What Is Sudden Hearing Loss?
Sudden Hearing Loss is a real condition, and it can be serious. Here's what you need to know about it.
A Sudden (sensori-neural) Hearing Loss (SSHL), which can occur within a matter of minutes or over a period of 72 hours, requires medical attention as soon as possible. The urgency in seeking medical attention stems from the short window the physician has for treatment to be effective, if the cause is due to an issue with the inner or nerve part of the ear.
SSHL often occurs in just one ear and can be accompanied by tinnitus (noises in the ear), vertigo (dizziness), and a fullness or pressure feeling in the ear. SSHL has various causes which includes trauma to the head or ear, as well as metabolic or neurological conditions, or infectious disease.
After you report SSHL, your physician should take your complete health history, including a review of your current medications. Be detailed in reporting your symptoms and how long you've noticed the hearing loss. Your physician will look in your ear to rule out an obstruction like wax or a middle ear infection, which may be the cause of a sudden hearing loss but not particularly the cause of SSHL. If an obstruction is not the issue, your physician may send you for a comprehensive hearing evaluation to determine the extent and location of the hearing loss. Alternately your physician may send you for additional testing like bloodwork or imaging tests like an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to look at the inner ear and hearing nerve.
As stated above, for the best outcome and reversal of your hearing loss, time is of the essence.
For more information regarding Sudden Hearing Loss, you can visit the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders by clicking here: Learn more about Sudden Deafness