Sudden Deafness: Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Hearing LossSudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL) also referred to as sudden deafness, which typically occurs when you lose your hearing extremely quick. There is typically no clear reason why the hearing is lost so quickly without testing. It can happen quickly or over a span of a few days. During this time, sound can slowly become more muffled or faint. SSHL commonly affects the only ear.

Many people may assume that hearing loss is due to allergies, sinus infection, or earwax plugging the ear canal or other common conditions, so they do not go in to receiving treatment. However delaying treatment may cause a decrease in effective treatment.

Frequencies measure sound waves. Decibels measure the intensity or the loudness of the sounds you hear. Zero is the lowest deco new level and is close to complete silence. A whisper is around 30 decibels; a normal speech is around 60 decibels. A loss of 30 decibels sins the counted frequencies is considered SSHL. This indicates that a hearing loss of 30 decibels would make a normal speech like a whisper.

SSHL is a serious medical condition, and it requires quick medical attention. Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you think you are explaining SSHL. Early care + treatment can save your hearing.

There are nearly 4,000 cases of SSHL diagnosed each year in the United Staes. The condition most commonly affects people between ages 30 and 60.

The majority of individuals with SSHl recover quickly when the disease is diagnosed and treated promptly. However, there are around 15 percent people who experience hearing loss that gradually deteriorates over time. Advances in the technology used to hearing aids and cochlear implants are helping to improve communication for people affected by hearing loss.
sshl_diagramWhat Cause SSHL?

SSHL occurs in when the inner ear, nerve pathway between the ear and brain, cochlea in the inner ear become damaged.

There are over 100 causes of SSHL; most people can not determine the exact cause of their hearing loss. However, some common causes include:

  • Aging
  • Immune system disease, such as Cogan’s syndrome
  • Lyme disease, which is an infection disease that is often transmitted through tick bites
  • Meniere disease, this is a disorder that affects the inner ear
  • Venom from a snake bite
  • Neurologic condition such as multiple sclerosis
  • Prolonged exposure to loud noise
  • Head injury or trauma.
  • Blood Vessel Disease
  • Head injury or trauma

Congenital SSHL

Infants can be born with SSHL. This can occur as a result of:

  • Infection that pass from the mother of the child, such as rubella, herpes or syphilis
  • Low birth weight
  • Genetic, or inherited, factors
  • Toxoplasma gondii, this are parts that pass through the womb.

How Do Doctors Diagnose SSHL

A doctor will perform a physical exam, and you will be asked questions about your medical history. You should inform your doctor of any medical conditions that you’ve had in the past, have today as well as any over the counter prescription drugs that you are currently taking.

During your physical examination, you may be used to cover your ear for a short period and listen to various sound at different volumes. The doctor may also perform test such as a tuning fork; which is an instrument that can help you measure vibrations in the ear. This test can indicate the damaged parts of the middle ear and eardrum that vibrates.

An Audiometry test may be performed to check the hearing more thoroughly and accurately. During these test, an audiologist will test the hearing ability by using earphones. A seri3s of different sounds and volumes levels may be sent to each ear. This can help determine the level at which your hearing starts to fade.

An MRI scan can also be recommended to find any abnormalities within the ear, such as tumors or cyst. The imaging test will create images of the brain and inner ear. This can help the doctor find any underlying causes for SSHL.

Children with SSHL

When Should you test your child?
Hearing loss can start in children due to infections during birth or damaged caused bay ototoxic medications.It may not always be easy to know if your child is hearing is normal. You should get your child’s hearing tested if they:

Do not seem to understand Language
Do not appear startled oat sudden noises or respond to sounds the expected way
have numerous ear infection or problems from lack of balance
Don’t attempt to form words.

What are the Symptoms of SSHL?

For most people that will notice hearing loss right after you wake up in the morning. You may not become aware of this until you use your headphones or hold a phone to the affected early. Nine out of ten people experience hearing the loss in one ear.

You may have hearing loss followed by a loud popping sound. Other symptoms include

  1. Muffled conversation sounds
  2. Dizziness
  3. Tinnitus, which is a ringing or buzzing that sounds in the ear
  4. Balance problems
  5. Inability to hear well when there’re many background noises
  6. Trouble following people in group conversations.

SSHL Treatment

Receiving early treatment may increase the chances of a full recovery. Although the doctor will attempt to find the cause of you hearing loss before initiating treatment.

Steroids or corticosteroid therapy are the most common treatment. This is this popular if the cause is unknown. The steroids can be implemented through direct injection behind the ear drum in the middle of the ear, called intratympanic corticosteroid therapy. It can help to reduce inflammation and swelling. This is specifically helpful in people who have immune system conditions, such as Cogan’s syndrome. The doctor may also prescribe antibiotics if your SSHl is causing an infection.

In other cases, a cochlear can be surgically implanted into the ear. This simply does not necessarily restore hearing but amplify sounds to a normal level.

SSHLOutlook for Individuals with SSHL

SSHL often will improve on its own if quick treatment is implemented. The symptoms go away within the-the first initial days of experience hearing loss. This is called a spontaneous recovery. Other times it may take up to two for your hearing to return to normal.

Although a complete recovery is likely, nearly 15 percent of people who have SSHL will not recover they hearing over time. Hearing aid as and telephone amplifiers can help if the hearing does not improve. Sign langue and lip reading may also help people with severe cases of hearing loss.


Health Life Media Team