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sudden snhl from food allergy

gandalf at infi.net gandalf at infi.net
Tue Aug 19 16:58:49 EST 1997

I had a similar experience about 15 years ago. I won a beautiful legs contest 
at church Youth Group (the curtain only showed the knees down. All the kids 
thought my feet were the pastor's). My prize was a humongous chocolate bar, 
which I ate in front of the kids, with great relish.
The next morning I had a 70 dB HFSN hypacusis in the left ear, accompanied by 
loud tinnitus and reduced discrim. After about a week, it cleared up, leaving 
only a slight permanent loss. It scared me to death! I am now subject to the 
occasional decrease, not accompanied by vertigo or nausea, but nothing as 
dramatic as that first occurance. The local ENTs felt it was allergic in 
origin, so I have avoided chocolate since. (What a curse.)
The etiology is, apparently, a spasm of the basilar artery in the cochlea, 
similar to that occuring in migraine.


>I am an audiologist in my second year of practice.  Recently I evaluated
>a man in his forties who had a sudden hearing loss in both ears as an
>allergic reaction to chocolate.  He said he knew he was allergic to
>chocolate, but had never had such a severe reaction before.  He
>described his symptoms as his ears 'closed up.'  This was about a month
>and a half ago, and the symptoms remain in only one ear (left.)  His
>records indicate that he was assumed to have Eustachian tube
>dysfunction, however, when I tested his hearing it was definitely a
>sensorineural hearing loss.  The other ear, which showed a mild high
>frequency snhl (he admitted to having such a hearing loss prior to the
>sudden hearing loss) was extrememly hypersensitive, which he said was

>I have learned some interesting facts by doing a Medline search. 
>Anybody have any ideas or similar experiences?  I am trying to find out
>as much as I can for my own information; in addition, this patient is
>desperate for more information about his hearing loss!



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