Sudden Hearing loss--options after steroids are ineffective?

Posted by m53 @m53, Sun, Sep 1 3:15pm

A family member experienced sudden hearing loss and was treated for wax build- up. On return to Dr., there was no improvement and a referral was made to ENT. Steriod treatment has not resulted in an improvement in hearing, and family member has been told it is unlikely hearing in that ear will be regained. It is now about 8 weeks since loss. Any recommendations as to specialists/treatment to pursue in the San Francisco area?

I was told by an ENT, who spoke at one of my HLAA chapter meeting, that there is only a small window of opportunity to treat sudden hearing loss with steroids. Since many insurances require a referral from a primary care physician before a specialist can be seen, that window has probably already closed. I don't think there is a good understanding of sudden hearing loss yet. On a positive note, I suddenly lost my senses of taste and smell. Steroid treatment did nothing so I was sent for an MRI. Those scans revealed nothing abnormal. It took about 8 months, but my taste and smell did return without any additional treatment.
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi

I was told by an ENT, who spoke at one of my HLAA chapter meeting, that there is only a small window of opportunity to treat sudden hearing loss with steroids. Since many insurances require a referral from a primary care physician before a specialist can be seen, that window has probably already closed. I don't think there is a good understanding of sudden hearing loss yet. On a positive note, I suddenly lost my senses of taste and smell. Steroid treatment did nothing so I was sent for an MRI. Those scans revealed nothing abnormal. It took about 8 months, but my taste and smell did return without any additional treatment.
Tony in Michigan

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That happened to me and it was a pine nut allergy

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@sjd324 Did your audio or ENT send you for an MRI to rule out an acoustic neuroma? This happened to my wife 2 years ago when I was at the Salt Lake City HLAA convention. My wife woke up that morning and sent me a text to call her ASAP. She said she woke up with loss of hearing in one ear. Fortunately I was surrounded by experts at the convention. I found an ENT who said to immediately get to an ENT for steroids and an MRI. They gave her another drug but I can't remember what it was. By getting on the steroid right away, the inflammation of the neuroma, which had been pushing on her hearing nerve, reduced within several days and she has been fine since. Since her neuroma was small, we just go back every year to see if it has grown much. They are usually slow growing.

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Thanks for the input!

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