Sudden Hearing Loss: What You Should Know about Treatment - Hear More Associates


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People who have sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) experience a variety of symptoms. Hearing loss is one of the main ones. Although sudden sensorineural hearing loss is one of the most common diseases that has been researched, this condition is still not fully understood by doctors and patients alike. 

SSNHL sufferers may also have tinnitus, which is ringing in the ears that can be very disturbing. SSNHL can be treated with/by many things, including hearing aids and other devices. It should always be taken seriously and treated right away for better chances of recovery.

Sudden Hearing Loss

SSHNL comes from the cochlea (inner ear) instead of the middle or outer ear. Most cases are generally viral; treatment is usually done through steroids. 70% of patients overall experience symptoms of tinnitus as well; 50% end up dealing with dizziness/vertigo as well. When patients have mild hearing loss, recovery is imminent. 

Occurrence is generally the same whether men or women are involved.

When there’s a loss greater than 30 decibels over three frequencies over a period of less than three days, that’s sudden hearing loss. It generally appears for no apparent reason, with no foreshadowing. It develops in 24 hours at most. SSNHL tends to happen in one ear only (unilateral); only a mere 2% of patients get sudden loss of hearing in both ears. 55% of cases get it in the left ear.

The hearing loss will make itself known first thing in the morning; chances are you’ll hear a “pop” in your ear.

Older adults are more likely to develop SSNHL; for 20 to 30-year-olds, it affects 4.7 out of a hundred thousand people. For 50 to 60-year-olds, around 15.8 people out of a hundred thousand are affected.

SSNHL Treatment

A sudden loss of hearing needs to be treated, but only after the doctor has figured out the cause. A complete medical history, a physical examination, and a hearing test will be combined with laboratory and radiographic studies to diagnose your condition, one that can be treated in many cases.

Younger patients are more likely to recover in full from this kind of hearing loss.

Sudden hearing loss is most often reversible: 32 to 79 percent of patients recover spontaneously after weeks or months, typically in the first two weeks. In severe cases and in those with vertigo, though, full recovery is less likely. SSNHL treatment with steroids gives the chances of recovering in full a major boost. 

Patients with sudden hearing loss can be misdiagnosed. They are mistaken for having impacted earwax or to have an ear infection. These end up delaying treatment considerably. Quick treatment has generally proven to be a success in many cases; some patients may not improve, however. It’s possible for some people to end up with healing loss on a permanent basis.

A good rule of thumb is to see a professional and get a hearing test from a reputable place.


Sudden hearing loss is a major issue that can lead to serious circumstances. It should be addressed as soon as possible. Treatment is usually done with the use of steroids.

Need the best hearing clinic on Rhode Island? Reach out to Hear More Associates today! We’re the most trusted hearing care specialists throughout Lexington and Greater Boston, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. 

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