Sudden Hearing Loss in Different Ear.....Five Years Apart

About five years ago, I was walking to the sink to brush my teeth when a felt a moment of dizziness, then the hearing in my left ear seemingly got cut in half and a “fullness” feeling took over. I went to my primary care physician, who felt it might be an inner ear infection, so I was prescribed antibiotics. They didn’t work, so I went to an ENT. Unfortunately, it was too late for the standard of care treatment (prednisone plus antiviral) to work. Fast forward to Monday. It’s five years later. I went to bed Sunday with no problems and woke up on Monday with virtually no hearing in my right (“good”) ear. I got to the ENT as fast as I could and am now on the prednisone/antiviral regimen. I’m praying that it works. In the worst case scenario if it doesn’t work, how do people cope with profound loss on one side and a substantial loss on the other? Are there other treatments I could try? Are cochlear implants something I should take a look at (not that I want to undergo any more surgeries as I’ve had two abdominal and one kidney operation in the last eight years)?

I thought I read that High Barometric Pressure treatments might help.

I had read that too, but I looked as I looked up more information, clinical research seems to indicate that the addition of the high pressure treatment didn’t make any statistical difference to the eventual outcome. Thanks for the response!

Step one would be to book an appointment with an audiologist.

But also worth asking the ENT whether there might be an underlying reason you were hit with sudden loss twice. A bit unusual.

I have an appointment with the audiologist on Friday. She’ll first see how and if I’ve responded to the prednisone/antiviral treatment and tweak the hearing aids I have to the extent she can to make hearing a little better. Right now, when I hear stuff on TV, it sounds like I’m watching Alvin and the Chipmunks.

As for the ENT, he’s at a loss as to the underlying cause. His best bet was a Herpes Simplex virus, but as to why both sides, that’s a mystery.

You’ll be okay. There’s not a lot you can do in terms of treatment to try to recover hearing–it will come back or it won’t–but many people manage well with the sort of loss you describe. It will offer some new challenges, but not insurmountable ones. Once the ear settles to where it will be, your audiologist can readjust your hearing aids, and if you are having new listening difficulties she can recommend options for other assistive devices.

But also talk to your family and friends about what has happened, what it means for you, and what you need from them. If you break an arm, loved ones will automatically adjust their behaviour to help, but hearing loss is invisible and difficult to understand for people not experiencing it. I truly believe that people want to help, they just have a hard time understanding/remembering. So advocate for yourself and help your loved ones develop the communications behaviours that will help you.

Having experienced a similar loss, you really worry about it as it seems to be a life changing event. It isn’t the end of the world. It just makes things more difficult. Getting to acceptance takes a while. It is similar to the multi-step process for grieving.

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Thanks both of you. I’m touched by what both of you wrote. I’m hopeful the prednisone treatment will improve things, but i’m trying to ready myself in case it doesn’t.

My wife has, like always, been a rock for me. I guess we’ve been together long enough (39 years coming up) that I understand her even with the hearing situation. We’ll get through this just like we got through my two emergency operations, my diagnosis and subsequent surgery for kidney cancer and a 8 month journey of having to care for her mom on a daily basis while an autoimmune disease slowly sapped her of strength and then her life.

The 2010’s have sure sucked.

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Hope it gets better Snelson,

I had a simular problem 15 jears ago, i was already deaf on left ear (operation went wrong) and then i lost almost everyting on my right ear. in my case it could have been antibiotics that caused the loss. They where not shure about that.
What you can do is take good care of your body, good food, move the body, do a detox dieet if you like that.
All little things help. And keep the good spirit up!! It took me years to find my way but its not the end of the world. I dit not choose a cochlear implant cause it dit not feel good to have this thing in my head but its an option, You will have to learn to listen all over again. For some its improvement but not for all. I chose to do with what was left and can mannage.
You learn to deal with it.

Wish you all the best

Thanks Hajo. I appreciate the input. If and when I have to cross that bridge, I’ll address it then. So far, I’m amazed at how quickly the human body can adapt to change. I’m learning to listen with just the one ear and tomorrow, I’ll be seeing my audiologist to see if there’s any change in the hearing and to adjust the other aid to make the sound a little better. I’ll adapt as best I can and if I figure out that I need to artificially improve my hearing with an implant, I’ll look into it at that time. But I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself because I’m hopeful that the treatment will kick in over the next week or so.

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