Sudden hearing loss

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is one of the few forms of hearing loss that requires urgent evaluation.

Sudden hearing loss, also known as sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL), is a rapid loss of hearing that can occur in one or both ears over a period of hours to a few days.

Glucocorticoid treatment within three days after onset may improve the chances of hearing recovery.

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is relatively uncommon,  one and 10,000 persons and most commonly occurs in adults 40 years of age or older.

Patient often report acute, painless, hearing loss in one ear that  results in near-complete inability to hear or understand speech in the affected ear.

It is considered a medical emergency and requires prompt evaluation and treatment.

Symptoms of sudden hearing loss may include:

– Hearing loss in one or both ears – Difficulty understanding speech or following conversations – Ringing in the ear – Feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear – Dizziness or balance issues

The exact cause is often unknown.

It is believed to be related to issues in the inner ear, such as damage to the hair cells or nerve pathways responsible for hearing.

Causes and risk factors for sudden hearing loss include viral infections, autoimmune disorders, head trauma, certain medications, and vascular issues.

Treatment for sudden hearing loss may include corticosteroids, antiviral medications, if a viral infection is suspected.


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