Sudden Hearing Loss, What Next?

13 days ago I experienced ISSHL (non-contrast MRI/blood work negative). It took 72 hours to receive treatment. I was put on oral corticosteroids (10 days at 60mg/day) and antivirals (5 days at 3g/day). 7 days ago I began intratympanic steroid injections and hyperbolic oxygen treatment (twice a week). The treatment has not had ANY impact.

My audiogram showed that ALL of my hearing is gone in my left ear. I have some hope, but SSD does not bother me. I have been doing a great job at blocking out the tinnitus - so I am not bothered by this either (even though it is present in my left ear).

Before the incident I was a super healthy and extremely active person; however, now I am immobile because of the constant dizziness and vertigo. I know that this condition varies case by case, but I thought asking someone experience/expertise may be the best place to seek answers.

a)When can I expect the dizziness and vertigo to dissipate? (I want to start hiking, biking, and weight training again)
b) I have a fear of losing the hearing in my right ear. There is less than a 3% chance, but if this happens, when would this occur? (Ie.a few days, weeks, years after?..)
c) Any other advice?

Thanks for all your help and comments.

Hi Alank…

I am a new joiner and I thought of sharing my experience with you too. I woke up one day exactly three weeks ago with a horrible tinnitus, and then fullness and pressure in my left ear, knowing that I had an ear infection one month prior in the same ear and got fully recovered. So I thought it might be the infection coming again and went to work without giving it enough attention.

But that day was annoying at work as I couldn’t concentrate enough, having trouble hearing others, and then of course talking on the phone with my left ear was impossible.
I immediately took an appointment to see the ENT the next day. He looked into my ear and said there’s no infection… did an audiogram and my hearing was almost 70% lost. He immediately gave me cortisone 60mg/day over a period with decreasing dosage every 4 days… and told me I suffer from SHL. That night I looked for that over the internet and panicked… it was serious and a case I never heard of before, not from my entourage, friends or family… then the next day went to another ENT, and the third to a third one… all of them repeated the Audiogram and all of them confirmed the same thing… they advised me that I had a 65% chance of recovery.

After 2 weeks exactly my last ENT said that there is not ‘enough’ improvement and started giving me cortisone injections right in the ear. It has been a week now and finished today my third injection, and have to say that unfortunately I don’t feel any noticeable improvement. Hearing didn’t improve much… tinnitus is still there as ever… trying to accommodate even though it has been difficult. The sounds outside do bother me as I hear some frequencies better than others, while some have disappeared… so my ear has been a source of discomfort, and feels like I hear myself from the inside better than the outside.

I also did a brain MRI which turned out normal.

Now I am reading over the net and looking at my options. I am very scared to have the same thing happening to my healthy (right) ear… and wondering whether a hearing aid would solve the issue…

I am sorry I didn’t provide you with answers to your questions, but I have the same ones and will be looking forward reading some help.

I’m a healthy 33 year old female… and it is the first time that I ever suffer from something as serious as this…

I experienced sudden hearing loss (SHL) about ten months ago. Woke up one morning with impaired hearing and vertigo severe enough that I was unable to walk without assistance. My regular health care provider prescribed a strong antibiotic in case I had a bacterial infection and Meclizine for the vertigo. The vertigo was lessened, but hearing didn’t change. Then went to a local ENT for tests, etc. and was referred to the Hearing Institute in the city. The MD at the Ear Institute prescribed steroids and took me off the meclizine. No improvement in hearing. The MD explained that mine was a worst case scenario in that I suffered hearing loss and vertigo together. He thought the vertigo would slowly improve over a six months interval, but my hearing would not. Unfortunately he was correct. My hearing was retested yesterday and is exactly the same as ten months ago. I don’t suffer from vertigo anymore and my balance has improved to perhaps 70-80% of what it was before the attack. The MD prescribed “Fall Prevention” therapy which did help with regaining my balance.

