About me and my blog

Hi, My name is Carly. I am 36 years old and I am currently living in Spain. I am originally from a small seaside town in Yorkshire called Bridlington, and have also lived in China and Thailand. I am an Early Years primary school teacher, and have been teaching for more than12 years. I love spending time with my sister and her boyfriend, walking in the countryside, getting lost in Madrid, my boyfriend, traveling, going out for breakfast, my family and friends, taking photos, listening to music, storytelling podcasts, baking, running, drinking wine, and eating spicy food.

In August 2016 I experienced sudden sensorineural hearing loss in my left ear. I started this blog as a way to inform my friends and family about my progress, for anyone else who is going through a similar experience as me, or for anybody who is interested in learning about this type of hearing loss, and the way it can affect everyday life.

52 thoughts on “About me and my blog”

  1. I look forward to reading about your journey, and I wish you all the best as you get used to this new situation in your life. Having been deaf all my life I can only imagine how scary it must have felt, but I hope already you have received the support and information you need to help move forward. I do have a number of deaf friends who are teachers so with a bit of patience and equipment as needed (don’t know how it works in Spain in the hearing department?) you’ll be able to continue in the job you love. Please feel free to ask any questions too 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello. Thank you so much for your kind and optimistic words. Also thank you for liking my blog. I will be seeing yet another specialist very soon for another opinion, and hopefully some help. I’ll look forward to reading your blog too, especially about your baking and running 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Carly and thanks for following my blog. I will be following yours with great anticipation to see how you are coping with your unusual hearing loss. I am impressed how willing you are to not get “homebound” by this unfortunate problem and continue to get out in the world, as frustrating as it sometimes can be. While not exactly the same circumstances, I can understand how the loudness is very uncomfortable for you. Even though I am hearing impaired, I am very sensitive to loud noises and cover my ears quickly when a siren goes by or there is loud music. Must be a natural reaction to protect the hearing I have left. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Your description of the visit for the hospital test was excruciating. I find hearing tests very depressing, so I just quit taking them I thought I had done well on the last one only to find out I only got 6 words right out of 25!

    I have been to Barcelona once, many years ago. I have promised my wife that some day I will take her there so we can see the “almost” finished Sagrada Familia. We have visited many cathedrals throughout Europe, but this will be the granddaddy of them all!

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    1. Hello Al. Thank you for following me too, and for the lovely message 🙂 I read a bit of your blog, where you were writing about how you find it difficult to hear certain letter sounds, and hence it’s difficult to hear words correctly. This must be very frustrating for you. I understand how you find hearing tests depressing. I feel the same. I have lost count of how many different types of hearing tests I have had during the last 6 months. At the beginning there was hope that things would improve, but now after every test I get told the same – that I cant hear in my left ear! – I could’ve told them that – no need for a test 😛 I will look forward to reading your future blog posts. it is interesting to read about other people’s experiences of different types of hearing impairment, and the similarities and differences to my experience. I hope you will be able to return to Barcelona one day and visit the Sagrada Familia with your wife 🙂 Take care. Carly

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Carly
    Small world, I live in Scarborough 🙂
    You have a good page here and one I will enjoy as I follow your story. I think it’s important share our experiences with other people, as this way we cease to feel we are existing in isolation.
    Take care.
    Cheers, Phil

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Phil 🙂 thank you for the comment. Yes, it is a small world! It’s nice to know I have a reader in Scarborough! …My parents actually still live in Bridlington! Yes, it’s really good to share our experiences. It can be difficult going through this and helping others to understand the change in the way noises sound, and the other issues such as tinnitus that often come with hearing loss. It’s nice to connect with people who are experiencing similar difficulties…I hope you are adjusting to your hearing aids, and I’ll look forward to reading your future posts. Take care. Carly

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Carly thanks for the follow and good luck with the blog. When my second daughter was about 8 years old she was diagnosed with a cholesteatoma in her right ear. Normally such things grow in a sack but when they opened up her ear they discovered it had grown over all her hearing bones. The result was she has no hearing in that ear but if I didn’t tell you, you would never know as she has learned to compensate. The irony of her is she works as an audiologist and is doing very well. She will be 37 years old this year….Best wishes…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello again Michael. What a wonderful comment! You have given me hope that I can eventually adjust to having only one hearing ear 🙂 Does your daughter wear a CROS hearing aid? I am glad she is doing well, and she must be a great audiologist; having a personal understanding of how it feels to have a hearing impairment. Take care. Carly

