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Old 02-12-2005, 08:41 PM   #1
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Ringing getting worse?

Hi,
A week and a half ago, shortly after waking up I (for no obvious reason) lost the hearing in my right ear. I have an earlier post under "SUDDEN HEARING LOSS, AND I'M TERRIFIED", explaining the details of my ordeal. Anyhow, my ENT diagnosed the problem as possibly a viral infection in the inner ear and put me on a ten day prescription of Prednisone. I've already been on it for five days and notice some of the hearing I've lost seems to slightly be coming back. Initially, tests showed I had lost 80db of hearing in my right ear as a result of this attack!
Prior to taking the steroid, I had LOUD high pitch ringing in my infected ear and loud rushing which has caused serious PANIC and ANXIETY attacks causing me to lose most sleep and I've been falling into a deep depression. I'm on Xanax a couple times a day to get me through and help with a little sleep but I'm still going insane from the constant ringing!
When I finally noticed the other day I could faintly hear the dial tone from the phone receiver which at the time this first started I could hear nothing but a faint humm. I can now also faintly hear the flicking sound of my finger nails in front of the bad ear, which I could'nt hear at all in the beginning of this infection, I started feeling maybe the steroid is going to work.
However, I still have an impossible time hearing over this UNBEARABLY LOUD ringing which has'nt subsided while the hearing has been slightly back. Has anyone noticed this while recovering similar syptoms with Prednisone? Also, since I've already taken the heaviest portion of the prescription in the first four days,, is there any chance it will continue bringing the hearing back? Finally, what about injections of the steroid after I'm done with the oral? Do the injections make you dizzy for any length of time, I've heard it can be uncomfortable!
If you can offer me any comfort or suggestions on this, PLEASE feel free,, I appreciate any help possible!!

Last edited by MMS1; 04-01-2005 at 12:07 PM.

 
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:28 PM   #2
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Re: Taking Prednisone for sudden hearing loss, ringing getting worse?

It's not the prednisone, it's the condition for which you're taking it. Get your doctor to test your otoacoustic emissions (tinnitus can often be detected by measurement--your inner ear is GENERATING the sound). Try adding some Vitamin E--a study in The Lancet last fall found that British sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients on prednisone improved dramatically--most regaining almost all their hearing--when E was added. If it doesn't get better, ask about getting a brain MRI done to rule out anything pressing on the auditory nerve or even a temporal lobe tumor (don't freak out, the chances are extremely remote but you want to know what's causing the problem).

 
Old 02-18-2005, 10:44 AM   #3
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Re: Taking Prednisone for sudden hearing loss, ringing getting worse?

Thanks for your reply Sandy,
I wish I knew that a bit earlier, about the Vit.E. I'm down to the end of the prescription now (one pill today and one pill tomorrow) and that's it. In that research or your own experiences, would taking the Vitamin E. still have an affect or at least as much as an affect taken now that I'm pretty much done on the medication? Also, would a good multi-vitamin have enough E in it (it usually says 100% of daily requirement). I've heard that E is good for tinitis but wish I had taken higher doses with the Prednisone!
Although I've noticed somewhat of an improvement in my condition,, it still has a way to go and these panic and anxiety attacks have taken their toll on me!! As much as it's been horrific going through the past week and a half on the drug, I'm very depressed and filled with high anxiety now that the prescription is ending, will I see any more improvement. The Xanax I'm taken is helping slightly to get me to bed, but I wake up in a few short hours later with the awful anxiety all over again. I try not to take any of the Xanax during the day only because I don't want to get hooked, and IT'S HARD!!
I'm sorry to run on like this, don't mean to lay this added stuff on you, it's just that I've had several tragedies in my life, but this one is really on the TOP!! Thanks SO MUCH for your reply and concern,, I REALLY APPRECIATE IT!!

 
Old 02-18-2005, 10:50 AM   #4
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Re: Taking Prednisone for sudden hearing loss, ringing getting worse?

