Suddenly I was deaf – It just came out of the blue!

As Chris Cooper switched on the car ignition to begin his half-hour journey home, a loud, unexplained humming began in his ears. By the time he drew up outside his home near Winchester, he could barely hear the music on his car radio. ‘The sound was like a lawnmower, and at first I thought it was coming from outside,’ says Chris, 54, a business director. ‘I turned up the radio but couldn’t hear the music. ‘I began to panic, but tried to reassure myself that I probably had wax in my ear.’The next morning Chris was still barely able to hear a thing, and when his wife Gill, 50, spoke to him it sounded like ‘a muffled Dalek’.

He was shocked to be told that he had suffered sudden sensorineural hearing loss, or sudden deafness — a condition which affects thousands of Britons each year, and which can occur without warning, affecting one or, as in Chris’s case, both ears. Chris had never heard of the condition before.

The condition can be triggered by various things, says Andrew Camilleri, ear, nose and throat surgeon at the University Hospital of South Manchester and the Alexandra BMI Hospital in Cheshire. ‘The blood supply to the ear may be suddenly cut off by a blood clot or thrombosis in the cochlear artery. ‘This can happen randomly, though the overweight, elderly and those with a history of vascular problems are also more at risk. Sudden hearing loss can even be triggered by a virus, such as a cold, which can go on to attack the ear, damaging blood vessels and the cochlea.  Or a bacterial infection can also trigger it.

Modern medicine is yet to offer any real hope, other than a cochlear transplant — a surgically electronic hearing device, often referred to as a bionic ear — to those who are profoundly deaf in both ears.

Patients are unlikely to get full hearing and have to wear a microphone, speech processor and radio transmitter coil.

This has left Chris with no choice but to get used to life without clarity of sound.

‘At first I just thought this is so bloody unfair. And I desperately wish I’d have been treated sooner.

‘But I tell myself lots of people have far worse disabilities, such as losing limbs or their sight. I used to be a windsurfer instructor, and when I really want some therapy I go sailing.

‘Out there with nature I can enjoy the silence.

‘In everyday life I have no other choice but to endure it, so I do the best I can.’

If you have any questions about hearing loss contact Hidden Hearing.

Source Daily Mail: Read More >

Sudden Hearing Loss the facts!

Most people think of hearing loss as a congenital condition or something that happens slowly over time as we age. However, a startling number of people actually fall victim to a severe hearing loss out of the blue and without warning. This condition is called sudden hearing loss (SLH), and it can be mysterious and alarming to those affected by it.

Facts:

*The loss is experienced immediately or over a short period of time, up to three days.

*Sometimes it is accompanied by a loud pop or sound in the ear.

*Many people report dizziness or vertigo.

*Up to 70 percent report experiencing tinnitus, a buzzing or ringing in their ears.

In most cases, professionals are uncertain of the cause of the sudden loss. It remains one of medicine’s greatest mysteries. This sudden loss happens either with or without pain. Sometimes it happens after attending an event like a concert or a fireworks show, sometimes this sudden loss happens after taking prescription drugs or with head trauma, an allergic reaction or certain viral infections.

Statistics:

*SHL is rare, occurring in an estimated five to twenty individuals per ten thousand annually.

*Ninety percent of those who suffer from SHL are affected in only one ear.

*Only 10 to 15 percent of people know the cause of their SHL.

Some people regain their hearing over a relatively short amount of time without any treatment at all, but about 15 percent experience loss that worsens over time. Steroid treatments will benefit some and in certain cases surgery will be recommended. For those that don’t respond to these treatments, hearing aids can help to regain some or all of the hearing.

Successful treatment depends on the immediacy of treatment. If you wake up with sudden hearing loss, get to a doctor right away. An ear, nose, and throat specialist is best trained to address this loss.

If you have any questions about SHL or any type of hearing question contact Hidden Hearing.