybe it is just the steroids making me feel icky) - but I'm hoping to get good news next week. I'll do the MRI in early March.
     
  20. momandwifeoftype1s

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    Thanks for posting about the hearing loss being possibly permanent. I had no idea! I did have a constant headache during the time I had the muffled ear & ringing. I am one of those un-tracked people who didn't go to the doctor. Oops! Now I'll know for next time (hopefully there won't be one). I was so busy with my kids' health and Brian's health that I neglected my own. Sigh. I hope you get some relief with the steroids.
     

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