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Sudden Hearing Loss? Treat it as a Medical Emergency


I had a really nice training meeting with an old friend who works with a hearing aid brand recently. She worked with me many years ago in one of the hearing aid providers I worked for and is a qualified hearing aid professional. I really love meeting up with her because we generally have a good giggle. She was telling me that she had suffered a sudden sensorineural hearing loss last year and didn't recognise it for what it was. She waited nine days to get treatment, nine days! Thankfully, the treatment that was given worked and the outcome was favourable. It struck me that even if a trained professional was slow to recognise a serious problem, how quick would a so-called, normal Joe Soap. So here I am again with the warning. 

Treat any sudden hearing loss as a medical emergency until you know better!

Unrecognised and Debilitating

Last year, Ruth Kirkham spoke about her experience with Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL) in her article "Hear Today, Gone Tomorrow – An Account of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL)".  Her experience like many others was a tale of a serious problem that was unrecognised and delayed treatment that meant she was left with a debilitating condition.

The problem is that there really is not enough awareness out there about SSHL either in the general public or in fact the wider medical community. In the audiology profession, we are all too aware of the problem and its seeming increase in prevalence. Although, as my tale shows, that is no protection. 

Sudden hearing loss

Woke up With a Hearing Loss

My friend woke up one morning with a hearing loss in one ear. She had been suffering a little with some mid ear problems so she didn't immediately put much weight on it. However, nine days later, I mean hello! Nine days later she asked another professional to undertake a hearing test. Anyway, the test showed an asymmetrical sensorineural hearing loss in the ear that had been giving her problems, not the conductive loss she had thought it was. 

She immediately received steroid injections intra tympanically (through the eardrum) among other treatments. Thankfully, after a few weeks, it was confirmed that her hearing had returned to normal levels. It was thought that there may have been some vestibular problem, or perhaps some sort of viral infection that affected her ability to hear because she was mildly dizzy as well. 

A Wonderful, but Lucky Outcome

My friend's treatment outcome can only be seen as a wonderful but amazingly lucky one. She was amazingly lucky to have her hearing restored considering the treatment was delayed and not given until nine days after the initial loss. Most of the experts agree that forty-eight hours is the ideal window. 

Not Much Time to get Treatment

That's the thing, forty-eight hours is not a long time to get diagnosed and treated. So you can't hang around and you shouldn't. If you wake up with a hearing loss, treat it as a medical emergency, get a hearing test as soon as and then present yourself at accident and emergency. 

A Great Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss Video

Aston Hearing Services, who provide hearing care and hearing aids in Bucks, Oxfordshire and Herts have recently undertaken a great informational video on SSHL which you can review below. 

A live Q&A with Duncan and Nikki on Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss.

A live Q&A with Duncan and Nikki on Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss. (Captioned)

Posted by Aston Hearing Services Ltd on Wednesday, 28 February 2018

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Geoffrey Cooling

Geoffrey Cooling

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Geoffrey (Geoff, anything else makes him nervous) Cooling is an Irish hearing aid blogger and has been involved with the hearing aid industry for over ten years. He has worked in private practice dispensing hearing aids and as a manufacturer's rep. He has written two books and they are both available on Amazon. He loves technology, passing on knowledge and is legendary for many other things, primarily the amount he curses, his dry and mischievous sense of humour and his complete intolerance of people who are full of themselves. Please feel free to connect with him

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