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hearing loss
Jan 18, 2010

I need additional information to a question previously posted at this forum. I've just been diagnosed with significant (and sudden) asymmetrical hearing loss. I've had no trauma, ear infection, family history, tinnitus, or balance problems, just a noticeable loss of hearing acuity in one ear (confirmed by hearing test). In another post there was mention of sensorineural hearing loss associated with HIV. I'm a 60 year old male, clinically stable since 2001 on second line therapy (Kaletra, Viread, Viramune and Epzicom) with no other health issues.

If this hearing loss is caused by virally induced nerve damage, I assume it's irreversible and there is no treatment (other than a hearing aid if it gets worse). Am I right?? My specialist has ordered an MRI to rule out a neuroma but he said I have a better chance of winning the lottery than him finding a neuroma.....which, I guess, is reassuring. Thanks for any additional information.

Response from Dr. Henry

HIV nerve damage resulting in unilateral hearing loss can occur but is distinctly uncommon and less so in persons with decent CD4 counts and good viral suppression. There are many non-HIV causes of hearing loss that would merit consideration including the history of excessive noise exposure, Menieres disease, acoustic neuromas and many others that can be a challenge to diagnose and effectively treat. KH



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