Hi again Sandy,
Almost forgot. Yea, the ENT guy also suggested an MRI at the beginning of this ordeal, just to rule out any other "remote" possibilities. I definately want to know there is no underlying factor that was overlooked but have a problem with MRI's. I become HORRIBLY claustophobic in those things!!!!! I could never last the hour it takes to do the test! Even though the MRI's are "open", the fact that my head is inside that "dougnut" device for that long, I'd NEVER make it!! The doctor said I could take a couple Xanax, however as stressed and panicky as I've been, the Xanax barely help me to fall asleep when I'm wired. So,, I don't know how to handle that,,any suggestions?

THANKS AGAIN!

 
Old 02-18-2005, 01:23 PM   #5
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Re: Taking Prednisone for sudden hearing loss, ringing getting worse?

Hi there-
You should definitely see about getting an MRI. My husband had sort of the same symptoms. Dr first told him he had swimmers ear. Didn't get any better so he went to another Dr who gave him the high powered decongestants. That didn't help so he went to ENT. Had the audio tests done and he too had lost considerable hearing. Don't mean to scare you but he had an Acoustic Neuroma...tumor in the auditory canal pressing on the auditory nerve. Was very scarey but he had surgery to remove it and is doing great. After he was diagnosed we found several people who had had the same thing...more common than you think. These tumors are usually benign and it's amazing how fast he recovered from the surgery. His hearing loss is permanent but something he can deal with. The surgery was just 3 months ago and now you wouldn't know anything had ever been wrong.

 
Old 02-19-2005, 03:58 PM   #6
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Re: Taking Prednisone for sudden hearing loss, ringing getting worse?

If the hearing loss in your ear has not completely recovered, I can recommend prednisone injections. I had about 20 injections into my ear over 3 or 4 years as I kept having repeated bouts of hearing loss along with severe balance problems. The steroid injections into the ear helped bring most of my hearing back each time.

I agree you should just bite the bullet and get the MRI done. The cause of these sudden hearing loss problems is difficult to find, but at least having an MRI will help to rule things in or out.

 
Old 02-20-2005, 02:51 AM   #7
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Re: Taking Prednisone for sudden hearing loss, ringing getting worse?

Hi Susie,
Did they ever find out what the cause of your hearing loss has been? I also understand that the injections can bring additional progress, however I was told the reason they go with oral intake first is because of potentialy Adverse reactions to the injections. How did you react from the injections as far as bad side effects,,and in general, how bad is the process?

Thanks for your input, and I hope the best for you also!

 
Old 02-23-2005, 03:07 PM   #8
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Re: Taking Prednisone for sudden hearing loss, ringing getting worse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMS1
Hi Susie,
Did they ever find out what the cause of your hearing loss has been? I also understand that the injections can bring additional progress, however I was told the reason they go with oral intake first is because of potentialy Adverse reactions to the injections. How did you react from the injections as far as bad side effects,,and in general, how bad is the process?

Thanks for your input, and I hope the best for you also!
Hi, I hope things have been improving for you. But if not, or if not sufficiently recovered, as I said, I can recommend the steroid injections into the ear. I agree with not going with the injections straight away too. Many people have spontaneous recovery from these sudden hearing losses, and it would be overkill to go in with the heavy stuff straight away. But, because the injections are more potent, and get the steroid directly to the affected site, they can be more effective than oral steroids. Also, be aware, that the earlier one gets in with treatment of hearing losses, the higher the chances of recovery. I was terrified of getting my first injection, because I had been warned that it may cause me to lose my hearing altogether. However, the prognosis for the illness I have (more on that in a moment) is very poor in terms of hearing outcomes, so I felt I may as well try the injections. At the time of my first one, I was really unwell, and my hearing was getting worse day by day.

Side effects from the injections: I have to admit after my first 3 injections I had quite strong ear pain. That was with one particular type of steroid (can't remember the name). After that, my doc swapped me to dexamethasone injections and they were fine. No pain. They anesthetise the eardrum, so the procedure itself is not painful. (However, the whole thought of it is just horrible). I always hated getting them done, but for the improvements they brought to my hearing, they were worth it.