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  5. Hi, Carly, I came upon your blog through Jackie over at A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales and I wanted to stop by to say hello and introduce myself. I look forward to exploring your site and learning about your story. Have a good one! ~Steph

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  6. Wow, we have the same issues/similar issues in veterinary medicine. Diagnosing the exact process you lived through is extremely difficult in animals. They can’t tell what they are feeling or hearing. I am positively intrigued with your story. I guess my best 2 comparisons are vestibular disease and wobbler’s syndrome. We have had great success in horses correcting the spine in this. Vestibular disease sadly is not as successful. I do know 🙂 your cure is very close.

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      1. Yes it does. They are doing most of the surgeries in Denmark, I can fact check that for you if you give me time. Yes, animals definitely get sudden hearing loss for several reasons. Usually ear infections caused by food allergies if that helps.

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      2. Give me a couple days to get the studies from the doctors I know 🙂 Do know that sheep actually have the most similar spines as people. They are doing studies on plating lower lumbar vertebrae now in sheep, because the success rate in LL surgery in people is about 70%. Now upper cervical spine surgery is fantastic. Also, I highly recommend you see about stem cell research 🙂 I hope that helps 🙂 I would lose my mind if I could not hear music 😦 I am so sorry you have to deal with this.

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      3. Thank you. Any information is helpful! I can still hear music, but only in one ear and i have sensitivity to sound, which makes me not really want to listen to music anymore. I hope that one day, I will get used to the ‘loudness’ of music and be able to enjoy it again.

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  7. I Carley, I came over from Jacque’s party. It is kind of you to write your experience of hearing loss. The new ear thing was kind of disappointing, huh? I tried out hearing aids but gave up on them. I have some loss due to age. It is rather exasperating! But I am thankful that is only at the annoying stage. I hate having to ask people to repeat themselves. I’m marking your follow. Hope to see you more. Visit me if you have time. I write a bit of a lot of things – from humor to subjects like “hell.” I do some of the challenges, like haiku, and SSoC, nostalgia, and family issues. That is a range, isn’t it? I am a Christian so that is the perspective you will find. 😀

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    1. Hello Oneta. Thank you for visiting my blog, and for the comment. Yes, I had some very disappointing times with the hearing aid. At least I know I have tried them though…Sorry to hear about your hearing loss. Yes, it can be frustrating asking people to repeat themselves! Take care and I’ll visit your page too. Carly

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Carly,

    I too have lost all hearing in my left ear a year ago, and suffer with hyperacrusis. Apparently this is not uncommon, and is often caused by a virus. Usually one you don’t know you have, until you notice you can’t hear anything from one ear. Usually the treatment is large doses of steroids. If started immediately, the outcome is some return of hearing. However, this was not the case with me, and I am now profoundly deaf in my left ear. My hearing is too profound for a hearing aid and a cochlear implant comes with it’s own set of issues. One being, it uses magnets, ruling out future MRI’s as a diagnostic tool.

    I went through the whole gamete of tests, but they all proved negative, except my hearing test. ENT and audiologists agree it was a virus and it has damaged the nerves.

    As with you, a number of issues arose in my everyday life. Being pissed off is one of them. You see I play flute in a concert band, and who knew that to hear tone, you needed both ears. I am still struggling to play and often miss my cues but I am determined, so I continue.

    I am also a nurse. Lucky for me I had just changed jobs and now work in the community and not a noisy hospital setting. That too, I will not give up. I have had to adapt.

    I too have that horrible feeling of fullness, and suffer pain with loud noises. Forget going out for coffee or dinner, almost an impossible task. It leaves me anxious, nauseated and teary from concentrating so hard on conversation, and trying to block out white noise.

    I have cried with the unfairness, pain and frustration. People say but you two ears. What don’t they get?! You don’t just loose half your hearing. You loose so much more. I have nearly been run over, not hearing cars behind me in car parks and I have no idea where a sound is coming from.

    On the up side, I have never slept better in my life!!! Put my good ear to the pillow, and nothing.

