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Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,597
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Sudden Deafness - Anyone Experience It?

Last night I took someone to the ER because they lost all hearing in one ear and had a crunching sound in the other. The staff said no infection and no wax build up so they sent us home with instructions to visit an ENT doctor. Anyone ever heard of such a thing?

 

I happened to have my wellness check today so I asked my GP about it and explained how difficult it is to get next day appointments (the ENT's we called are booking into February). He said he wasn't thrilled with our ER experience and he would have given steroids to the patient because there are things the ER doctors might not have seen in a visual exam. I've never realized something like hearing loss can happen spontaneously.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,987
Registered: ‎02-16-2019

Re: Sudden Deafness - Anyone Experience It?

I had a friend that lost hearing in one ear from a neuroma but I don't know if it was sudden or not.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 22,679
Registered: ‎10-03-2011

Re: Sudden Deafness - Anyone Experience It?

@AuntG  Does your friend have high blood pressure?  Have they recently started taking Lasix or another class of diuretic called a " loop diuretic"?  Sudden hearing loss can be a side effect.  Most of the time it's reversible but sometimes it's not. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,510
Registered: ‎05-23-2010

Re: Sudden Deafness - Anyone Experience It?

[ Edited ]

Viruses and other infections are the most common cause of sudden hearing loss. There are other causes too and I think the ER your friend went to was way too dismissive, especially with the hearing loss's possible correlation with blood circulation problems. This is a list quoted from an article from The National Institute of Health. In addition, tumors, schwannomas (AKA acoustical neuromas) and menangiomas can cause this as well as medication, especially loop diuretics (eq. Lasix), side effects. 

 

  • Infections.
  • Head trauma.
  • Autoimmune diseases.
  • Exposure to certain drugs that treat cancer or severe infections.
  • Blood circulation problems.
  • Neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis.
  • Disorders of the inner ear, such as Ménière's disease.

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,510
Registered: ‎05-23-2010

Re: Sudden Deafness - Anyone Experience It?

[ Edited ]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quoted from the citation:

 

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) is an otological condition that develops rapidly in a patient over the course of hours to days and is considered an ENT emergency [1]. The patient may notice sudden hearing loss that develops quickly or they may wake up with a hearing loss. There may be associated tinnitus or a sense of "fullness" in the ear that they have not noticed before [1]. If not treated quickly, the effects of the condition can become permanent and come with several comorbidities [2]. The incidence of SSNHL is approximately 5-27 per 100,000 people annually, with incidences peaking in those 50 to 60-years-old [1,2]. SSNHL is defined as a rapid onset of ≥30 dB hearing loss across three contiguous frequencies in 72 hours or less [2-5].

Contrasted from conductive hearing loss, SSNHL involves inner ear or nerve damage with unilateral ear involvement more likely [1,2,4]. Conductive hearing loss usually involves some obstruction of the outer or middle ear such as an infection or cerumen impaction [1]. The presence of vertigo signifies a lower prognosis in patients with SSNHL and greater than 60-years-old or less than 15-years-old [1,2]. Better prognosis occurs in those with low-frequency loss, severe hearing loss at presentation, and early commencement of treatment [1].

Although most cases of SSNHL are idiopathic, some researchers have theorized, among others, a vascular etiology, viral infection, viral reactivation, otologic, traumatic, or neoplasm as the origin [2,6,7]. Viral infections can lead to cochlear inflammation and/or damage to critical inner ear structures [2,3]. Hearing loss due to intravascular insult and viral infections are severe and permanent, but a majority of idiopathic SSNHL is reversible, making it crucial for primary care physicians to treat this problem as soon as possible [2]. There is also a variable connection, ranging from 0-48%, between vestibular schwannoma and SSNHL that often warrants MRI scans [2]. Controversy still surrounds the treatments for SSNHL as some patients recover spontaneously while others require the use of steroids. 

 

 

 

Citation:

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjQ7Nec3p6DAxWSVTABHaGKCoUQ...

Honored Contributor
Posts: 29,897
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Sudden Deafness - Anyone Experience It?

Yes, friend of mine woke up one morning a few years ago and found herself suddenly deaf in one ear. Been thru many different treatments and procedures and nothing has really helped. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,463
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Sudden Deafness - Anyone Experience It?

I had sudden hearing loss but I knew the reason.  It's still very unsettling and it was only temporary.

 

I had been traveling with family and DH and I were on our way home.  We were at the airport in Dublin, Ireland.  It seems that a cold came on almost as soon as we were seated at the gate. 

 

Just when you need somthing simple like tissues,  I found impossible to find at an airport shop.   Shops in the terminals sell all kinds of junk food, snacks, things to drink and read but good luck trying to find a box of tissues!

 

Anyway the sniffles had gotten pretty bad and once we were up in the air I suddenly couldn't hear.  It was an awful feeling as my ears felt very congested and it felt like I was under water.

 

Even after we landed it still took several hours for my hearing to return to normal.  I can only imagine how scary that would be when you just don't know the reason why it is happening!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 36,657
Registered: ‎05-22-2016

Re: Sudden Deafness - Anyone Experience It?

Not too long ago I experienced a very high spike in my BP and then I lost hearing. My doctor said I had an 'ear stroke' and that my hearing loss could be permanent. He put me on BP med after that. 

New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎07-17-2010

Re: Sudden Deafness - Anyone Experience It?

I had this happen to me at the end of September.  I woke up and was totally deaf in my left ear.  Unfortunately that was my "good" ear.  I had mild hearing loss in that ear and moderate to severe hearing in my right ear.  What was once my :bad: ear is now considered my good ear.  I did have hearing aids to begin with but to say the least,  I am devastated at what little hearing I now have left.   It is life changing and not in a good way.  I went to an ENT immediately the day that I lost my hearing and he put me on oral steroids and I also started getting steroid injections to the ear itself.  I also had 17  barometric oxygen treatments to try to regain my hearing but none of the treatments available helped.  I may be eligible for a cochlear implant, but I'm still debating if I want to go that route. 

 

I'm praying that your friends hearing returns.       

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,955
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Sudden Deafness - Anyone Experience It?

[ Edited ]

@AuntG 

 

  When trying to get into see the ENT did you or your friend state that it was a sudden loss of hearing and you feel it's an emergency?

 

  Most doctors and dentists have times set aside to get emergency type cases in before regular appointments.

 

I'd call them back and at least tell them what your doctor said about the steroids, etc and that you feel this is an emergency and needs to be looked at soon....

 

Sometimes, you have to at least ask the receptionist or even be prepared to battle them a bit because they are so overwhelmed, jaded or just don't see the emergency in a case until it is pointed out....

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" -Immanuel Kant

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