I'm not suggesting in anyway at all that the cause of your hearing loss is the same as mine, but the injections are used in a wide range of hearing loss causes. The cause of my hearing loss episodes (as well as various other problems including loss of balance and inflamed eyes) was found to be Cogan's Syndrome.

Let us know how you get on.

 
Old 02-23-2005, 09:47 PM   #9
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Re: Taking Prednisone for sudden hearing loss, ringing getting worse?

Well, I've been off the Prednisone since Saturday (four days now) and it's hard to tell the progress of the hearing. A couple days ago the ringing, screeching and hissing in my infected ear had quieted down to a mere whisper and it was HEAVEN!!! It felt as though my hearing was slightly better since I did'nt have to strain over background noises to hear or turn the TV way up. However, yesterday and today the hissing and high pitch screeching has come back up! It seems when I hold my left ear closed, I'm hearing more then in the last week in my right (bad) ear, but on days like today when the screeching is way up, it's still hard on me and I wonder how long I have to go on like this!
It also seems as little by little over the past couple weeks, as I have some recovery of hearing (although muffled and muted sounding) when people talk loudly or even sometimes when I talk a little loud, it sounds distorted (kind of like hearing voices through a cheap radio with a ripped speaker or inbetween stations) and that has been driving me nuts! I'm trying to keep my hopes up since my ENT and family doctor both say the fact that I've gotten any hearing back while using the Prednisone is a Positive sign and it's just going to take time to fully heal.
I've discovered in the last few days that by taking "VALERIAN" in capsule form three times a day, it takes ALOT of the edge off and keeps me from paniking like I was in the early stages. An increase in my Xanax to .5mg before I go to bed, helped me sleep last night for the first time in THREE WEEKS!!!!!!! This is a long road and very scary for me. I've been able to work through and handle pressure in the past, but I guess I'm not very good in things of this nature!

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to respond and offer your thoughts! I can only wish THE VERY, VERY BEST for all of you!!

Last edited by MMS1; 02-23-2005 at 09:51 PM. Reason: added a thought.

 
Old 02-23-2005, 10:07 PM   #10
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Re: Taking Prednisone for sudden hearing loss, ringing getting worse?

Hello!

Just read this thread and had to respond to MMSI... Please don't think of my message as a downer - but more of a warning what not to do concerning your hearing loss/anxiety and meds.

My mother experienced the exact same hearing loss in one ear seven years ago. It was sudden and for no apparent reason. After 34 doctors, many tests, MRIs, Mayo Clinic, etc., the only diagnosis they could come up with was either a viral or bacterial infection. She did remember trying to scratch an itch inside her ear with an artificial fingernail the day before her hearing loss. I wanted to write as a warning - my mother also started experiencing severe panic and/or anxiety attacks right away and difficulty sleeping. The doctors started trying to medicate each different symptom as they developed and now, seven years later my mother is severly overmedicated, severly addicted and miserable. She was willing to take any and everything they prescribed to help alleviate the roaring/ringing and anxiety. Unfortunately, we discovered many of the transquilizers and anxiety medicines just made the sound in her ear worse - especially when the meds would elevate her blood pressure. She has been hospitalized six times just in this past year in a geriatric psch. unit and when she is home, my father and I are on constant suicide watch with her.

What I am trying to express is that the hearing loss and accompanying tinnitus were not curable (or "fixable") for my mother except through a surgical procedure to cut one of the auditory nerves to eliminate the roaring sound. Evidently there was great risk with this procedure (my mom is now 73) and my parents decided to forego it. Many doctors tried to teach her coping techniques for the tinnitus including wearing a "white noise" device on her ears, never sit in silence, eliminate stress, etc. Unfortunately, my mother didn't try any of these techniques for more than a day but rather decided to self-medicate with the many doctors' prescriptions and now she doesn't remember the last three years from being overmedicated.