    I hope you are able to adjust eventually. Some days I struggle, but I am getting there.

    Regards, Jenanne.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jenanne. I know I’m not Carly, but I just wanted to introduce myself. I just found this blog and your story is so similar to mine. You have expressed exactly how I feel at times. But just like you, I am determined to not let it stop me from doing what I’ve always done. And one of those things is singing on the praise team at my church! 🙂 It is definitely more of a challenge, but I’m not giving it up without a fight! I’m on my 8th year dealing with this, so I know it is doable. The frustration will always be there, but I promise you, it will slip more and more into the background. Hang in there!

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    2. Hello Jenanne
      I’m so sorry, I didn’t reply to you…somehow I missed you comment.
      Your story is very similar to mine. It is also my left ear that is affected, and now has no functional hearing (also not enough for a regular hearing aid).
      You sound like a very determined person, and i can only start to imagine how difficult it is to play the flute after your hearing loss. Isn’t it funny how music sounds so different now? My favourite songs don’t sound as good anymore, and it often takes me quite a while listening to the introduction of a song before realising what it is…whereas previously i would have been able to identify a known song within seconds!
      I wonder ho you are getting on? Are you adapting? I still find that my hearing loss is at the front of my attention everyday as it affects so many things. I struggle most with the pressure in my ears and the sensitivity to sound…
      Anyway, i just wanted to say hello, and sorry I missed your comment.
      I hope you are doing ok.
      Take care

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    3. Jenanne, I just read your story. I also am a nurse. I lost my hearing in my left ear 7 weeks ago. Had the steroids and the steroid injections with no help. I spoke with someone about the CROS aid but I am leery because I have heard nothing positive about it. It also is an out of pocket expense of 1800. Which doesnt help because I have been off work. Short term disability was not approved because I had recently changed jobs. So now I am doing paperwork and phone calls at the surgery Center and I HATE it. I also dont now how long they will let me do that job since it is not a real position just one that they just created for me temporarily. My question for you is how long did it take you to get your balance back? I am doing Balance therapy and do the exercises but I still cannot go up and down and side to side quickly, dizziness and balance issues constantly…. I know that they say your brain will adapt but how long does it take and will I really adapt fully? The constant low buzz in my ear is also an issue and there are many places that I know I will never be able to go to again…Concerts, churches with organ music and Basketball games to name a few. Big loud restaurants are awful also. I am just trying to get used to this without feeling sorry for myself but it is hard. Any advise would be helpful. I cannot get an address for this blog but my email is cathynelson97@gmail.com. Please let me know if you get this message. Thanks so much. Cathy

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Carly and thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I love your writing and follow your story as I very much relate to your issues. Adjusting for me to the reality of living deaf in a hearing world is the toughest challenge I have ever encountered. As I move from deaf advocate to almost an activist, I fall prey to the pissed off emotional spray that we go through. Deaf overnight was almost easy for me, but 10 years later I seem to be in rabbit warren of emotional angst. I look forward to your posts and welcome your wonderful writing and perspective.

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    1. Hi David,
      Thank you for following, and for the lovely comment 🙂
      Yes, there are definitely a lot of challenges in adjusting to living in a hearing world, after experiencing a hearing loss. I think the best thing we can do is try to explain to people about how our hearing loss affects us, and the way we communicate…That’s not to say that all people will be understanding, or even interested…but at least we can try 🙂
      I’m so glad you like my writing, it’s something i really enjoy doing now, and something I only discovered I enjoyed since losing my hearing.
      Best wishes to you too, and I hope to have some time soon to pop by your blog also – I think we share some very similar experiences 🙂
      Take care, Carly

