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Sudden onset of acute deafness, eardrum slightly red, had headaches before deafness. Help?

28 year old female, no significant PMH, no DH. Awoke today with sudden acute deafness of right ear. Saw local GP who syringed my ear, small amount of wax removed, she informed me ear canal was clear. Still cant hear anything out of this ear. She suggested ? middle/ inner ear infection, stated eardrum was slightly red. I am not displaying any symptoms typical of ear infection, no localised pain. I have been getting headaches 48 hours prior to sudden deafness, and still have today - frontal and temporal. PS I am a nurse. Thank you.
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 (whichc can be conductive or sensorineural) and 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 revisit your doctor and impress upon him the following points:

initially meet an ENT and get a full examination including full audiometric assessment..

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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