PLEASE, please, please be careful with the many medicines that will be offered to you to help treat the anxiety, panic, hearing loss, etc. Do your homework and research each medicine and the counteractions with other medicines prescribed to you. Talk to your pharmacist and make sure it is okay to mix. My mother's problems now go way beyond the hearing loss and roaring - in fact those symptoms are rarely complained about now because there are so many others because of reactions to being overly medicated. Be extremely careful and ask your doctor many questions!!!

As far as an MRI goes, maybe I can offer some help there: I recently had one and really freaked when I was pushed back into the barrel. I have never been claustrophobic in my life but I absolutely paniced. The attendants calmed me down, let me look at the machine and see that it was open on the other end and then gave me two very helpful suggestions. They put headphones on me and played any music station I wanted. Then they put a washcloth over my eyes before they strapped my head in or did anything else. It was amazing what a difference it made - I couldn't see what I was getting into and it was very peaceful. Didn't experience a single feeling of anxiety for the whole 40 minutes. If you have one done, ask to have your eyes covered the minute you lay down. They said it works every time and that 1 in 10 patients panic even though they didn't expect to.

Hope this helps you somehow - I know it isn't any kind of answer for your hearing loss and symptoms but I will keep you in my prayers!

 
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Old 02-23-2005, 11:40 PM   #11
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Re: Taking Prednisone for sudden hearing loss, ringing getting worse?

Just a quick message to say that one of the side effects of oral prednisone, so that may have contributed to your difficulty in sleeping.

 
Old 02-24-2005, 12:54 AM   #12
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Re: Taking Prednisone for sudden hearing loss, ringing getting worse?

Hi Ozarkheaven,
Thanks for the "head's up" on the possible drug problems that can be created through a trauma like this. I'm on the same page as you though as far as what you say. I've never done sooooo much research and reading online as far as what drugs are out there, possible side effect, interactions, pro's, con's etc..since I've had this problem. I've researched Prednisone up and down while I was on it. Then I discovered this most informative Forum and did alot of reading and then researched different meds other people were on, just to see what's what. I hate taking narcotics and don't even smoke or drink (a real "tea-toedler")!
I had been on Xanax for a relatively shortish term several years ago and it helped get me through a very HORRID time in my life. Therefore, I felt relatively comfortable taking it and did'nt even take the single dose my ENT guy recommended to stop the PANIC and ANXIETY throughout every waking hour for almost three weeks (A NIGHTMARE AND A HALF)!!! Just did'nt want to keep depending on the things. That's when I reasearched "Natural and Organic Stress relievers". That led to a multitude of reading just to check and double check the best, safest and most effective for what I'm going through. Valerian, seemed to be the organic remedy of choice. Now I'm just taking a single .5mg dose of Xanax just to let me sleep for more then (2) hours a night. As I start feeling more relaxed by getting more sleep and hopefully notice a progressive betterment in my hearing situation,, I will gladly wean myself off the Xanax and get back to my life (whatever that may be). In the mean time, I've learned alot about leading a healthier and overall better life due to this experience.

Also, Hi Susie,
I read all the side effects on the Prednisone and figured the sleeplessness whilst on it was probably being enhanced by the drug itself. However, once off the drug, the sleeplessness grew worse due to all the Anxiety I had about still having the hearing loss and the deep fear that I let grow inside me. Walking around with no more then (2) hours of sleep a night over almost three weeks was just snowballing things by keeping me wired and thinking I'll never be able to sleep again. Henceforth a little aid from the Xanax. Just to let you know (wheather it matters or not) I'm 53. So where as I'm not a kid, I'd like to hope I'm not that old either, heh!

Again, I can't thank all of you enough for all your concern,, knowing people like all you are out there and willing to offer your help is really FANTASTIC!! THANKS AGAIN!!!

Last edited by MMS1; 02-24-2005 at 01:01 AM. Reason: Separate thoughts

 
Old 03-15-2005, 04:51 AM   #13
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Re: Taking Prednisone for sudden hearing loss, ringing getting worse?

