Sudden Hearing Loss: What are options if steroids don't work?

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?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Hearing Loss group.

@julieo4

The reality is that those medical personnel are not familiar with sudden sensorineural hearing loss. The tendency is to tell people to wait a few days or a week and see if it goes away.

This brings to mind a good question. We have seen advertisements and educational announcements on TV and in other forms of media about 'warning signals' of various diseases and conditions.

Have you ever seen a statement that says "If you experience sudden hearing loss see an ENT specialist immediately. Steroid injections can help, but only if given within 48 hours of the SSNL occurring?

Jump to this post

That is so true. I was unable to get an appt with my PCP for several days. They sent me to PT because of the vertigo associated with my sudden hearing loss. They also ordered a brain scan. I was unaware that sudden hearing loss can also be a symptom of stroke. Long story short, by the time I was able to get a referral to an ENT, twelve days had passed. Had I received earlier treatment, I might have been able to retrieve all or part of my hearing, but I have total hearing loss in my right ear. No one hss ever been able to explain why the loss occured.
I have since received an Osia 2 bone conduction system which has been a game changer, but nothing can replace my former hearing. I still get vertigo from time to time, sometimes mild, sometimes severe. I have simply made changes in my lifestyle to accomodate the change in my hearing.
Patients and caregivers both need to be made aware of the dangers. I now realize just how common this is, and that many people never report it.
There really needs to be a public service campaign stating that if a person experiences sudden hearing loss, they should seek treatment in an ER immediately. All medical personnel should be trained to give the testing and steroid treatment immediately. No one knows the challenges and struggle of deafness unless they have been there.

REPLY

I fully agree there should be a public service campaign that lets people know that treatment for sudden hearing loss can be urgent time wise.

Too often hearing loss is minimized as a 'minor' condition. Those of us who have it know better.

Our personal experiences can be so helpful to others. I hope you'll share what changes you made in your lifestyle to accommodate your changes in hearing.

REPLY
@julieo4

I fully agree there should be a public service campaign that lets people know that treatment for sudden hearing loss can be urgent time wise.

Too often hearing loss is minimized as a 'minor' condition. Those of us who have it know better.

Our personal experiences can be so helpful to others. I hope you'll share what changes you made in your lifestyle to accommodate your changes in hearing.

Jump to this post

Socially, I participate in smaller groups in quieter settings for the most part. When I am in an extremely noisy environment such as a restaurant or birthday party, I try to sit where I can turn toward the group with my good ear because my Osia is not always enough. This is not foolproof, but helpful. I have become a good lip reader, although those still masking puts a damper on that. After all we cannot avoid all large gatherings.
I have severe tinnitus that keeps me awake sometimes. I have an old bedside radio clock that provides white noise for those nights that are especially challenging.
With the help of a physical therapist, I have trained myself to do the epley maneuver for the occasional vertigo I get. This is usually caused by a sudden head movement such as turning my head too fast or looking up. I have learned to make my head movements slow and deliberate. It is hard to remember sometimes.
Fortunately all of my close friends and family have figured out to speak more clearly, not louder, when I am having a hard time. Bless their hearts. It is not easy for them either.
Sometimes, I hear music far better if I hold my finger over my good ear. The sounds are more distinct and clear. I am a music lover.
So far, I am coping and only thankful that I am not dealing with something far worse healthwise.

REPLY
@lmayo

Socially, I participate in smaller groups in quieter settings for the most part. When I am in an extremely noisy environment such as a restaurant or birthday party, I try to sit where I can turn toward the group with my good ear because my Osia is not always enough. This is not foolproof, but helpful. I have become a good lip reader, although those still masking puts a damper on that. After all we cannot avoid all large gatherings.
I have severe tinnitus that keeps me awake sometimes. I have an old bedside radio clock that provides white noise for those nights that are especially challenging.
With the help of a physical therapist, I have trained myself to do the epley maneuver for the occasional vertigo I get. This is usually caused by a sudden head movement such as turning my head too fast or looking up. I have learned to make my head movements slow and deliberate. It is hard to remember sometimes.
Fortunately all of my close friends and family have figured out to speak more clearly, not louder, when I am having a hard time. Bless their hearts. It is not easy for them either.
Sometimes, I hear music far better if I hold my finger over my good ear. The sounds are more distinct and clear. I am a music lover.
So far, I am coping and only thankful that I am not dealing with something far worse healthwise.

