Sudden Hearing Loss – What’s To Know
What does it mean when someone has a sudden hearing loss?
What can cause a sudden hearing loss?
What should I do if I suddenly cannot hear?
Will my hearing come back?
Those affected by a sudden loss of hearing usually will get the feeling that their ear has somehow closed. In most cases, sudden hearing loss is accompanied by tinnitus; a ringing, hissing, or humming sound and/or dizziness. Sudden hearing loss is usually noticed when one wakes up in the morning. Some first notice it when they try to use that ear for a phone call. Others notice a loud, alarming “pop” just before their hearing disappears.
It usually strikes adults between 30 and 60 years old (though it can happen to anyone), and most people with the condition experience loss in only one ear. Most people you get a sudden hearing loss think that it is just wax and put off getting it checked out. But what most people don’t realize is that sudden hearing loss can be more serious (even permanent) then just wax build up.
It is rare for a specific cause to be precisely identified. Some possible causes include the following:
- Infectious diseases.
- Trauma, such as a head injury.
- Abnormal tissue growth.
- Immunologic diseases such as Cogan’s syndrome.
- Toxic causes, such as snake bites.
- Ototoxic drugs (drugs that harm the ear).
- Circulatory problems.
- Neurologic causes such as multiple sclerosis.
- Relation to disorders such as Ménière’s disease.
If you experiences sudden hearing loss you should see a physician immediately. Seeking medical help within 48 hours increases the chances for recovery. Several treatments are used for sudden hearing loss. A doctor may prescribe antibiotics for the patient. Or, a doctor may advise a patient to stop taking a certain medication.
The most common treatment for sudden hearing loss is steroids. Steroids are used to treat many different disorders and usually work to reduce inflammation, decrease swelling, and help the body fight illness.