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JackAdams's avatar

Do you know anything about "Sudden Hearing Loss," like treatments and possible cures?

Asked by JackAdams (6479points) September 20th, 2008

I received notification from a friend whom I have known for 48 years, mentioning that he woke up one morning (within the past 2 days), and couldn’t hear at all with his left ear, and tests measured a 50% loss of hearing in his right. Panic-stricken, he headed to his doctor, who diagnosed him with Sudden Hearing Loss and told him that an MRI was needed, to rule-out the possibility of a brain tumor.

I’m asking about the affliction here, because when I Google┬« it, I come up with a lot of contradictory information on it, and I’m not really sure if what I am reading is expert medical opinion, or some quack pretending to run a “medical-like” website.

One site purports that there is a 67% likelihood that the condition will correct itself, but I’m not all that optimistic, considering the kind of “luck” my friend has had, with 3 failed marriages.

If you have had this condition or know of someone who has, I’d be grateful for any information you can give me, regarding it.

Thanks, in advance.

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12 Answers

AstroChuck's avatar

A new multi-million dollar contract seemed to work on Rush Limbaugh’s sudden hearing loss.

JackAdams's avatar

Thanks for the link.

It’s appreciated, very much.

cheebdragon's avatar

I also noticed while I was searching for a link, that sudden hearing loss might be a side effect from some E.D. medications…

JackAdams's avatar

What? Type louder!

hearkat's avatar

As an Audiologist, I will tell you that sudden hearing loss can be caused by numerous things. Because the structures in the ear are so miniscule, they can not be seen by current imaging techniques, so we can’t actually say what the cause is.

Typical protocol is to prescribe antibiotics and/or steroids. The sooner the patient begins treatment, the better the odds of recovery.

In all the patients I have seen over the years, I have found no way to predict which patients will have some degree of recovery and which won’t, other than the promptness of treatment. It’s a medical mystery.

JackAdams's avatar

Thanks for your contribution to this discussion, hearkat.

I’m grateful.

hearkat's avatar

@JA: You’re most welcome… that’s what I’m here for! I only wish I could provide a more definitive answer, but there is none in this case. :-/

JackAdams's avatar

As least you (and the others on this thread) are making a positive contribution towards my education on the subject, and I’m very grateful for that.

ETpro's avatar

I was just going to ask this. My wife lost most of her hearing in her left ear yesterday. We ruled out any obstruction from a buildup of wax. Whatever was going on inteferred with her sense of balance a bit as well. I assume that localizes it to the inner ear and that it may be a sudden infection.

But this morning, it is much improved. That’s encouraging. I want to get her to a doctor, but as usual, she obstinately refuses.

hearkat's avatar

@ETpro – Fluctuating hearing on one side, in conjunction with imbalance can also be due to a number of things, from pressure changes in the middle ear (did she feel like it was clogged or has she had a cold/sinus problem?), to Meniere’s disease (which can run in families – check if her relatives have a any history of hearing/balance problems), and others…

How long did each of her symptoms last, were there any other symptoms, and how bad was the balance? was she just a bit wobbly, or was she fairly incapacitated because the room was spinning?

If she’s back to normal now, then it is a good thing, and tests won’t be able to show us much, if anything. Just watch out for reoccurrences and try to be able to give as many details about each occurrence as possible. A detailed history is the most helpful tool in selecting the course of evaluation and treatment.

I hope it was a random, isolated incident! Good luck to you both!

ETpro's avatar

@hearkat None of her family members have any history of hearing loss or balance problems. I wasn’t even aware of the balance issue watching her move about. She appeared normal to me. But she noticed that something wasn’t quite right. Bothe the hearing and balance were better yesterday and much better today. She says that her hearing is just about back to normal and she no longer feels any balance issues. She tested herself by standing with one foot raised for 30 seconds. No problem on either foot.

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