Jump to this post

Thank you for sharing your very positive coping strategies! So glad you're adapting and that people close to you are helpful.

Masking has been a horrendous adventure for those of us with hearing issues. We don't realize how much we depend on speech reading until we cannot see a person's face in full.

I'm a cochlear implant recipient who also uses a hearing aid. (Bimodal) I'm very enthused about the assistive technology that can be used with my cochlear processor. The mini mic works very well in noisy social settings.

I don't know much about the Osia, but I'm curious. Does the Osia connect with external devices? Is it 'telecoil' compatible?

REPLY
@julieo4

Thank you for sharing your very positive coping strategies! So glad you're adapting and that people close to you are helpful.

Masking has been a horrendous adventure for those of us with hearing issues. We don't realize how much we depend on speech reading until we cannot see a person's face in full.

I'm a cochlear implant recipient who also uses a hearing aid. (Bimodal) I'm very enthused about the assistive technology that can be used with my cochlear processor. The mini mic works very well in noisy social settings.

I don't know much about the Osia, but I'm curious. Does the Osia connect with external devices? Is it 'telecoil' compatible?

Jump to this post

Yes, I have a mini m8c, although I do not have occasion to use it much. I am not sure about telecoil. That's a good question.

REPLY
@lmayo

Yes, I have a mini m8c, although I do not have occasion to use it much. I am not sure about telecoil. That's a good question.

Jump to this post

I hope that someone else who has the Osia will answer the telecoil question.

Do take time to try the mini mic. It does help a great deal. You just have to keep it charged and handy!

REPLY
@julieo4

I hope that someone else who has the Osia will answer the telecoil question.

Do take time to try the mini mic. It does help a great deal. You just have to keep it charged and handy!

Jump to this post

what is a mini mic?

REPLY
@gvg

what is a mini mic?

Jump to this post

A "Mini mic" is an assisted listening device that works with Cochlear America's cochlear implants and some hearing aids. It is wireless. The microphone is a tiny hand held device that can be clipped on a lapel or set on a table. The microphone transmits desired sound directly to the cochlear processor or compatible hearing aid. It is similar to other devices that are available for streaming. The Roger Pen is another one. It's a wonderful tool in noisy social settings.

REPLY

I had 60% SHL on 9/19, just over 2 weeks ago. I waited, like many others, to see if it would subside – I was travelling at the time for work. Once I got home I had an appt with my PCP who prescribed allergy meds. Not happy with this I made an appt with an ENT who was able to get me on Prednisone at 10 days in. I am now just over a week on this but have gone in steps from 60%-80%-100% deafness in my right ear as of 2 days ago. I don't know if quicker action with Prednisone would have helped or not. Will be going in for an MRI to assess for neuroma soon. I have constant intermittent popping noises and tinnitus in the effected ear. On another note, I went to a Chiro a few days ago who stuck a vibrating gun into my ear canal which really shocked me! Whether it was a coincidence or not later that day I went from 80%-100% deaf! Any thoughts on this?

REPLY

…so sorry to read this and I am also sorry do not have any thoughts on this except to say that i also have hearing/tinnitus/other ear issues and am hoping another reader can shed some light on this because it could happen to me…I have read abut neuroma and often wondered if it's a possibility with my issues but small town where I live and waiting lists for ent one to two years… at what stage do they agree to do an MRI …. hope you do not have to wait long. A vibrating "gun' in you ear…have never heard of that so also hoping a reader here has some knowledge of that! … take care and I sincerely hope you can get some help or explanation…is the deafness in your right ear curable? You have been through a lot hope there is some help, J.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.