If you’ve experienced a sudden hearing loss, schedule a comprehensive evaluation by Our Team Of Board-Certified Otologist And Audiologists, Contact The Arizona Hearing Center by phone at 602.313.1243, or by email at [email protected]
Treating Sudden Hearing Loss
Each case of sudden sensorineural hearing loss is different and requires an individual treatment plan. “The algorithm for treatment depends on a lot of different factors,” Dr. Mark Syms explains. “It depends on the extent of the hearing loss, the duration of the hearing loss and whether there are any other underlying diseases as the cause of the hearing loss.”
“But if people have a sudden hearing loss and we’ve completed a diagnosis,” Dr. Syms says, “the options are to do nothing and see if it recovers, take oral steroids and/or do an infusion of steroid into the inner ear.”
Below are two patients’ stories about pursuing different treatment options for their sudden hearing loss:
1. do nothing
You always have the option of not doing anything, and there are occasions in which your hearing can improve.
However, we do not advise patients to avoid treatment. As an aside, the longer treatment is avoided, the less likely of a shot it will work if you end up changing your mind.
Rule of Thumb: After roughly 3 months of no treatment, your chances are very slim of ever restoring your hearing.
2. STEROID TREATMENT
When Anthony Cyplik experienced a sudden hearing loss in his left ear, he was immediately ready to pursue any treatment available. “I was willing to do anything and everything possible to get my hearing back,” Cyplik says.
After receiving a comprehensive hearing exam at the office of Dr. Syms, Cyplik decided to proceed with a series of both oral steroids and trastympanic infusions, a steroid delivered directly into the ear to reduce any inflammation that may have occured there.
“Of course, I was a little concerned with the injections in the ear,” Cyplik says of the transtympanic infusions, “but when you look at the loss of hearing and the impact it had on my life in those days, I would have undergone anything to get my hearing back.”
When Cyplik initially began his treatment, there was no immediate improvement of the hearing in his left ear. Over the next few weeks, he tested whether his hearing had improved by listening to the television on the lowest volume setting possible.
When Cyplik recently returned to the office for his six month follow-up, a hearing test revealed his hearing has returned to normal. In fact, today, the hearing in his left ear is better than in his non-affected ear.
While outcomes vary for each individual patient, the most important piece of advice is to act quickly when it comes to sudden sensorineural hearing loss. “I think doing nothing is certainly an option,” Vanderbeek says, “but I think most people want to know that they’ve exhausted every option for recovering their hearing.”