Drastic Change in Hearing

My hearing has changed drastically over a short period. NET recommended possible option to try MRI with contrast or Prednisone injection.
What could I expect from a MRI Does anyone have any experience with this?
What about Prednisone ?

For SSNH you may wish to rule out a tumor that could be causing the hearing loss (thus the MRI). The prednisone could be reducing inflammation that could be from whatever is damaging your hearing. One is a treatment, the other a diagnostic tool.



Accoustic neuroma is a benign tumor. It’s not unusual for people with hearing loss to have an MRI done to see if that tumor is present and causing hearing loss. I don’t want you to freak out

What was the initial diagnosis, as the reason for your hearing loss? I ask because some are progressive, and that may be what is going on.

I had the intratympanic injections: “Intratympanic steroid injection is used to treat cochleovestibular symptoms of inner ear disease, such as Meniere’s disease or idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss. This procedure involves using a syringe needle to penetrate the tympanic membrane to inject the steroid into the middle ear.” To be effective, they need to be done asap, recommendation was within 3 days of the hearing loss, back in 2014. Of course, my PCP tried oral antibiotics first, so it was more than 3 weeks before I went in to the ENT.

I had a round of 3 injections, hearing improved but only lasted 2 weeks. ENT did another round of 3, those did not help at all. He made it clear before each of the 6 that there really wasn’t much hope of this working for me, due to the time lapse, but he felt it was worth the attempt.

My hearing loss is due to 8 years of use of high doses of a prescription drug; and so, my hearing loss will be progressive, and ultimately I will be completely deaf. I was not advised of the side effect when the medication was prescribed, because little was known of this at the time. Anyway, due to knowing the cause, no MRI was needed in my situation.

Wow Freedom, I empathize with your situation. Especially as no one knew that the high dose of Rx could result in hearing loss at that time.

I have 24x7 tinnitus dating from a high school bout with ear infection treated with Coriciden.

Not much more hearing I can lose in this lifetime - mine is due to a genetic condition called HCEC (Hereditary Cinderblock Ear Condition), which runs in the family. :neutral_face:

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@Flatfish , Prednisone or Medrol is most effective if it used very quickly after the sudden hearing loss occurs. I’d say try the Prednisone injection, but get it quickly!

Don’t let your ENT’s staff schedule you for an appointment three weeks out. If the staff won’t get you in to see the doctor immediately ask for the doctor’s email or voicemail and insist on getting that injection right away.

As far as the MRI, get it and pay the out-of-pocket cost. You probably don’t have an acoustic neuroma but if you do the sooner you get it treated the better. Good luck.

Thank you for all your replies. Freedom, looking back, my first hearing test was in the early 80th Left Ear was still perfect Right ear had considerable decline already. It gradually got worse over the years started to wear HAs around 2001. In mid February I had this cold for a couple of weeks and shortly there after got my new Oticons More 1 still set to the 02-09-22 test but it was a great improvement and I thought my hearing would improve as it had in the past after a cold. But now I’m totally dependent on them. I was totally surprised to see that last test,
One thing I was wondering could a tumor effect both ears at the same time?
I will get the MRI, already had the blood test for the kidney function that they require for the contrast.
Also was wondering if it wasn’t too late already for the Prednisone.


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Very uncommon for it to effect both ears.

I would say impossible for the one tumour to affect both ears and very unlikely that you would get two at the same time.

Regarding the prednisone, I don’t think it’s totally too late, but it’s already suboptimal so you need to get it this week not next week. Which means seeing an ENT as a medical emergency.

My loss is progressive and no tumor was ever found. I almost wish one had been. Progressive is usually genetic

Yep. That’s my story alright. But the (slightly) good news is that my hearing loss has plateaued - maybe a better analogy would be to say it has BOTTOMED OUT - at the current level and stayed there a good 15 yrs now?

I won’t be going to any rock concerts any time soon if I hope to preserve the little that’s left.

Boy you’re lucky. Mine never leveled out. Mine has been a slow but steady decline since it was first noticed in the 3rd grade

How does the prednisone or Medrol shot work ? is that an injection like the flue shot or is it something in the eardrum or???

For me it was but it might be different depending on different situations.

Prednisone is a type of steroid and it has intense local action. It needs to be injected where you want it to work.


If you had that hearing change in February, I wouldn’t worry about the steroid injections.

MRI will most likely come back normal, but the things it is ruling out are worth ruling out because on the off chance that something comes up you definitely want to know.

Yes my ENT was telling me the same thing on the shots today. Got my MRI scheduled for This coming Tuesday.
Don’t expect a big revelation since both ears are effected.

Could some one explain this to me please

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Middle ear pressure values ranging from +50 daPa to –200 daPa for children, and +50 daPa to –50 daPa for adults is generally considered normal. The compliance of the middle ear system is a measure of how well the system responds to sound. This is shown by the height of the “peak”.

The middle ear test shows how the ear drum reacts to varying air pressure in the ear canal . In the middle ear test - or tympanometry - the hearing care professional tests the condition of the middle ear and the mobility of the eardrum.

Thank you,
So as I can see the left ear that had the most dramatic drop from previous test and is the ear I have always depended on shows it’s not responding to sound as it should.
My guess is it’s still stuffed up from when I hade my cold and never recovered from that.
No what can be done about it? I have been using Fluticasone Prop 50 MCG Spray in my nostril since 6/25/2022
The MRI probably won’t be of any help.