Re: Sudden Hearing Loss
I'm relieved to find that I'm not the only one to be incredibly frustrated by SSHL! My loss started when I noticed I couldn't hear the different tones on a touch-tone phone, but only in my left ear. I scheduled an appt. w/ an ENT immediatley. The office was great, they have a full audiologist set up on site and so they tested my hearing. Yep... not good. I'd lost about 80 decibles in the space of what was probably a few hours or two days. My ENT was cautious but also consoling. He ordered an MRI for the next day and started me on the first round of Prednisone (60mg a day on a tapering dose down to 5mg a day). The MRI results came back within 48 hours and the results were negative (no tumors or strokes). Good, but frustrating. Over the two weeks that I was on the Prednisone, I thought the hearing was getting better, but wasn't sure.
My next appointment with the ENT was two days before the end of the Prednisone cycle. He tested my hearing again and lo and behold, I was nearly back into the normal range, the very high and very low tones were just barely out of normal range! This was WONDERFUL news! We agreed to finish out the Prednisone and hope for the best, but he scheduled a follow up four weeks out, just in case. Well... two days after the end of the Prednisone cycle, not only was the hearing back down, but I noticed a CONSTANT ringing (tinnitus). My heart sank... what if it didn't come back again and what if the tinnitus was permanent? I called the ENT and he called in another rx for Prednisone (a shorter 1 week treatment but at a higher dosage).
I can tell you that during this round of Prednisone, I was paying much closer attention to the hearing. I was getting a bit scared after 4 days and no improvement, but on day 5, the tones on the phone were back to normal and the tinnitus was improving. I was to the point with the tinnitus that I didn't really notice it unless I was paying very close attention to that ear. Well, here I am two days after the end of the second round of Prednisone and my hearing is dropping again. Not as bad as before, but it is certainly not where it was. The tinnitus is still around but not as noticable. I have my appointment with my ENT again in a week. But, I think I'm going to call again to see if he will refill the rx for the third time. Also, after reading these threads, I think I'm going to start taking a vitamin E supplement, to see if that helps with the tinnitus.
The good news in my case is that I saw my ENT and started the Prednisone treatment almost immediately. Also, my ENT says that it is a wonderful sign that I got ANY hearing back at all. That indicates that this is probably a virus and something I just need to wait out and fight off with the help of steroids. Here's hoping he's right! I'll keep you posted. Good luck to everyone else and my sympathies. This experience has been SO frustrating!
Last edited by chiklit238; 12-15-2010 at 12:30 PM.