Turning a Deaf Ear - Meet Kiran Dinkar Atre, a 50 year old businessman and a recent a victim of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

This can happen to anyone of us. While you are busy at work, you may realize that one of your ears have turned deaf. Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL) affects 1 in a lakh population. It occurs all of a sudden, and so there are no early symptoms that you can watch out for.

Meet Kiran Dinkar Atre, a 50 year old businessman and a recent a victim of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss. Recently, one day while busy with his daily chores, he realized that he was having difficulty in hearing. “This sudden hearing loss developed rapidly over a couple of hours. Initially it involved both my ears. Later in the evening, left ear recovered to some extent. But, there was a ringing sound in my right ear throughout the day. I was not able to hear anything from the right ear,” said Kiran.

“Kiran was suffering from SSHL. Viral infection which affects the nerves, blood clot, and cut-off of blood supply or tumour on the single branch of nerve that connects the ear causes SSHL. The outcome is complete hearing loss that affects day to day activities of the affected and requires immediate medical intervention,” said Dr Santosh S, Consultant - Department of ENT & Head and Neck Surgery, Columbia Asia Hospital, Hebbal.

Medicines were prescribed and Kiran was asked to monitor the progress and report back in 48 hours. “However, after 48 hours, since there was no improvement, the doctor advised me to get pure tone audiometric test from nearby clinic. The reports said that I was affected with profound hearing loss, and had difficulty in hearing and understanding, even with amplifier,” elaborated Kiran.

Kiran rushed to the doctor with pure tone audiometric test report. He was immediately admitted at Columbia Asia Hospital, Hebbal.

“Kiran was taken for a minimal invasive surgery where he was treated with Intratympanic steroids, which are increasingly used in the treatment of inner ear disorders, especially in patients with Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss who have failed systemic therapy,” said Dr Santosh.  The treatment is generally with steroids where 0.5 ml of steroid is perfused or injected into the inner ear. Recovery in such cases can take any time between 48 hours and three weeks, he added.

The treatment with the Intratympanic steroids worked wonders for Kiran. Within one week, he was able to hear everything. However, on his doctor’s advice, Kiran will be on medication for the next two months for a total recovery.

“Kiran had about 90 per cent of hearing loss and at present he has regained his hearing ability by 60 per cent. Follow-ups are required every 10 days for two months to check if he has regained completely,” suggested Dr Santosh.

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