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I am now on day 20 of my left side sudden hearing loss and I am totally deaf in this ear, with no response to treatment it appears likely to be permanent. Reading your blog is reassuring to know that I am not the only one. Untill now I have tried to explain to friends that being deaf in one ear is nothing like you would imagine but really debilitating and it continues to make me feel totally disconnected to the world. I hope over time I will learn how to listen and that distinguishing between sounds will become a bit easier. My real worry is that the other ear may also beome affected!!! Thank you for your blog and sharing your experiences. I wish you all the best for the future.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Liz. Thank you for reading and for your comment. I am sorry to hear you are going through this. Your story sounds very similar to mine. I am glad you could find some reassurance in my blog…Yes, it is so difficult to explain to others how this all feels. In fact, the best way I have been able to communicate all my feelings and challenges is through writing this blog… You are so right – being deaf in one ear is so much more than the effect of just plugging one ear. In my case, there are so many other accompanying issues to my hearing loss – ear pressure, tinnitus, dizziness, sensitivity to sound and exhaustion!! Have you got any of these other issues? How did you lose your hearing?
      This is a difficult time to be going through, and one that others may find it difficult to empathize with. Be kind to yourself. It’s OK to feel sad – we have to grieve the loss of our hearing, and this takes time.
      If it is of any comfort, I am finding that although my hearing hasn’t improved, things are seeming more ‘normal’ to me. It’s amazing how our bodies can adapt to situations. Give yourself time you need to deal with this, and speak to those closest to you about how all this feels. I too, have the worry that this will happen in my right ear, and I’m not sure how to get past this…I’m still figuring things out…
      Thinking of you and wishing you all the best for the future. Please feel free to email me on my contact page if you ever want to talk more about your hearing loss or experiences.
      Best wishes

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Carly,

    My name is Terri, and I also am a teacher. I will be beginning my 29th year of teaching in a couple of weeks. (4th grade). And I am also in the middle of my 8th year dealing with almost exactly the same thing you deal with. I have to try to give you the short version of my story, and to be honest, it probably won’t be short, and I understand if you aren’t able to take the time to read it all. It’s just nice to have a forum to express myself with others who understand.

    My doctors think that my unilateral hearing loss stemmed from a sinus infection I had that damaged the nerves in my right ear. For the first 4 years a regular hearing aid helped greatly sending the tinnitus I was experiencing to the background. However, in 2014, I got the flu with more fluid in my ears. I had my first and only debilitating vertigo attack and couldn’t move off my bed for 3 hours because of the dizziness. When I woke up the next morning I was “off” and could tell something happened with my hearing. I tried to go to school, but soon realized that I couldn’t do it. I was bumping into things and losing my balance. After an emergency trip to my ENT and then the audiologist, my hearing loss had gotten even more severe . . . and so did the tinnitus. I also started experiencing vertigo attacks where I would get nauseous turning over in bed. To top it off, I was “leaning” quite often and my word recognition had decreased. Of course, the over sensitivity to noise was the icing on the cake. Because of that, my hearing aid was useless. The tinnitus was my biggest obstacle in the beginning because it changed my mood. My poor students had to deal with a very ornery and impatient teacher that year. But I discovered a sound therapy called “Sound Cure” from a licensed audiologist who specialized in tinnitus. (http://www.hearingreview.com/2014/09/study-shows-soundcures-s-tones-effective-quieter-volumes-broadband-noise/) It GREATLY helped my brain habituate the tinnitus, and while it was still there nice and loud, it wasn’t changing my mood as much. I will still use it once in awhile when I feel the tinnitus overpowering me. (I would definitely recommend this treatment to anyone dealing with debilitating tinnitus.) Anyway, fast forward to the fall of 2017. I still get an audiogram every year. Frankly, the process fascinates me. Well, my hearing hasn’t changed, but my word recognition is at 0%. This has made the last year or two in the classroom very difficult. Like everyone else, I try to avoid noisy situations, but that is impossible in the classroom. I’ve been to specialists, I’ve had every test done, including dizziness testing to look at the nerves in the inner ear. Just like almost everyone else, the doctors aren’t sure what happened. They THINK it was a virus, but they’re not sure. The one thing they all agree on is that there is nothing to be done except try to live with it. After this last round of testing, I am done trying to figure it out. My next journey is to help the quality of my life become better. I have not stopped doing what I was doing before this started in 2010. I have worked through most of the frustrations and have really learned not to beat myself up when I make mistakes (and there are many! Haha!). I am learning to wait out the panic attacks that come when I get overwhelmed by the noise. Sometimes I have to excuse myself to go to a quiet room or outside for a few minutes, but it always passes. And my next step is trying a CROS hearing aid. That is actually how I found your blog. I read your experience with this and look forward to reading more of your experiences.

