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Sudden Hearing Loss and What to Do About It

One reason it’s important to understand hearing health is so you can be ready should emergencies occur—so you’ll know what to do without panicking.

For instance, it may be unlikely that someone will have to perform first aid on any given day, but for someone who finds themselves in need of such help, having someone who knows first aid nearby is a very good thing.

The hearing-health version of that is a fairly uncommon occurrence called Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSNHL)—a rapid decrease in hearing for an otherwise healthy person.

Seeking treatment immediately is essential. While pinpointing the actual cause of SSNHL only happens in about 10% to 15% of cases, the hearing loss can still be treated. Doctors often use high doses of steroids with the best outcomes being achieved when they are administered soon after the onset of hearing loss.

Collaboration of an SSNHL patient’s primary care physician with an ear/nose/throat specialist and a qualified professional audiologist is also very beneficial to understanding the patient’s situation.

A few facts about Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss:

  • SSNHL shows no partiality for men or women; incidence of it is spread evenly, with most patients being between ages 50 and 60.
  • Most times, the hearing loss occurs in only one ear; less than 2% of SSNHL cases are bi-lateral.
  • SSNHL can develop over the course of a few hours or a few days.
  • Recovery numbers break fairly evenly into thirds, with about one-third recovering completely, one-third partially, and another third experiencing sustained hearing loss.
  • The causes of SSNHL, when they can be determined, vary widely, but certain viral infections are thought to be the culprits in some 60% of cases.

To understand more about SSNHL, please contact us at Niagara Hearing Solutions. We’ll be happy to help you.