Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss
Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL) is a kind of sudden deafness that is on the rise. In SSHL, hearing is almost reduced by 30 decibels (dB) or more. This can occur over at least three contiguous frequencies for 72 hours or sometimes less. But often, people have reported that their hearing loss was either noticed immediately in the morning. Simultaneously, some reports claimed that their hearing loss developed in a few hours or a few days.

Facing this type of hearing loss is not a bad sign, but it could be in the longer run. Hence, it should be treated as a medical emergency when it occurs because the faster it is treated, the better are the chances of it causing long term hearing issues. 

SSHL can be a temporary problem. This is if there is an issue with the cochlea, which is the inner part of the ear. But when hearing losses occur, you may not be able to tell the difference in the symptoms because they can be very subtle. That is why SSHL must be treated as a medical emergency to avoid complete hearing loss later. 

Symptoms of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

People who have suffered from SSHL have commonly complained about ear pressure and tinnitus before being diagnosed with SSHL. How symptoms affect individuals varies from patient to patient. But the worst that could happen is that you could ultimately lose your hearing ability, which is why treating it as a medical emergency cannot be emphasized enough. 

The most typical symptoms experienced by patients of SSHL are as following:

Feeling dizzy.

Facing hearing loss in one ear.

Absence of an earache.

Sudden noticeable loss in hearing.

Loss of sensation in the outer ear.

Ear pressure.

Tinnitus, ringing in the ears.


Causes of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

To understand SSHL in-depth, it is an inner ear hearing loss, which is also known as nerve deafness. Many causes can trigger SSHL. It can be caused by a viral infection or a cardiovascular event. In a cardiovascular event, the blood supply to the cochlea is either less or is not reaching it at all. 

Even after a lot of research and check-ups, it is sometimes unclear so to what is causing SSHL. 

Some of the possible causes are as follows:

Ototoxic drugs that damage the inner ear.

Autoimmune diseases.

Problems in blood circulation.

Neurologic diseases and disorders.

Infectious diseases.

Trauma, such as a head injury. 

Auditory neuroma, a tumor on the nerve which connects the ear to the brain. 

Disorders in the inner ear, such as Meniere’s disease. 

Treating SSHL in the early stages gives you the best probability of recovery. 

How to recover from Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

How SSHL affects a person varies from person to person. In the beginning, only one ear is affected, but it spreads to the second ear over time, and research clearly shows that SSHL involves both ears. 

Thus, it is advised to investigate any hearing-related issues without wasting any time as soon as you face symptoms. Fast and rapid treatment of SSHL can lead to a total recovery of the problem. In some cases, people with SSHL also recover without any treatment, while some do not. So it is recommended by professionals that it is too big a risk not to get it treated.

How to treat Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Over the years, the treatment of SSHL has been different for each case. However, the one treatment that has proved to be the best and has shown results is steroid therapy. Apart from that, the following are other methods of treatment:

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment.

Intratympanic corticosteroid therapy.

Antiviral medications.

Hearing aids. 


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