Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

What's Causing My Hearing Loss?

Thursday, 08 July 2010 03:39 PM

Question: I am 66 years old. In November, I had three heart attacks and two stents. Later in December I had another stent put in. Three weeks later, I suddenly lost my hearing in the right ear. It went instantly and sounded like someone just slurped up the last bit of a drink. I have had an MRI and there is no sign of tumors or a bleed. The doctors do not know what has happened. The ear is so loud that sometimes I cannot even hear out of the left ear. Please let me know what you think.

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

You need to see an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist to establish what has caused your hearing loss and tinnitus (noise in ear). It could be a local problem related to disease or dysfunction of the external ear that can be corrected easily, such as infection or wax occlusion.

Or it may be due to deeper problem in the middle ear such as ear drum perforation or an inner ear dysfunction of the cochlea or even the nerve that leads to the ear. Remember that MRI will only reveal structure, and will not reflect function.

A good physical examination of your ear and a simple audiogram with air and bone conduction measurements will be very useful and will better define the origin of your problem. It would be unusual to find any association with your cardiac disease.

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