Discussions By Condition: Ears, Nose, Mouth & Throat conditions

Sudden Deafness --- treatment , diagnosis

  • Posted By: GlennF2000
  • June 9, 2009
  • 05:15 AM

I need fast information.
The facts:
Mother 80 yrs old, went virtually completely deaf in both ears last Thurs. I took her to an ENT guy and primary care doctor Friday. They recommended a hospital stay until Sunday. They treated her for a infection in the ears and low sodium as well as general weakness. She threw up and had pain in her neck Friday.

Background : She has a sky high platelet count which theyve been treating with Hydroxyurea and Chlorambucil but stopped 2 weeks ago because theyve been relatively ineffective.

Shes been complaining about neck and head pains for months. She fell 6 months ago and hit the back of her head on a wall but they didnt find any major problems but shes been complaining about head and neck pains. Its not clear if its due to that or the platelets.

She had a series of infections 6 months ago,the chemo drugs are suspicious --- dont they cause immune system weakness? The complicating factor is , fearful of meds she only took the chemo intermittently . not regularly like the doc recommended. She had a lifethreatening fever which left her frail, 6 mos ago and then had a severe case of shingles and subsequent fevers. She stabilized after an emergency room incident but it left her voice hoarse and weak in general, unable to walk without assistance.

Complaining about ear aches she did see an ENT 4-5 months ago a few times who gave her antibiotics and said she has to live with her pain.

Currently -- last week she threw up Friday, with all that background complicating things, and was totally deaf. In the hospital all they did was a hearing test and visual inspection by another ENT. He had vague comments saying its rare for both ears to go deaf and she had an infection but it probably wasnt the cause of the deafness. Come back in a week was his recommendation and antibiotics. He seemed clueless. The primary care doc I took her to later agreed to a basic (non-contrast Cat Scan) after doing some basic co-ordination tests to rule out a massive stroke.

The Cat Scan they say doesnt show any big stroke.

They asked me if the bump on her head was always there. She did have some small bumps on the top of her head, trivial - so I said yes. She comes home and I notice a HUGE swelling at the back of her head towards the base of the neck. Its blue and red in some spots. I then called the hospital with the news and after questioning her through writing I find out she FELL and hit her head 2 days before the deafness and throwing up. I then call the primary care doc and hospital again and they seem very laid back about the whole thing as usual. They say the story doesnt change, they had a basic Cat scan and it doesnt show bleeding so , no big deal --- make appointments in a week.

My problem with that --- some websites on Sudden Deafness say its critical to aggressively treat it very quickly. These docs either say its not their field of expertise so they dont seem to care at all and point to the basic Cat Scan I urged them to do or the ENT seems to act like its some crazy things even suggesting that it might be psychological. Is he totally out of the loop in recent SD info? I did see a site that said 2/3 of SD cases seem to get better on their own and docs generally dont know what causes many cases so its better to leave it alone while other sites say you must treat it quickly.

Im going tomorrow to another ENT for a second opinion. Are there any other tests that may look into the middle/inner ear or brain to see if there are any problems from the fall? Any new treatments?

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