    I am so sorry to take up so much of your time, but if you have read this far, I want to thank you. I have a very close circle of friends and family who are supportive, but it is much different talking to someone who is dealing with the same thing. Just writing this has felt like a big release. 🙂 Thank you, Carly, for putting yourself out there and describing your experiences so eloquently. You give a voice to many who don’t really have one.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Terri

      Thank you so much for reading my blog and for the detailed comment. Please don’t apologize for the length of your story. It is always great to hear from other people with similar experiences to mine, and I always have so many questions for people about their stories.

      Your message is so positive and reassuring, not only to me, but I’m sure for anyone else who stumbles across my blog. It gives so much hope to know that you are carrying on with your life as a teacher despite the challenges you now face. You are obviously a very strong person and I too am trying my best to continue to live my life as ‘normally’ as I can. Just reading your message gives me some comfort in knowing that there is someone in the same profession as me who knows the difficulties experienced in working in a school environment, after a hearing loss whilst dealing with the other issues that can arise after losing your hearing. Your story does seem so similar to mine.

      Thank you for recommending the Sound Cure therapy. For me, the tinnitus isn’t too bothersome, apart from sometimes at night, I find the pressure sensation more difficult to cope with . But I know there are people who read my blog who find the tinnitus is the hardest thing to cope with, and so any recommendation of a therapy that really helps will, I’m sure, be really valuable to them.

      I am glad you found me through my CROS aid post, although my experience wasn’t a very successful one, and I fear it may sound quite negative. However, I have read of many other people having a really good experience from the CROS aid, and I have my fingers crossed for you. I actually wonder whether the aid was fitted correctly for me…maybe I will revisit this at some point in the future. I’d be really interested in whether you find it helps you.

      I’m really happy that you could find some interest/ comfort in my blog, and it would be great to hear how you get on in the future.

      Best wishes

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hello again Terri
      I just wanted to let you know that I have set up a forum connected to my blog. Quite a few people over the past year or so have contacted me with their stories of hearing loss.
      I have set up the forum to provide a space for people to share their stories with each other, give each other support and advice, and to hopefully make some friends. This was an idea I got from your comment 🙂

      Here is a link to the forum: https://myhearinglossstoryforum.wordpress.com/

      If you would like to share your story, contribute to discussion, or just meet some people who may be dealing with similar hearing issues to you or a loved one, please feel free to introduce yourself in my forum by typing into the text box at the top of the page. As it is new, I’m still a bit unsure of how the format will work…please let me know if you have any problems accessing it.

      I hope to see you soon in my new forum!
      Take care

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Carly,

    Thanks for writing this blog! I came across it after looking for experiences with CROS aids – they sound awful. Have read the whole thing, you’ve really been through the ringer!!

    I am deaf in my left ear too, but probably have a bit more hearing than you do – moderate deafness in low frequencies, to profound at higher frequencies. If I block my right ear, it sounds like I’m at the bottom of a swimming pool. If someone is talking on my deaf side and I don’t turn to face them or cup my right ear with my hand, I can understand them if there is absolutely no background noise and I concentrate super, super hard (but if we are walking I will probably trip!)

    Had hearing aids as a kid but they never really worked. If they were turned up loud enough to make a difference they hurt and irritated me, and just made all the background noise louder so it was harder to hear with them on. Plus they physically made my ear ache with the hardness and wearing them made my ear develop disgusting slime over the course of a day. As I read about BAHAs recently I went to an audiologist to get a new test and see if I could get one – because I have some hearing in my left she thinks I won’t be a good candidate – but traditional aids never did me any good either 😦 And from your experience it looks like CROS aids are no good! But she said I could still get a referral to an ENT to see what a specialist thinks, so maybe still some hope of a BAHA.

    Have you tried investigating a BAHA? They sound amazing – no crap in your ear to cause pain or generate slime, and no washing out gross ear moulds filled with wax. I guess you are still hopeful they can work out what actually happened to you and treat it, whereas for me my hearing loss has been constant my whole life so I don’t have that same hope (even before the audiologist showed me my hearing graph I knew exactly what it would look like, despite my last one being more than 20 years ago). You probably don’t want to have undergone surgery for something you might not need in the future. But, you could try the BAHA softband – even if you don’t want to do the surgery, it could be a long-term solution in itself (just not as powerful as getting the surgery). Personally, I think it would be fabulous to be able to beam music directly to my head and wear custom moulded earplugs to block all outside noises! And just generally everyday, your phone can ring inside your head even when it is in another room so you never miss a call again. And if you want to watch a TV show while your boyfriend is sleeping, simply stream it to your BAHA and have the main volume off. Even if you regain your hearing in the future, how awesome would that be?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Erin, and thank you for reading and for the comment,

