Sudden deafness vs ear infection?

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I picked up a bad cold on holiday (canary islands Spain) and when I flew back, my ears clogged up and I felt so much movement inside them, it was very scary. Then, after landing I lost about 70% hearing in my left ear. I had brief tinnitus which has now subsided thankfully. I am 30 years old by the way. My gp is treating it as an ear infection which is fair enough, as the ear drum is red, and a little painful. But, I am worried that it could be sudden sensorineural hearing loss which results in permanent hearing loss if not treated within 2-4 weeks. I put this to my gp and she never heard of the term as she sheepishly had to look it up. This is precisely why a lot of sufferers leave treatment too late because they are misdiagnosed and treated for a general ear infection, which is understandable I guess. Anyway, my point is, do I take the risk and just go with the general ear infection treatment of antibiotics, nasal spray, sudafed etc which I am on now or do I be more forceful and fearful that it could be sshl, which is classed as a medical emergency. The problem is many people are diagnosed too late to save their ears because they are initially diagnosed with more common text book things, which is understandable I guess as they are GP's and not God or specialists on the entire human body. Im thinking of going to a&e as my hearing has not improved, although my flu like symptoms have almost gone. The problem also is, that, they say that hearing could take a couple of weeks or more to recover after an ear infection, but this is also the window of opportunity in which sudden sensorineural hearing loss can be saved so you kind of only know in hindsight,having missed the opportunity to recover hearing from sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Sorry for the long post. I hope I explained myself properly. Its been a rough week rolleyes thanks in advance smile

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  • Posted

    Hello I would go to a ent doctor ASAP you don't want to risk also if you had a cold flew it could be your eusthian tube being closed off due to the pressure change from flying and the cold your ears will be blocked like you can't hear if is your tubes but I would not risk and go to a specialists because gp are not trained on ear things in depth hope this helps wish you luck

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  • Posted

    Hi Sidechain

    Having suffered with otitis media, I can confirm that indeed it took a month to recover...

    If you are that concerned, see out further medical intervention.

    kind regards

    judith

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  • Posted

    Hi you are absolutely right!! Book in to see an audiologist immediately or go to emergency (which can be a pain in the bum as you will possibly sit there waiting half a day.) When you phone the hearing clinic tell them you think you have a sudden hearing loss and want to be seen immediately. If they can they will. If not phone another clinic close to your home. If the results show the hearing loss is sensorineural and not conductive (middle ear) you can go back to a more experienced GP and get a script for steroids. Otherwise after the hearing test you can phone an ENT clinic and tell them it is sudden hearing loss so that they can see you immediately. Some GPs know exactly what to prescribe but if they are not sure, see an ENT. It is actually more helpful to be seen within 48 hours. Good luck!!!! smile

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  • Posted

    Thanks for the replies everybody. I was about to go to a&e but gave my GP one last shot, a different gp from last time and she seemed adamant and absolutely sure that this is not sensorineural hearing loss, but conductive. She did the tuning fork test which suggested also it was conducitive and said that I had a very typical Eustacian Tube blockage as the result from a flight/cold. She laughed off my suggestion about the possibility of nerve damage and how there is a two week(ish) window of saving your hearing from nerve damage and she said in her three decades of being a general practitioner and focusing a lot on ear abnormalities, that she had never come accross somebody who had nerve damage from an ear infection. She seemed very passionate and sure of herself and said don't always trust what you read on the Internet. I really don't know if I should go to a&e. Im basically putting a lot of trust in these GP's if I don't go to an ENT specialist

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  • Posted

    ***UPDATE*** My ear is much better today. It finally popped. Can't tell you how joyful it was. My hearing is much better, not 100% better but not far off. Sinuses feels a little congested still but it's been such a dramatic improvement today. Just waiting for the congestion to completely clear then I will have a hearing test to be on the safe side. Thanks to all who pushed me to be more forceful with my GP and seek an ENT, even though I didn’t end up seeing an ENT specialist due to my improvements. Thanks again and best of luck to everybody who is suffering smile

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