Sudden hearing loss, also referred to as sudden deafness or sudden sensorineural hearing loss, is the rapid onset of hearing loss that develops in one or a few days. Most of the time, it only affects one ear. One may notice this either when they wake up or when they use their phone and cannot hear out of the ear they answered with. Some experience a “pop” before their hearing goes away.
This type of hearing loss should not be ignored. Procrastinating seeing a doctor will only decrease the effectiveness of treatment. Treatment can help recover some of your hearing. If you are experiencing symptoms of sudden hearing loss, such as a feeling of ear fullness, dizziness, and ringing in the ears (similar to tinnitus), you should visit an ear specialist and get a hearing consultation right away.
Active Hearing Health is a local clinic in Omaha, Neb., and we want to share some helpful information on sudden hearing loss so you can better understand what causes it, how it’s diagnosed and why early treatment is necessary.
What causes sudden hearing loss
Many people can attribute their sudden hearing loss to trauma of the head, an infection, autoimmune diseases, having taken certain drugs that treat cancer and severe infections, neurological disorders, inner ear disorders and even a tumor located near the ear. Blood circulation problems also relate to sudden hearing loss as there is a tie between heart disease and hearing loss.
How is sudden hearing loss diagnosed
To diagnose sudden hearing loss, your hearing specialist will perform a hearing test to determine the range of hearing that has been lost. They will see if there’s an object in the ear canal (such as wax or a foreign object) or fluid behind the eardrum.
Your doctor may also want you to conduct blood tests, an MRI or complete a balance test to help determine the underlying cause. An MRI can rule out benign tumors located on the hearing and balance nerves. Once the doctor can diagnose sudden hearing loss, a treatment plan can be created. Treatment normally starts with pills, but depending on the extent of the hearing loss, steroids may be injected into the eardrum.
Seek treatment today and visit us for a hearing consultation
There are several ways to help combat sudden hearing loss so you can continue living your best life. Antibiotics can help if your hearing loss is caused by an infection. If you’re currently taking an ototoxic drug that’s harming your ear, it may be best to switch to another option. If you have an autoimmune condition that’s attacking your inner ear, there are drugs to help suppress your immune system.
If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of hearing loss, or believe you may be suffering from sudden hearing loss, come see us for a hearing consultation as soon as possible. Your best bet to improve your hearing is to treat it right away. Contact us today to get an appointment scheduled.