Sudden Hearing loss--options after steroids are ineffective?

Posted by m53 @m53, Sep 1, 2019

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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I had sudden hearing loss is one ear in 2014. Normal MRI, started steroids 3 days later but it didn't do anything. My question now is that I have gotten used to using one hearing aid but I am wondering if it would be worth it to try the device that would transmit the sound to the hearing aid I hear with. I would appreciate feedback from anyone who has experience using this system after using a single device for so many years. It took me a few years to adjust to one.

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@mtnyankee

I had sudden hearing loss is one ear in 2014. Normal MRI, started steroids 3 days later but it didn't do anything. My question now is that I have gotten used to using one hearing aid but I am wondering if it would be worth it to try the device that would transmit the sound to the hearing aid I hear with. I would appreciate feedback from anyone who has experience using this system after using a single device for so many years. It took me a few years to adjust to one.

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I had sudden hearing loss in one ear 8 years ago. I have been wearing Phonak bicros since my loss. I am considering the new Osia from cochlear. The feedback has been positive so for

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Quite possibly a cochlear implant may be worth exploring if a bicross hearing aid doesn't work well Many people do well with bimodal equipment; cochlear implant and hearing aid. They work well together, and the brain learns to mesh both technologies.

All the research I've read on sudden hearing loss and steroids says this treatment needs to be done almost immediately to be effective. It's also rather mystifying to know what caused the sudden loss in the first place.

Keep in mind that most sensorineural hearing loss does not relate to the auditory nerve; it relates to the hair cells in the cochlea. We've often been told that we have 'nerve deafness', which gives us a distorted idea of what is going on. Cochlear implants work because the auditory nerve can be stimulated electronically to send sound signals to the brain. Pretty amazing stuff!

Are you familiar with the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles?

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