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High pitched zinging in ear followed by muffling, continuous ringing. Is it normal?

Hi. I had a simple URI over Christmas and about 5 days into the virus, I experienced a VERY high pitched zinging in my ear and my left ear immediately became muffled. I am a nurse (school nurse) and was able to do a hearing test , and have failed @ 4000 ( 40-45dBl). The ringing in my left ear continues, this being day 12. My husband is an ER doc---normal eardrum . So, is the ringing normal, and for how long?
Asked On : Fri, 11 Jan 2013
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ENT Specialist 's  Response
Aug 2013
Hello and welcome to HCM,

You seem to be suffering from a condition called sudden hearing loss which can be conductive or sensorineural as though you have taken an audiometry, you have not mentioned the type of hearing loss.
This can affect one or both the ears and has a multitude of causes though they may not be found in most of the cases. The recovery depends on the initial treatment given and this is very important. So you need to visit your ENT and impress upon him the following points:

Get another full examination including full audiometric assessment first....

1. Get a complete blood profile including tox screen to rule out any common infection.
2. Get an imaging study like an MRI/CT of the brain and temporal bone to delineate any obvious lesion such as fluid or swelling causing the loss
3. If by audiometry it has been diagnosed as sensorineural hearing loss, start on the medication cocktail which we describe in ENT as in most of the cases the cause is not ascertained so you need a combination of plasma expander in injectable form/ anti viral therapy/ hyper baric oxygen therapy and of course steroid (preferable in injectable form)
4. For good measure we also add ginko biloba and piracetam which are supposed to rejuvenate nerves.
5. If it is conductive hearing loss then the treatment will depend on the type and cause of the loss but it has a better prognosis
Do not worry as in many cases the loss does recover but in the meanwhile do not meddle with the ear and avoid listening to loud noise and also avoid any medication which is toxic to the ear (you can google for the complete list)

hope you recover soon

Dr Sriram Nathan
Answered: Thu, 29 Aug 2013
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