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Thread: Hearing loss

  1. #1

    Default Hearing loss

    Hi all.

    I have just had my hearing tested and it is getting worse in my only good ear. I lost all my hearing with meningitis in my right ear in 2001. It seems the loss is sensorineural which I have read can be associated with csf leak. I know some of you have experienced hearing loss with your leaks and I am wondering what the pattern of your hearing loss is. My loss was equal in all tones. Does your hearing ever return to normal?

    I asked my doctor(ENT,skull base surgeon) about the loss and if low pressure csf could be the cause of my loss. He replied that there is no association with hearing loss with a csf leak. So of course I sent him a link to one of the many papers I have read that states it does.

    While CSF leak is generally accompanied by an orthostatic (upright only) headache, this association is not universal and in fact, hearing loss may be more common than headache (Oncel et al, 1992). Orthostatic tinnitus is also possible.(Arai, Takada et al. 2003). The hearing loss of CSF leak likely results from lowering of CSF pressure, which lowers perilymphatic (inner ear) pressure, and results in a picture similar to Meniere's disease. (Walsted et al., 1991).

    I will now go get copies of all my hearing tests done since 2001 to see if there is a pattern forming.

    Thanks, Thia

  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    Hi Thia,

    Take my word I had a lot of hearing loss after I had brain surgery done and the spinal fluid drained out of my ears. I had the surgery done for epilepsy so it would reduce my seizures. After the surgery was done there was spinal fluid that still needed to be drained
    from my ears and I had a very hard time hearing along with wicked headaches for months. Finally after 2-3 months the spinal fluid was gone and my hearing was back to normal. Before my hearing was normal it felt like I had a lot of water in my ears and I heard a lot
    of crackling noises in my head. My Ear Dr. told me to put hydrogen peroxide in my ears once a month and let the peroxide sit in my ears for a couple of minutes and then flush it out with a ear siringe full of warm water. This protected me from getting any infection.
    I wish you the best of luck and May God Bless You!

    Last edited by Porkette; 08-28-2011 at 10:51 AM.

  3. #3
    Community Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011



    I have a spontaneous CSF leak. I previously had some hearing loss in my left ear. I experienced increased hearing loss in my left ear at about the same time that I began to have headaches. Also I felt fullness in that ear. As the headaches worsened, I experienced tinnitus that grew in severity over time. It started in the ear with the hearing loss and then I heard and felt the tinnitus - - hissing, buzzing, vibrating - - throughout my head as well as in the ear. My neurologist advised that tinnitus is commonly associated with CSF leaks. I had my hearing evaluated by two ENTs and they did not find any problem with my ear that caused the hearing loss. My CSF leak is not yet fixed so I don't know if my hearing will improve.

    Below is an excerpt from Dr. Schievink's May 2006 article in JAMA, entitled "Spontaneous Spinal Cerebrospinal Fluid
    Leaks and Intracranial Hypotension". The excerpt discusses a change in hearing.

    Miscellaneous Symptoms. In addition
    to headaches, a wide variety of
    other symptoms have been reported
    in spontaneous intracranial hypotension.
    Posterior neck pain or stiffness,
    nausea, and vomiting are the most
    common, being reported by approximately
    50% of patients, and suggest
    meningeal irritation, particularly when
    photophobia or phonophobia also is
    present.1,11,12 The next most common
    symptom is a change in hearing,
    which may be described as “echoing”
    or as “being underwater” and may be
    associated with tinnitus or a disturbed
    sense of balance. These symptoms
    may be explained by direct transmission
    of the abnormal CSF pressure to
    that in the perilymph.51 Alternatively,
    downward displacement of the brain
    may cause stretching of the eighth
    nerve complex (cochlear and vestibular
    nerves). This latter mechanism
    may also explain other manifestations
    of spontaneous intracranial hypotension,
    such as visual blurring or visual
    field defects (optic nerve or chiasm),
    diplopia (abducens or, rarely, trochlear
    and oculomotor nerves), facial numbness
    or pain (trigeminal nerve), facial
    weakness or spasm (facial nerve), and
    dysgeusia (chorda tympani or glossopharyngeal


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