Did you wake up with hearing loss? Suddenly hearing a ringing, buzzing or crackling in your ear? Are you feeling dizzy or nauseated as a result of your recent onset ear symptoms?
We’ve heard it many times, and usually we are a secondary contact – that is, a patient has been to their primary care physician complaining of a sudden hearing loss or tinnitus (which often follows a few weeks after a cold or upper respiratory infection). Usually a course of antibiotics are given, and often nasal sprays. I’ve heard of everything including allergy medications and even diuretics. Weeks pass and when still there’s little to no improvement, a phone call to the Audiologist is made.
First and foremost, I’d like to mention that there are very few Audiological emergencies. A sudden hearing loss, sudden onset tinnitus or dizziness account for pretty well all of these emergencies.
If you are suddenly stricken with sudden onset hearing loss or tinnitus – which tends to be unilateral or in one ear, PLEASE do not hesitate to contact us immediately. Our schedules are wide open to accommodate your emergent situation, even if you have seen your physician or a walk in clinic. If you cannot come to see our Doctors of Audiology for an audiometric evaluation to document the hearing loss, please go to the Emergency Room at the nearest hospital. This sort of emergency is what the Emergency Room is for. You must see an Ear, Nose & Throat doctor as soon as possible, having had a hearing test will do nothing but expedite this process.
Treatment should begin on an emergent schedule, and usually consists of IV dextrose, and oral or intratympanic (through the ear drum) steroids. Sometimes an antiviral medication or Aspirin is prescribed. Studies show that the more urgently treatment has begun, the better the prognosis of having any hearing recovery.
Remember, that anything that suddenly changes in our body is not normal. You would never ignore it if you woke up blind in one eye. Contact our Doctors of Audiology should you be experiencing any sudden changes in your your hearing. Remember, time is of the essence.