      It sounds like you have also been through a lot, especially your experience of hearing aids as a child. I just wondered, when did you last try a normal hearing aid? I only ask this because, if you have some hearing in your left ear, then maybe it is worth trying a normal aid again to amplify the sound. Hearing aid technology has come on a lot in the past few years and are better at filtering out some background noise, helping with tinnitus etc. – I only know this from all the internet searching I do. Sorry if this is something you know and have already tried recently – I know that finding a hearing aid can be a difficult and often frustrating task…

      I am not hopeful that I will gain any hearing back. I have been told there isn’t any chance of that ever happening as my inner ear system just doesn’t work anymore. I have read about the BAHA and other people’s experiences of the aid, but have never been offered a trail (the headband). I think the reason could be because when I have the bone conduction hearing test, where they put the bone conductor behind the ear and play the sounds, I can’t hear any better this way. I think the BAHA relies on the cochlear working inside the inner ear, and I think mine doesn’t. If I’m wrong about this, the other reason that I haven’t been offered it is probably because this kind of aid (+operation) can be expensive. I don’t have the money for this.

      However, I am very interested in this device and other people’s stories. I also think it would be amazing to be able to ‘hear’ again on my left side, and to stream music directly into the aid – I’m actually smiling right now at the thought of it 🙂

      Regarding the CROS aid, I was so hopeful that it would help me, and was sad that it didn’t. I even liked just wearing the hearing aid so that I had some visible evidence of my hearing loss! – But it really didn’t help me, and I had to return it. I have read people’s success stories of this type of aid though, so please don’t just consider my story as a reason not to try. I think all hearing devices are worth a try in our position, and different things work for different people.

      I’d be really interested to know if you are able to try the soft-band, and be considered for the surgery. I have my fingers crossed for you finding some aids with your hearing, and would love to know that you have found something that helps you 🙂
      Best of wishes


    2. Hi Erin,
      I have had my Cros system for about 3 weeks. I don’t really like it. I don’t feel like I have noticed any difference at all. Yesterday I was at a big home show in the big arena and my husband was talking to me on my bad side and I could tell he was saying something but I could not tell what he was saying. So as far as I’m concerned it’s not any better than without the CROS. I may send it back because it was $1,200. Good luck in your search life sucks with no hearing in one ear. But I guess it’s better than the alternative. Oh by the way the analogy of being under the water the bottom of the pool is a really good one. That’s how it feels like all the time in my left ear. Thanks Cathy


  13. Hi Carly,

    It’s been 3 and a half years since I lost the hearing in my left ear. While shortly after that, I had done a lot of reading about the condition, I had never done a google search with the terms “single-sided hearing loss.” For some reason, I had the urge to do that today and discovered your blog. I’ve read your initial posts and felt great sympathy for what you endured in those early days.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts and to hearing the upcoming radio documentary on the BBC site.

    Here’s my story. I am retired, now 63. I had started to learn to play the clarinet and had been taking lessons. One Friday evening, as I finished up my practice session, I went upstairs as my wife had recently returned home. Something was suddenly strange. I had a very loud ringing in my ear and it seemed that I could not hear her very well. We soon discovered that I had no more hearing in my ear.

    I went to bed that night thinking that it might clear up on its own. Unlike you, I did not experience any pressure in my head. However, I awoke in the middle of the night with a severe bout of vertigo. I became nauseated and was unable to balance after trying to stand up.

    The next morning, I googled the term “sudden hearing loss.” One of the first things I read said that this should be considered an “emergency situation.” So we drove to the emergency room. The ER doctors didn’t know much about it, so they called a specialist who suggested that I see a specialist on Monday, it being Saturday. They did prescribe an anti-viral medication on the basis that a virus is sometimes the cause of the loss.

    On Monday, I saw a specialist and they started with a sequence of steroid pills. After a couple of weeks and another hearing test, they moved on to injecting steroids directly through the ear drum. If I recall correctly, they did this 3 times over a period of 10 days or so. After returning to the specialist to follow-up after the last injection and having another hearing test, the doctor basically shrugged and said that it’s not likely that my hearing would return.

