Sudden hearing loss

Sudden hearing loss / sudden hearing loss or sudden sensorineural hearing loss is defined as hearing loss of more than 30 dB in three adjacent frequencies, which occurs in less than three days.

Sudden hearing loss can be felt when you wake up in the morning or develop over hours or days.

70 percent of people with sudden hearing loss / sudden hearing loss also have tinnitus. Dizziness occurs in 50 percent of sudden hearing loss.

Incidents increase with age: 4.7 out of 100,000 of 20-30 year olds and 15.8 out of 100,000 of 50-60 year olds.

Causes of sudden hearing loss

Among the many causes of sudden hearing loss:

  • A viral infection. Every fifth patient with sudden hearing loss reports an upper respiratory tract infection within one month of hearing loss. Viruses associated with sudden hearing loss include mumps, measles, rubella, as well as meningitis, syphilis and AIDS, and much more.
  • Tumors. A variety of tumors in the ear, both benign and malignant, can cause sudden hearing loss.
  • Head trauma, which affects hair cells, the eardrum or bones, is also one of the causes of sudden hearing loss. Partial or complete healing of hearing loss resulting from head injuries can be expected.
  • Medicines and insecticides can also cause sudden hearing loss. A long list of prescription medications and long-term abuse of painkillers can cause sudden hearing loss. Insecticides such as melathione and methoxychlor are associated with sudden hearing loss in both ears. (Binaural sudden hearing loss).
  • immune diseases.
  • Blood vessel diseases that prevent blood supply to the ear are among the causes of sudden hearing loss.
  • Developmental disorders are another reason.
  • Idiopathic diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Meniere’s disease are also among the causes.


Spontaneous improvement occurs in sudden hearing loss in 30-70 percent of cases, usually within the first two weeks. The chance of getting your hearing back completely is lower in patients with severe hearing loss and when the sudden hearing loss / sudden hearing loss is accompanied by dizziness. The younger the patient, the more likely a complete cure for sudden hearing loss.

Treatment of sudden hearing loss

In the event of sudden hearing loss, it is advised to see the doctor as soon as possible so that the condition can be treated immediately.

But the effectiveness of medical treatment for sudden hearing loss itself is debatable. Where some specialists advocate aggressive treatment of the underlying causes, hoping to ameliorate or cure many cases of sudden hearing loss, other doctors, based on previous studies, are convinced that patients with or without treatment are equally likely to to regain all or part of their suddenly lost hearing. However, recent studies indicate that patients who can be treated with some form of steroid may get better results.

In 30 to 70 percent of patients in whom the sudden hearing loss is permanent, the treatment options range from hearing aids to cochlear implants.

By far the most common is sudden hearing loss unilaterally. Hearing loss in one ear primarily affects communication when there is background noise.

For the majority of patients who do not regain their hearing, hearing aids and supportive hearing aids are the best treatment. Cochlear implants may be an option for the small group of patients with sudden hearing loss who have severe to severe hearing loss in both ears. In severe to severe one-sided hearing loss, the most common treatment is a hearing aid that is attached to the skull behind the ear (BAHA).

Source: Hearing Review, December 2003, special edition: Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loess.


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