I have no useful hearing in the right ear and high frequency loss in the left. Hearing aids have not proved to be a complete solution for my hearing loss. I am now using Phonak BiCros aids and while they are the best aids I was able to find and are great in some environments, they leave a lot to be desired in others. Sorry to sound so negative, but that’s my experience. Good Luck! Vic

This is my first time posting on this site, but I enjoy reading experiences that are similar to mine. I am a 27 y/o healthy female and I lost my hearing in my left ear suddenly last Wednesday night. I am on steroids for two weeks as well as anti-viral medications. I have had no improvements and it was said to be “profound”. I am still a student and a waitress, which is becoming more and more challenging with this onset. Are there any signs that you may get if you were to get your hearing back at all? Also, does anyone find driving difficult or dangerous? I have accepted this loss pretty well so far, until yesterday when I returned to school. I also felt like my right ear was definitely compensating for the loss in the left, but I now can’t tell. Is this because I am just adjusting and getting used to it?

I lost 100% of the hearing in my right ear 2-2010 and already had a hearing loss in my left ear plus I had severe vertigo from the inner ear infection. Still have some balance problems (not pretty if I have a couple glasses of wine) but balance has gradually improved so I’m safe and haven’t fallen in over a year. I couldn’t stand the bi-cros aids so use one aid with a bluetooth streamer which is a godsend with my cellphone. Probably wouldn’t buy Phonak again as aid and streamer have had some glitches, especially the icom streamer. I feel safe driving etc. as long as I am alert and vigilant visually. Sadly, my confidence has taken a huge hit and ironically, I used to be a rehab counselor. Tired of telling people to turn down the background noise etc. I hope other people adjust better than me.

If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would get myself out to the House Clinic in Las Angeles even if I had to walk there.

Jan 2006 I woke up one morning to loud ringing in my left ear and vertigo. I had lost 25% of my low f hearing. Steroids helped recover part of the loss. Two years later I had another similar episode, suffering greater low f loss in my left ear. Again, steroids helped a bit. You can see my audiogram in my signature today. Attempts to correct the loss with HA have not been helpful, as low f amplification just sounds like distortion.

I had a hearing loss of 50% and diagnosis for Meniere’s disease (fluid retention) in my left ear in 1990 and did not use HA intil 2006.
In 2007, I had severe SHL in my right ear and when the usual remedies did not work, the ENT surgeon gave me six bi-weekly injections of Dexamorsophine into the ear which had no immediate effect and then he suggested that I get the second hearing aid for the right ear.
Nothing else changed when suddenly after six months the right ear improved tremendusly - delayed reaction to the shots?
In October 2011, I upgraded? from the CIC Stakeys to the NewEar units with the Surflink option. These have improved the regular hearing, by separating the Mic and Rx but the Surflink operation is a total loss - tinny sound and intermittent reception.

I’m realy sorry for Alank, the SHL is really shocking…the person is doing great till the previous day and suddenly to find him down on bed.

I had always hoped that I would never experience hearing loss in my good ear. But the moment the tinnitus started I knew it would just be a matter of time. One year later I had the familiar feeling of fullness in my left ear that would happen whenever my hearing dropped in my right. I never expected my left ear to drop so dramatically overnight, considering the hearing loss in my right ear happened in small steps over about 5 years. Both ears now have flat line hearing loss at about 50dB.

At least most everyone here was able to see an ENT right away. When I woke up half deaf in my left ear I had to wait a whole month to see mine, during which I was deeply depressed and unable to communicate with anyone nor able to distract myself with TV or movies because I couldn’t hear them. I was locked away in my room until the appointment, barely doing anything except trying to get the appointment sooner to no avail. Luckily I was unemployed at the time and didn’t have to deal with the work place. Unluckily, for the same reason, I had no money to get decent hearing aids, or health care to cover them.

When it comes to sudden hearing loss there is no way to predict it, to know if it will ever get worse, or to know if it will ever affect the ‘good ear’. It is a loss that needs to be grieved.

A month to see an ENT after losing all your hearing???
cough Canadian government run healthcare cough

Very sad story…and I know because mine is very similar. Minus of course having to rely on the government to treat me. I went directly to the emergency room and was given steroids immediately and made an appointment for the ENT the next day (Monday)
Unfortunately it didn’t help me in the long run