    When I asked about the clarinet playing and if the pressure of blowing into it might be some cause for the loss, he said that it was not.

    I went to see another specialist at a university hospital, had another hearing test, and got the same…we don’t know what causes it and it’s not likely to return.

    Fortunately for me, I am retired and don’t have to be subjected to a noisy office or other environment. I also have significant tinnitus. Again, fortunately, unless I think about it or give it any attention, I forget about it…unless of course I’m in a loud environment and it competes for attention with people talking to me.

    My wife and son are used to it now and walk on my right side without having to remind them. And like another one of your posters, I love that I can put my good ear to the pillow and not hear a thing if it’s noisy at night.

    My only worry is that I fear I may be disengaging from community connection more than I realize. I’m doing my best to combat that, but it seems to be one of the side effects of this loss, especially since no one can tell that I have the problem.

    Thanks for listening and I look forward to reading all of your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bob, it’s funny how I feel when I hear your story. That’s almost exactly what happened to me. 60 years old working in the yard and felt like I had water in my ear, took a shower, thought it would get better. Sydden vertigo and nausea. I did the oral steroids I did the steroid injections and absolutely nothing helped. I have the tinnitus in my left ear and like you when I’m in loud places I feel like I’m totally out of it because I can’t hear anything with all of the competition of the different noises. I also find it very difficult to figure out where noise is coming from. I guess it’s because everything is going into the right idea. Being outside seems to be the best because there’s no reverb off of the ceilings. I recently have tried the CROS system. But I am sending it back because I don’t feel like it helps me in any way. Plus wearing devices in two ears is very annoying. My family is getting used to the same thing…walking on my right side etc. I do not envy the younger people who suffer with this. I would hate to have to live with this in a work environment for a lot of years it would be very stressful. Retirement in 2 years it’s something I look forward to especially because of this . Good luck in your journey. Cathy

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Cathy! What is interesting is that in many of the stories I’ve read about losing hearing in one ear, most seem to lose it in their left ear. This is not a scientific observation, but just what I seem to come across. I wonder if there’s anything to that.

        I completely sympathize with your experience with tinnitus in loud places. It can be quite frustrating, especially if you are part of a group of people and are trying to speak to them across the full 180 degrees of visibility.

        Thanks again for your thoughts.


        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hello Bob, and welcome to my blog 🙂
      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your story.

      As with many people’s stories of sudden hearing loss, I see similarities in our experiences. I had a screeching sound in my head when I lost the hearing in my left ear. I also had severe vertigo when it first happened. I had the steroids and the injections, and then was told that there wasn’t anything else they could do to try and help me recover any hearing. It’s so difficult to accept, especially when it first happens, isn’t it? The specialists only have a limited amount of research to work with regarding sudden hearing loss, and the main treatment is the steroids. When/if these don’t help, then it’s difficult to find anyone with any other suggestions. I remember thinking that if the specialists didn’t know what caused this, then how do they know it will be permanent?

      People who are close to me know to walk on my right side so that I can hear them, and with people who don’t know me that well, I circle around them making sure I keep them on my ‘good’ side!

      I’m curious as to whether you also have a sensitivity to sound? Do you wear a hearing aid/CROS aid?

      I really identify with you when you say you may be disengaging from the community connection. I think this is quite normal after a hearing loss, and it is good that you have identified this. I am still trying to work out ways to be more social. It’s not easy, and listening to anyone, especially amongst background noise, is always an effort. Now I avoid large groups of people, and this means missing things like birthday party lunches. I find the noise overwhelming, and can only ever have a conversation with the person sitting next to my good ear. I don’t feel like I can be part of the general chat at the table.

      I have however, started to make more of an effort to meet friends in one-to-one situations – in a quiet café or in my/their home. I find that since I have to concentrate so hard to listen to them, that I am actually paying more attention than perhaps I would have done before my hearing loss. Also, because it is just me and them, we really have a chance to properly talk to each other. I even feel that some of my friendships have strengthened since my hearing loss, because of this extra effort I am making – though, this isn’t true for all my friendships.

