Sudden onset hearing loss or sudden deafness is a rapid loss of hearing in one or both ears or the hearing nerve.
This sudden loss in hearing occurs over a period of hours, up to three days. This causes a noticeable difference in the perception of most sounds, although, it occurs with varying severity for everyone.
It is estimated that this phenomenon affects approximately 1 out of 5000 adults each year. This affects men and women equally and most commonly affects people aged 40 to 50 years old.
The cause of this hearing loss is often diagnosed as idiopathic meaning it is “not sure why” this hearing loss has occurred and there is no known cause. This phenomenon can also cause a perception of a ringing or buzzing noise called tinnitus that you can hear but no one else can.
The sudden hearing loss can also cause imbalance, dizziness, fullness in the ear, nausea, vomiting and anxiety. It is not surprising if you find it difficult to hear during this time, particularly in noisy places. If the hearing loss is only in one ear, this may cause you to feel disorientated, frustrated and overly fatigued from concentrating on sounds.
It is very common that people notice this problem when they wake up in the morning and notice their hearing is different to the day before. When this hearing loss occurs in one ear only, people may not notice until they put earphones in their ears and notice that one ear sounds duller than the other, even when the earphones are switched.
A hearing test needs to be completed immediately so that these accurate and comprehensive test results can be taken to your GP to prescribe the correct medication. The tests conducted are used to measure the hearing loss and assess if this is a sudden onset hearing loss.
From here, often GPs will prescribe a high-dose course of steroids called prednisone and recommend that you take them for approximately 2 weeks. This phenomenon can cause permanent hearing Sudden Hearing Loss and Tinnitus loss if treatment is not provided promptly.
Many individuals do not seek immediate treatment and assume they are experiencing sensations such as allergies, earwax blockage or a sinus infection. If you or a loved one experiences a sudden reduction in your hearing, the first step is to make an appointment with a hearing healthcare professional immediately at a clinic like EAR STUDIO.
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