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SSHL recovery timeframe

at what point does a person with diagnosed SSHL, who has already been treated with oral steroids and tympanic injections of steroids, give up hope of experiencing any further hearing improvement?
244 Responses
152264 tn?1280354657
Hi Dave. Glad to hear you think you might be recovering some hearing. I hope your next hearing test will confirm some recovery! You will get used to the tinnitus--I was so bummed when I realized mine would be permanent, thinking, "Oh, I'll never get to enjoy the sound of complete silence again..." but that was a laugh, as now I don't even notice the tinnitus unless I think about it! It is loud enough that I can just perceive it over the humming of my computer, but still, it just isn't "there" unless I think about it. Amazing how the brain adapts.

Yes, GPs have NO idea about SHL... I was surprised when I started reading about it and found out it's supposed to be considered a medical emergency. But doctors aren't told that in their training. Most info about hearing loss--even the huge article for doctors on the American Academy of Family Physicians Web site--has NO mention of SHL. You'd think that GPs would have a little book to carry around with sections on different specialties (ENT, neurology, etc.) tagged "this is an emergency," but no. They are SOOOO concerned about possibly permanent deficits from, say, a stroke, so there's this huge stroke-awareness campaign, but possibly permanent hearing deficits are like, "so what?" I saw two different GPs, 5 days and 3 weeks after my hearing loss, and neither of them even bothered to do the tuning-fork test. The first one cleaned the wax out of my ears and ASSUMED the problem was solved--didn't even ask "can you hear better?" Admittedly I was at that time most worried about the dizziness that came with the sneezes, as I myself assumed the hearing loss was just some canal or other "plugged up"--I knew nothing about ears--but the doctors SHOULD have done some initial testing, that was their job!

I've had the Baha for 3 years now. I have an Intenso, but I think there are newer and better models. The Intenso works great for me. Like all hearing aids, I guess, it does cause feedback if I turn it up too high or touch it, but voices come through so clearly it's AMAZING! It's like hearing voices over the radio, but PERFECTLY CLEARLY. It is SO nice not to have to be constantly turning my head, switching sides with people, asking them to repeat, missing things, etc. I don't have to wear it all the time, as I can hear fine in small rooms with a handful of people and no background noise, but at work and in most social situations the Baha is a great help to me.

Good luck and keep us posted! :)
Avatar universal
Hi......just curious what type of treatment you received?  I flew home with a cold and sinus congestion and 14 days later the tinnitus started.   I didn't realize I had suffered low frequency hearing loss until the tinnitus started (which was two weeks after I realized my hearing was off) and the steroids did not work.  I had doctors tell me they had seen this take months to clear up but I am not at 11 weeks and nothing has gotten better....hearing or tinnitus.  To make matters worse I have been deaf in my other ear since the age of 7 so I am really up a creek now......1/2 of one ear for hearing.  I'm scared, sad, angry, anxious and afraid of what the future holds.  Yet all of these ENTs just look at you and say, "You'll have to get used to it."  That is not an acceptable answer for me.  There have got to be more success stories out there.  
Avatar universal
Just got diagnosed this afternoon w/SSHL.  Caught it pretty early, though.  Tuesday my hearing conked out on me suddenly at work (right ear), and I went to an Urgent Care facility.  The LPN had no idea and prescribed a Z-pack for me.  Next day, zero improvement and increased tinnitus - but no pain, correlating to no infection, so why the Z-pack?  Got in to see my PCP, who immediately and intelligently referred me to an ENT.  A few hours later I was choking down 6 prednisone tabs to start the therapy.  I'll probably go to Mass Eye & Ear for a second opinion, just to be sure, but I'm hoping that I caught this early enough to recover.  The stats I'm reading indicate about a 65% recovery (partial or full), and the timing does vary from weeks to over a year.  It's going to be an interesting ride - and a complete bummer to a musc lover like me :(.  Nice to know, though, that I'm not alone out here.  Carpe diem, folks - make lemonade with them lemons!
Avatar universal
I was diagnosed with SSHL in June 2010.  One morning I woke up and my right ear was blocked.  I knew something was not right, because I did not have a cold and it simply did not feel like a sinus blockage.  Went to the Emergency room and they quickly gave me some Prednisone and then I checked in for two weeks (in Europe...realize that this may be unrealistic in America).  After two weeks the doctor ordered I use the Hyperbolic Oxygen chamber.  This was a device similar which Scuba Divers use to decompress.  I did 5 sessions of this at 3 hours each session.  I regained about 50 percent of my hearing...from nothing.  But, now I had some really annoying Tinnitus.  A year went by and there was some improvement.  I would have good days and bad days.  Alot depended on how much rest I had.  I read and read everything I could regarding SSHL.  To me, I would say it was almost like a stroke in my ear.  So, I simply started taking any and all vitamins that promote blood flow, Gingko, Vitamin B, Fish oil.  I take these daily for the last year and now I am FULLY recovered.  I still take the vitamins.  Personally, I feel that SSHL occurs when bloodflow to the inner ear is obstructed for just long enough to cause the loss in hearing.  I am not a doctor, but my hypothesis has proved to be correct...I experimented on myself and now am 100 percent again.  You can recover from SSHL.
152264 tn?1280354657
How's your ear by now?
Avatar universal
I am so happy to have found a place where others are discussing having to deal with SSHL.  I was very ill in December and woke up one morning with deafness in my left ear.  My GP told me it was congestion and to take sudaphed.  After two weeks I couldn't stand it any more and he sent me to the ENT.  Bingo, SSHL.  Went through the prednisone treatment with no improvement.  Unfortunately, I am a professional musician and this situation has left me devastated.  I get horrible headaches after practicing for short periods and hear weird overtones in my head confusing the actual pitches I am hearing.  Not to mention this terrible pressure I feel all the time.  I am horribly depressed, angry and scared about the whole situation.  After reading these posts it seems there still might be some chance of recovery.  It is frightening when your livelihood depends on your hearing...
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