Sudden Unilateral Hearing Loss Questions


I experienced Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL) in my LEFT ear June 1 which was not diagnosed by an ENT until 90 days later even with repeated visits to doctors during June, July & August (GP, ER walk-in clinic etc…)
On day 90 the ENT gave me a Intra Tympanic Steroid injection and a second 6 days later. Neither helped. However I am left with a “moderate” sized HOLE in my eardrum which has not healed in over 2 months.
A few questions:

  1. How common is it to be left with a permanent hole in you eardrum from this procedure?
  2. What are the likely causes?
  3. What hearing aid would likely be most helpful for my UNILATERAL hearing loss? I am currently trying the Resound Cala 8 from Costco

BTW my hearing is normal in my right ear and MRI was OK.
Booked to consult with a different ENT Dec 8

I’m not sure about the hole in your eardrum. But for hearing aids, you might want to look into a CROS system if your one ear is pretty bad. That would pipe the sounds to your normal ear. Otherwise if it’s not too bad then a single hearing aid should suffice.

Anytime you have a sudden hearing loss it should be bumped up to an emergency visit to see an ENT, any doctor that doesn’t refer you to one is guilty of malpractice IMO! I know several people who have permanent holes in their eardrums and it has left them with either a mixed loss or just a conductive loss. A conductive loss is easier to get to more or less normal hearing with a HA as long as you can amplify it high enough, a mixed loss depending on how severe the SSHL is, a HA can help but it won’t bring your hearing back to what it was prior to the sudden hearing loss. The hole in your eardrum could of been caused by a number of things: loud noise too close to the ear, rapid change in pressure such as in flying or scuba diving, foreign object in the ear (q tip), slap to the side of the head, etc. Small holes normally heal in a couple months, larger ones take longer and some never heal and have to be surgically repaired by doing a tympanoplasty which grafts your own tissue over the hole or a myringoplasty where they surgically put a gel or special kind of paper over the hole. if you don’t get it fixed you have to use earplugs when taking a shower or swimming to keep water from entering your middle ear. Leaving it open makes you more susceptible to future ear infections, mastoiditis and vertigo. The HA that is best for you is the HA that you like and allows you to hear the best, since everyone hears differently what is the best for one person could be less than perfect for another person, only you will be able to answer which is best for you. Good luck!

I saw the hole on a screen at Costco and it seems to cover 30% of the tympanic membrane. The ENT used the term “moderate” to describe it but I would say the hole is “significant”. My personal feeling is that the ENT was careless.
My GP referred me to another ENT b/c of my concerns about the ENT that did the injections. Apparently others have expressed similar concerns.

No “radiation to the head”, not “a smoker” and my diet is very good. Although I am 70 I am in good health.

Neville, what is the Phonak CROS option? Sounds like a HA for each ear. Thanks, Gary