      Like you said, nobody can see our hearing loss, and I find that even if people know about it, they will often forget. There are a few people who really try to understand and try to communicate in the best way possible. I have started to tell new people, often as soon as I meet them, that I can’t hear in my left ear. Sometimes it makes things a little easier.
      I hope you have supportive friends and family.

      Thank you again Bob, for commenting, and I wish you a lovely day 🙂


      1. Hi Carly,

        Thanks for your very thoughtful reply to my story.

        It was definitely hard to accept that this condition would be permanent, especially after hearing it from the 2nd doctor. At this point, I’m largely over the disappointment.

        As to sensitivity to sound, I think that my hearing was very good before the loss. I remember as a child being very sensitive to loud noises. One example that I can recall is that whenever I was at a concert and was close to the speakers or the band itself, I would find loud snare drums to be overwhelming.

        I have not tried any of the CROS devices. Since I’m not in an office or crowded environment much of the time, I figured that I’d prefer to find other coping strategies.

        As unfortunate as the hearing loss has been, I have found a few bright spots, one of which I mentioned in my story.
        – I can eliminate All sound at night if I put my good ear to the pillow
        – I use Apple Airpods and I only need one of them; and if the “right” one runs low on battery, I can fit the “left” in my right ear and it works pretty well
        – While loud places are not great, if I’m properly positioned, all the noise coming from my left gets tuned out automatically

        The downsides include all the usual:
        – I feel less safe in parking lots and have to be extra careful of cars approaching from my left; early on, I was nearly hit by a car (twice)
        – I used to sing in a church choir and enjoyed it (was not very good), but with the loss, I hear a lot more vibration in my head when I try to sing; this makes it harder for me to hear myself to gage whether or not I’m in tune
        – Tinnitus really stinks, though I feel fortunate that I have largely ignored it; that said, I really wish it would go away

        Early on when discussing the issue of people not knowing of my issue with my wife, I made a silly suggestion that they should make an “ear patch” to wear over the non-functioning ear…sort of like people who wear eye patches over a non-functioning eye. You could even make them somewhat stylish.

        Friends and family are very supportive. For friends that I don’t see very often, I usually have to remind them, but that’s not a big deal.

        Thank for your blog. It’s very nice to have an extended supportive community to engage with.

        Warm regards,

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Bob,
        You have made me smile with the idea for an ear patch! I’d definitely wear one, and would want something written on there, such as – ‘this ear doesn’t work’! It would actually be really good to have some visible sign to give people, to let them know I have a hearing loss, instead of having to always explain to them.
        Best wishes

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hi Bob,
        I always tell people that “my right ear is the right ear” meaning that’s the correct ear to talk in to. So my friends at work are finally starting to get it and remember that. Also I wanted to say I turned my CROS system back in today. I had it for 45 days and now that I’ve turned it in at least I get most of my money back. The reason I did not like it is that I didn’t feel like it made that much difference. The sounds on the left we’re still dull and muffled even though I was hearing them in my right ear it’s hard to describe. Also the thought of having two things in my ears for the rest of my life every day along with the cost and upkeep of them was not really appealing to me. Maybe because I’m just getting used to it. Good luck with your adventure,,, Cathy


  14. Hi Carly, I have been suffering from single sided hearing loss since Dec 2016. It’s been really tough and one of the worst part here is that it’s almost impossible to explain to others as to what one is going through. So yes, when I read your blog can totally connect and understand. For me too, over time, more than the hearing loss it is the sound sensitivity & tinnitus which is having a big impact on my day to day life. Don’t feel like stepping out of the house. I can definitely see that my ability to multitask has reduced. Only positive outcome here has been that I have picked up a camera and started photography. Of course am shooting mostly landscapes where there is no noise! You can see some of my snaps here – https://raviabburi.com/
    Cheers and good luck ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ravindra,
      Thank you for your comment.
      You had your hearing loss not long after I had mine.
      You are right, it is very difficult to explain what sudden hearing loss and it’s after effects feel like. Sound sensitivity and tinnitus are also things I find difficult and very tiring.
      I have looked at your photos and there are some beautiful images. You capture so much calmness and tranquility.
      It’s funny, I started writing because of my hearing loss. Let’s take comfort in the new things we love as a result of our losses 🙂
      Best of wishes

      Liked by 1 person

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