Severe Sudden Hearing Loss

So I woke up last Monday with very little hearing in my right ear and thought I’d share my experience in case anyone ever experiences this.

When I woke up the previous Monday I noticed that I couldn’t hear well out of my right ear. I didn’t think much of it and thought I just slept on it funny. Throughout the day it didn’t really improve very much. On Tuesday I started to become alarmed as I realized around noon that the hearing loss was actually quite severe. There was very significant tinnitus, and worse than that I would say that I had less than 50% hearing in the ear. If I covered my left ear the room lost all of it’s ambience. There was very little high and what came through was basically muddy middle tones. If I tried to have a telephone conversation on that ear the room had to be extremely quiet and I could probably pick up most of the words being said at full concentration.

The scariest part of it for me wasn’t just the fact that it might affect my ability to mix and master music, it’s the extent to which sound helps you create and maintain an awareness of what is around you. I did some research and saw that I had almost all the symptoms of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL). When I went to the doctor he didn’t see it as an emergency and wanted to make a referral for a specialist that could take a few weeks to get into. I told him that my research online stated (which I’ve since learned that many doctors don’t like) that the timeframe on beginning treatment could be a real issue. I talked it over and he suggested I go to Emergency.

Went to the hospital, doctor on staff was even less helpful. He basically told me he could refer me to a specialist but I wouldn’t be given any type of priority and would have to wait. I went over the same things with him that I did my family doctor and he had no concern about the timeframe and no intention of giving me a perscription for steroids (which is the recommended perscription for this). I told him that I did not want him to make that call and wanted the specialist to make that decision. He said he’d put a call in.

Paged the specialist, emerg. doctor talks to him about 20 minutes later and I hear him say to the specialist on the phone “look you just tell me what to do and I’ll do it”. The specialist tells him to give me the perscription. It’s scary because if I didn’t push for it, and if he didn’t get the right guy on the other end of the phone I may have not gotten the perscription. While he gave it to me he gave me attitude and specifically felt the need to point out that the specialist told him that the timeframe doesn’t matter, but that there was no harm in starting treatment immediately. Obviously I don’t believe this for one second, and it was clear that the specialist told him to give me the perscription and he was trying to save face because he flat out refused it to me, and otherwise I wouldn’t have received it had I not forced the issue.

Fast forward to today. The hearing loss has very significant lessened, and I am so thankful. I still have some tinnitus in my right ear (but then again I always probably had some just from my youthful clubbing days). I have an appointment with the specialist in early April and will be doing a hearing test and find out what I’m working with. I can tell though that even if it’s not 100%, it’s very close and I am fully able to hear out of it again.

You really don’t appreciate your health, or in this case your hearing until you are missing it. I feel so fortunate because it’s mostly come back, and even with that, it was only one ear. The scary thing is that for a significant number of people, this sudden hearing loss can strike and it’s permanent. If it ever happens to anyone I suggest you get in there and do whatever it takes to get a perscription and start treatment. It may be that my hearing would have returned even if I had not taken the perscription, but is that something that anyone would want to take a chance with? Had my hearing not improved it would have caused a tremendous impact on my life in so many ways. I don’t know if anyone else has ever experienced this but thought I’d share my story online.

As one last note, there is one other thing that happened to my ear recently that could have also caused it. I have an emu 1820M soundcard. When my computer goes into sleep mode and then I turn it back on the soundcard drivers some times break and cause a loud crackle. When this happened recently I reset the E-mu soundcard drivers to try to stop the crackle. When I did this in February I had headphones in my ears and wasn’t paying attention or thinking about what I was doing. When drivers reset it pushed the mixer back to 0db from the -40db which I usually have it set at. Combine this with the fact that the drivers didn’t reset properly – my headphones were filled with white noise at a rediculously painful volume - AND, it was earbuds I was wearing at the time. That was not fun.

In short, I really don’t know if my hearing loss was caused by a virus, or if it was a result of sound trauma. Perhaps I will find out, but I’m telling all the folks in this forum (because I know everyone here really values their hearing) – you really should appreciate and protect your hearing. I love loud music and pounding bass, but I had my scare, and I probably will be much more protective of my hearing in the future. Maybe this story will help someone some day - that would be my hope. I just consider myself very lucky for getting it back, and hope it stays that way.


Hells yes I do. There’s a reason I wear earplugs in loud venues, and rarely crank my iPod up to full volume. I’m actually tempted to get a decibel meter and start calling the cops on venues that are above the threshold that causes hearing damage. Call me an old man, but I prize these ears, and I don’t think it’s responsible to play music at such loud volumes when people have NO CLUE what the risks of walking into your venue unprotected are. At the VERY least they should be required to post warnings about ear damage. On top of that, music that’s so loud sounds like shit 99% of the time due to various factors including clipping and distortion caused by rattling.

