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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 36178
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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My husband woke up on Sunday morning and had lost 80% of his

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My husband woke up on Sunday morning and had lost 80% of his hearing. (He is 78 and takes medication for labyrinthitis.) He already has mild hearing loss in one ear and mild tinnitus in the same ear dating back to his National Service 50 years ago and he wears a hearing aid on that side. This new hearing loss is in both ears and is almost total. He has seen his GP who has removed wax from his ears and says that things look normal, even though they obviously aren't, and has told him to leave things for a few days to see if it clears up. He is very worried that it could be permanent as his main hobby is classical music. What can we do?
Hi--any ear pain or any other symptoms? Is this a kind of muffling of his hearing?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi - sorry my internet connection broke down. No, there is no ear pain. Or any other symptoms apart from his head feels very 'full'. He hears things in a very distorted way which makes it uncomfortable to listen to tv, radio etc.

OK Davina. We can continue after this but obviously I would have him see an ENT right away for a full evaluation including an MRI of the head and hearing tests but for now I would give him a course of oral prednisone. This could be a Eustachian tube problem as in something called patulous tubes which are partially blocked. Since it happened suddenly I doubt it's due to an acoustic neuroma--a tumor of the auditory cranial nerve. The faster it's treated the more likelihood there is that it can be reversed
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. We have been given an appointment tomorrow morning at ENT Casualty. No-one so far has mentioned an MRI scan or oral steroids, but we can do that tomorrow.

Are there any other important questions we can ask the consultant? Thanks very much for your help so far. D.

Well of course ask about the possible causes here and what needs to be done going forward. Ask about a Eustachian tube problem since this happened so suddenly. Let me know how he does and please remember to rate my service to you Davina.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, - just one more question, if that's ok!

When my husband saw his GP on Monday about his loss of hearing, he was advised (as he was there) to have his annual flu jab and also a vaccination against shingles. This, I think, was a live vaccine.

He was prescribed prednisolone today at the hospital for his hearing loss, but we've read that he should not receive a live vaccine or come into contact with shingles while taking steroids.

As he has already received the vaccine, is it safe for him to take the prednisolone or not?

Many thanks for your patience!

No problem Davina. No problem if it's been two days since the vaccinations. The real problem with vaccinations while on a steroid is that they may not take--may not be effective--but once they are already in his system no problem with starting the prednisolone
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