Hi Everyone,

I've taken a great deal of comfort from reading your emails as I can completely sympathise with the anxiety attacks. I'm new to this and I was pacing around early in the morning as the tinnitus was unbearable. My heat goes out to your Mom Oz, I have an elderly mother whom I love very much and I'm just beginning to think that some of her symptoms maybe ear related.

On another tack, does anyone know what the time limit is for prednisone?

I've had my condition for 11 days now after being fobbed off with decongestion and ear drops!

Someone said that the steroids had no affect after they had had the symptoms for a month!

Also does anyone know what is the best dose of Vitamin E

Any ideas gratefully received !

Many thanks
GIW

Last edited by giw9892; 03-15-2005 at 07:18 AM.

 
Old 03-15-2005, 10:32 AM   #14
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Re: Taking Prednisone for sudden hearing loss, ringing getting worse?

Hi giw9892,
It's been six and a half weeks since the onset of this "sudden hearing loss". The ringing sometimes subsides a couple notches but it seems as though when I'm exposed to noise (I'm a musician) and even though I wear a foam ear plug, the ringing increases for days afterwards! It also gets worse when I'm stressed. That's a problem cause since the beginning of this thing, I've been having more and worse Anxiety and Panic attacks due to the fact I don't know when or if, this condition will ever get better!
My hearing has come back a couple notches since the end of my initial Prednisone prescribed period (almost four weeks ago), but I still have quite a bit of hearing loss along with the ringing and annoying distortion if I talk a bit loud or if voices around me are a bit loud (kind of like a doubled synthesized sound). I take a full multi-vitamin with 100% of all B's included. I supplement this with additional vitamin E, C and Codliver oil. I've read on this board from someone who also had some distortion in their hearing that "alpha-lipoic acid" helped them, so I started adding that to my supplemental diet also (but only just started).
Today I go for an MRI which I've been putting off for six weeks due to the fact that I'm VERY claustophobic! However, I want to finally rule out any underlying factors which can't be seen by the human eye. HOPEFULLY the extra doseage of Xanax that my doctor suggested will kick in prior to the test and keep me sedated through the whole thing. This is a really horrible feeling and has GREATLY changed my life for the last (almost) two months. I really don't function anymore outside of constant depression, anxiety, panic and little to NO sleep! I don't want to live on all kinds of drugs indefinately either. Anyhow,,, don't mean to be so gloomy, but I'm just looking for a ray of sunshine to help me see the way through this!
Thanks for your concern and I hope you get well SOON! Best of luck to you!!

 
Old 03-16-2005, 11:57 AM   #15
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Re: Taking Prednisone for sudden hearing loss, ringing getting worse?

Hi MMS1

I do know what you are going through, I've just been to see the ENT doctor and I got a good feeling about him, he did the tests and imediately put me on a high doesage of Prednisone. Last night was the worst time for me as I suffered my first anxiety attack, I went back to work too early and suffered on the night time with headaches, neck aches and the tinnitus. My wife was great and she saw me through it. I've started my steriod treatment at 13 days, the ENT doc said it may or maynot work, but better we try than think about it. He also put me on a drug to allow better blood flow around that area. I'm also taking Vit E and Ginko so we'll see.

I can't remember if you said earlier but how long after you lost your hearing did you start your treatment of steroids?

Anyway, that ray of sunshine will come, hang in there, easy to say, i know difficult to do! But remember when I was younger I suffered hear loss and tinnitus the tinnitus didn't induce anxiety attacks but it got on my nerves and wore me down, but it gradually reduced and about 8 months later my hearing returned and that must of been viral as I saw an ENT doc and had an x-ray and they said everything was fine. Its the tinnitus thats the killer I can cope with hearing loss.

Hang on in it WILL get better and back then I was musician playing in a band and my hearing meant everything to me...!

All the best if I come across anything of interest I'll post it

cheers

GIW

 
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