Issues with your hearing is a very complex matter.
In general my experience is that as you get older, or especially if you have naturally recovered from your mistakes in your youth (too much loud music/noise, firecrackers, headphones, power tools, or whatever), you still can have good hearing, but you can also get much less tolerant for lots of things that will temporary or permanently impact your hearing.
I really can’t stand loud sounds anymore. I have good days and bad days. Luckily I do not have tinnitus.
Stress from work, too little sleep etc can also trigger intolerance for loud sounds. Also hard work outs (high blood pressure in general).
A cold, even a single sneeze can trigger it.
Also muscular tension in neck or jaw can cause this.

As of any treatment… well it really depends on what triggers your problems. But best thing is to protect your ears in the first place and then live healthy in general. I’ve never heard of any wonderful drug that will help you with your hearing though…

Some years ago I had an frightening experience causing tinnitus. Since that day I hear a constant 10368 Hz tone in my left ear. Some days are bad, some days good. Once in a while I go to an otologist for check-up, luckely I suffer no hearing loss, but I can’t stand lots of background noises anymore. I praise whoever invented earplugs!

Ear-plugs are my biggest friends. :D I always have those in my pocket next to my wallet and cigarettes ;)

Same prob here
Couple of months ago I bought this earlotion/potion to get rid of the earwax that was causing me a lot of trouble lately…few weeks later …bang .I heard everything crystal clear, just like that, while walking on the street , I felt like being reborn , really got rid of all the year old crap in my ears , at least I thought I have
Now a week ago , I woke up and almost didn’t hear anything in my right ear , high constant pitch noise …really driving me nuts …
Gonna check a specialist soon …cause I don’t like making music in mono !

You’ve been letting that shit go for a week? Are you crazy dude? Man, get that checked out ASAP… that’s important shit!!! :panic:

A review article on an AES convention lunchtime keynote…in summary, Beethoven and hearing loss, though not much is written in the article about cochlear implants which was part of the keynote…The article also mentions “percussionist Evelyn Glennie who has been profoundly deaf since the age of twelve”…Someone was kind enough to upload it on YT, its called Touch The Sound.

I fisrt have to receive some documents( anytime now) before going to the docter , otherwise it’ll cost me a lot of money .
But yeah , I’m definately going crazy , just woke up couldn’t hear a thing in my right ear .

Yeah you sound like a real health guru :lol:

I obviously can’t diagnose your problem, but with me there was definitely no obvious physical blockage or visible damage. (ie - it wasn’t a pile of earwax). That is why it may have been viral, or perhaps just noise trauma. I am leaning in the direction of viral becuase it was just so sudden and prounounced.

You can read about it on the web. Here is one page that I read:

If you read about experiences and people talking about it online they say that the specialist has implied that timeframe is an issue on having it looked at. Some specialists think that sterorids (prednisone) should be perscribed. It’s a corticosteroid which is used to reduce inflammation. There could be swelling in the ear canal that could be affecting your hearing, but there is debate about it’s effectiveness.

All I know is that if there was something that could help my hearing I wanted it, and I wanted it immediately. I didn’t want to mess around with that. In your case obviously I don’t know what your symptoms were, and even if I did I wouldn’t be qualified to give you advice. The only advice I can give you is that you really should get in there fast and get it looked at. I don’t know what country you are from, but my doctor told me that spontaneously losing your hearing is a medical emergency, so you can go to your hospital. I really hope your hearing clears up, I know what it’s like when it’s suddenly not there. If you have any questions about it let me know.

Thanks for your concern and all , well I am from belgium , so medical issues al are covered here ( when I receive my documents ) , but I have been living a
verry strange/gypsie like lifestyle tha last few years …and now I am starting to get most basic things in order …thats why I am waiting for those document’s .
Indeed it’s difficult if not impossible to give a diagnose over the internet ( which is dangerous too ) …but yeah the inside of the ear is swollen and kinda hurts , if I move apply presure around my ear , the hearing gets better …so I think it’s just really a huge pile of crap that’s still inthere somewhere .
On a psychological note …it does feel kinda comfortable to walk on the street and only hear some lowrumble background noise …gives me a feeling I am not reaaly there at all , but yeah I prefer to have my hearing back to normal …I’ll let you know ;)

Did you cleaned your ears roughly with cotton sticks?, sounds like otitis and using cotton sticks on the rough side (and sticking them too deep) is one way to get them in this state.
I had this problem once because i was that careless.

I now use the shower to clean my ears, a lot safer and less problems.

I just don’t clean my ear canal at all. The wax is supposed to be there… it’s a protective coating. I clear dry skin from the visible area with my fingernail, and that’s about it.

my dog cleans mine.he’s pretty good.he cleans me ALL OVER!!

What brand peanut butter did you used to pursuade your dog doing this?

That’s just wrong man.

… any nut butter will do.

you could be swallowed up…

Yes I have , in roughly a week time I’ll visit the doctor and let you all know …probably will not be that bad . :rolleyes:

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!??!!?! :o :o :o :panic: :panic: :panic: