I experienced SSHL (or SSNHL) on Sept 2, 2016 - of course in the evening at the start of the Labour Day long weekend.
I got up from the table after supper, heard a “whoosh” and I was deaf on the left.
It had happened the night before, but came back slowly during the evening and it had returned to normal by the morning.
This time it didn’t return. I had been wearing 2 hearing aids for the last 10 years, and the loss was in my “good” (left) ear.
My right ear had profound loss already - I am told due to otosclerosis.
Managed to get into a local walk-in clinic, but they obviously didn’t understand that this needed to be looked at right away.
I was told I would get a letter in the mail with an appointment in about 4 weeks.
Spent the weekend wondering what the hell I should do - the emergency departments had 6-8 hour waits, and I was sure that I would be triaged behind almost any new patient that came in.
Decided to focus my efforts on getting to see my general practitioner (GP) on Tuesday after the long weekend.
Did a lot of Internet research and it seemed like SSHL was the most likely cause, and the standard treatment was oral steroids and crossed fingers.
I finally did get in to see him on the Wednesday and he diagnosed SSHL and put me on Prednisone for a week.
He got me in to see an ENT 5 days later, but he said that it was really mostly a formality - that I likely wouldn’t get any more info.
Saw the ENT and (as my GP predicted) got pretty much nothing from him.
He did say that most doctors (even in the ER) would not have recognized what this was, and that an ER visit could have likely been a waste of time as well.
I found this amazing - as I was able to diagnose over the Internet in a few minutes. I guess I was fortunate to have an excellent GP.
He set up another appointment in 3 months and that was that.
I did find out later that he sent a letter to my GP with the details of his thoughts (which he didn’t share with me) and that if there was no change in 90 days he would do an MRI.
He “diagnosed” SSHL with a cause of either viral or trauma related.
A few weeks later, I received a letter in the mail with my appointment from the walk-in clinic to see an ENT in mid November.
I am still not sure if I will keep that appointment - from what I have been reading, I don’t think I am likely to get a lot more information from a second opinion.
Does anyone have any experience with that?
I had been wearing 2 Starkey ITC aids - actually had just purchased a brand new left aid just weeks before the loss.
My audiologist recommended going to BiCROS - so I traded in the new aid on a BiCROS set. Starkey RIC Muse i2400
I am on my second set of those and I am not impressed - found the sound really tinny, and I don’t think the BiCROS was doing much for me.
I preferred the sound from my original ITC aid (and even my 8 year old BTE aid) to the new aids.
Also found the SurfLink to be pretty noisy and finicky.
So, we have now ordered a single Starkey ITC aid for the right and are keeping our fingers crossed.
As it stands now, I can hear when a single person is speaking directly to me within a few feet, though recognition drops off really quickly as distance increases.
Crowds are impossible. TV with closed captions works, but without I often miss a lot.
I am 24 years sober in AA, but meetings are currently not viable. I think that what I have learned in AA has helped me a lot with this process and acceptance.
So if you made it through this long post (sorry!) I would appreciate any recommendations!
Left (first loss) Air bag deployment July 2006
Left (second loss) SSHL Sept 2016
Right - diagnosed with otosclerosis 2005
Left Pre SSHL…20…20…40…50…60…70…70…95
Left Post SSHL..85…80…95…80…75…75…65…75