February 2, 2023
A woman we know recently experienced sudden spinning dizziness, tinnitus, and loss of hearing in one ear. She waited a few days to see if this would pass. After about four days of bed rest, she went to an urgent care center, where she was told to “wait and see.” She received no firm diagnosis, but filled a prescription for an antihistamine for dizziness. This woman lives in a rural area and reached out to one of our professionals, who is a family friend. We strongly urged her to seek the attention of an audiologist and otolaryngologist (ENT) in her area, in order to properly diagnose her condition and begin treatment as soon as possible.
She finally went to the ENT (ear, nose, and throat physician) and audiologist after three weeks. She was diagnosed with a vestibular (inner ear) balance disorder and one-sided loss of hearing. Steroids were prescribed, which we were hoping for. After completing the course of steroids, the condition improved. Decreased dizziness and improved hearing, which was confirmed via audiological testing. This woman had a good outcome; however, the doctors told her something important. She was lucky, due to a limited window of opportunity for treatment. Her treatment may not have been successful.
Inner ear disorders can affect hearing, balance, or both. They can affect either side or both. Often rapid onset cases require the fastest action for treatment. Many cases, like the one above, require steroids for inflammation. Other cases may require antibiotics for infection. In either of those cases, acting fast may spare your ears. A permanent loss of hearing or balance function is not the goal for anyone. Excessive ear wax can cause a sudden loss of hearing and increase tinnitus. This is not a serious condition, and we can clear the wax quickly and restore hearing. However, you can’t know the real cause until you let an ear professional check and test your ears.
You have relied on your hearing your whole life. It brings communication, safety, awareness of your surroundings, and music. Hearing connects people to people. It is unfortunate to lose the function of even one ear suddenly. Now you know it may be saved, but only if you act in a timely manner. Call Clear Choice Hearing and Balance immediately if you suspect a problem. Our Greece location can be reached by calling 585-723-3440, and our Henrietta location can be reached by calling 585-342-4327. You are also welcome to send us an email through our secure contact page. As always, we wish to keep you on a clear path to good hearing and ear health.