HI, all. I recently experienced a sudden sensorineural hearing loss event in both my ears and so I’m posting this in the hopes getting some answers from others who may have experienced the same thing.
As background, I had moderate hearing loss and tinnitus prior to the SSHL event and used hearing aids sometimes to help with the loss. But then, on April 28, while inflating a bicycle tire, the tire burst on me and knocked out most of my hearing and I was left with pretty severe ringing in my ears. The doctor didn’t find any damage to my eardrum and I was able to start on Prednisone within a week of the incident but I haven’t noticed much improvement. While the ringing has diminished slightly people’s voices are still very muffled and soft, and I continue to have a feeling of fullness or clogging in my ears that would not go away. Prior to this incident, even with my hearing loss, I never had this feeling of fullness in my ears.
In a follow-up appointment with my ENT (about three weeks after the incident) I still had the fullness feeling and voices were still muffled and soft, and the doctor said these are side effects that will probably never go away. He also had me go for an MRI, which came back negative and I guess means no visible damage. Given that I have existing hearing loss I just can’t accept that this fullness and muffled sounds are normal side effects that comes with SSHL. The research I’ve done online indicates, to me, that it’s patulous Eustachian tube and that it supposedly eventually heals on its own in time. Also, at times, I feel a lot of pressure in my sinuses, my temples, and even my jaw and upper neck, that feels like an internal vice- something I never experienced with my existing hearing loss. This tells me there is either some fluid build-up, swelling, or something, that may be treatable and that will help to restore at least some of my hearing. Furthermore, when I do jaw exercises (like opening wide, jutting my jaw forward, etc.) or neck stretches the sense of fullness in my ears seems to drop a little- albeit briefly- and it seems like sounds aren’t as muffled and soft. Note: the feeling of fullness has diminished in my right ear but not as much in my left, and my left is where I’m still experiencing the most hearing loss (hearing seems to have returned more in my right ear).
So that’s what I’m trying to figure out now, is this feeling of fullness something that will eventually go away, or is this, in fact, a permanent side effect that I need to live with? Or, is there further treatment I should seek? I’m posing the question to others who have experienced SSHL events: Even if you were left with some hearing loss, did the feeling of fullness ever go away?