In August 2016, Carly Sygrove experienced a sudden hearing loss. Unfortunately, she didn’t make an appointment to see her doctor until a week later, when her hearing had not recovered. If she had acted on her hearing loss quicker she might have had a chance to regain some of hear hearing. Therefore, Carly’s advice to others is clear: Immediately go to a doctor if you notice any sudden loss of hearing.
The 35-year-old Briton Carly Sygrove lives in Madrid, Spain. On 29th August 2016, she went to an auditorium to hear a presentation and out of nowhere she heard a loud screeching sound that filled her head with pressure. Even though she started to feel disorientated, she tried to act normally and join a conversation with her colleague on her left side. Carly could see that her colleague was talking to her but Carly could not hear anything she was saying, Carly explains.
Struggling to accept hearing loss
The first days after Carly experienced her sudden hearing loss she tried to continue as normal, but she struggled through the days. It was difficult for Carly to continue working as an Early Years primary school teacher. Thus, she states, the volume level in her classroom was very hard for her to tolerate and she could not hear what individual children were saying to her amongst the background noise.
It was not until the 18th day of her hearing loss that Carly went to a specialist who tested her hearing and immediately sent her to her local hospital. She stayed in the hospital for a week, where she was given intravenous corticosteroid treatment. After she was discharged, she continued taking the steroids in tablet form for the next four weeks. She also had four intratympanic steroid injections directly into her ear drum. With time, the vertigo lessened. However, after receiving these treatments, there was still no improvement in her hearing, Carly says.
Living with the effects of sudden hearing loss
Today, Carly’s hearing loss influences her everyday life in several ways. She is regularly exhausted, sometimes she experiences dizziness and she is sensitive to loud noises which fill her head with pressure. With only one hearing ear, Carly cannot tell where sounds are coming from. This means, she states, that she might hear some music or noise, but she doesn’t know which way to look to see what produced the sound. Furthermore, she has continuous tinnitus in her deaf ear and trouble socializing:
“Since I can’t hear well with background noise, this makes socializing in restaurants or bars very difficult and uncomfortable. I have learnt to sit in a corner with my good ear facing the person I am speaking to, in order to have some chance at hearing their responses in conversations,” Carly explains.
Since Carly has difficulties filtering out background noise and is sensitive to loud noises, she is unable to return to her job as a teacher. Therefore, Carly is currently working as a part time teaching assistant so that she spends less time in the noisy classroom, which is much more manageable for her.
Shares her experiences
Due to Carly’s experience, she has learnt that it is very important to go to see a doctor immediately if you notice a sudden hearing loss. Carly also recommends connecting with people who have had a similar experience and to get support online through websites and blogs. To help others, Carly has made her own blog where she shares her experiences of sudden hearing loss.
You can find Carly Sygrove’s blog here: https://myhearinglossstory.wordpress.com/