Sudden hearing loss: definition, signs and therapies

Suddenly you can no longer hear properly in one ear? Then you may have a sudden hearing loss. What causes this sudden hearing loss is unclear. More about symptoms, causes and therapies

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What is a sudden hearing loss?

A sudden hearing loss leads to unilateral hearing loss with no apparent external cause.

Those affected describe it as suddenly stuck a large piece of cotton wool or an earplug in the ear canal. You hear much worse or almost nothing - mostly only in one ear. It almost never happens that both ears are affected at the same time.

Many feel a dull pressure on the diseased ear. For some, the auricle feels strangely furry. The condition usually doesn't hurt. Additional symptoms such as ringing in the ears and - less often - dizziness occur. Read more about the symptoms of sudden hearing loss here.

To this day, experts do not know exactly what is behind this type of hearing loss. You suspect, among other things, circulatory disorders in the inner ear or inflammation. Read more about the causes of sudden hearing loss here.

Is the sudden hearing loss always an emergency?

No. Those affected should nevertheless consult a specialist doctor as soon as possible. After all, it may not be a sudden hearing loss, but another illness that needs to be treated quickly or further clarified. In addition, many specialists assume that "time is ear" also applies in the event of a sudden hearing loss. That an early therapy works better than a late one. On the other hand, with mild and moderate hearing impairment, it is also possible to wait a few days to see whether a spontaneous improvement occurs - which is often the case.

Consulting expert: ENT specialist Dr. Frank forest driver

© Sandra Stumpf

How is hearing loss treated?

Unfortunately, it is not clear which treatment works best. A wide variety of methods have already been tried out. Some seem to do better than others. Anti-inflammatory agents are used very often. Whether therapy is necessary at all must be discussed with the doctor on an individual basis. Because - it is important and comforting to know - it is not uncommon for a sudden hearing loss to heal by itself. Here you can read more about therapy for a hearing loss.

Is every sudden hearing loss a sudden hearing loss?

No. There are many possible reasons if the hearing organ suddenly stops working properly - an otitis media can be just as to blame as a plug of earwax that clogs the ear canal. The doctor must first rule out all possible causes. Only then is the diagnosis of acute hearing loss established. After all, sudden hearing loss is defined as an acute, one-sided hearing loss with no apparent external cause. Sudden hearing loss after a bang or loud noise should not be called a sudden hearing loss.

It is estimated that at least 100 to 150 out of 100,000 Germans suffer from a sudden hearing loss every year. Men and women are affected roughly equally often, often between the ages of 40 and 50. In childhood, sudden hearing loss occurs only in exceptional cases.

Important NOTE:
This article contains general information only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor. Unfortunately, our experts cannot answer individual questions.

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