Hearing loss usually happens gradually as we get older. In some cases, however, hearing loss can occur suddenly and without previous warning. This condition is called sudden sensorineural hearing loss and it is considered an emergency condition. Thus, you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL)
In some cases, people may confuse sudden hearing loss with other hearing issues like Tinnitus.
Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is usually the outcome of damage to the inner ear. Some issues in the nerve fibers that deliver hearing signals from the ear to the brain may also, be a possible cause of this type of hearing issue.
In most cases, this condition is permanent, but there is always the case that it disappears after a while. In every case, only a specialized doctor will be able to determine the true cause behind any hearing loss and help you get over it efficiently.
“Any kind of noticeable hearing loss should prompt a visit to your primary care doctor or urgent care center for investigation”, Dr. Woodson says.
As Dr. Woodson says, the presence of other symptoms, including vertigo or dizziness along with hearing loss are typical signs that you are suffering from this type of condition. The brain gets confused since the ears send weird signals and misinterpret those signals, leading to feelings of dizziness and cloudiness.
“That’s because the brain does not know what to do with the changes of signal it’s getting from the ear, so it either misinterprets what bad signal it’s getting as noise, or it’s trying to fill in the gap — almost like a phantom sound,” she explains.
“There are not many emergencies of the ear, but this is one thing that we would consider an emergency,” says ear surgeon Erika Woodson, MD.
An urgent care provider will normally look for signs of blockage or infection in the ear that could be responsible for sudden hearing loss. The same health provider will also, be able to rule out other factors that could be the causes of your sudden hearing loss and ask you to undertake a hearing test.
Is there a Treatment for Sudden Hearing Loss?
If you are indeed suffering from sudden sensorineural hearing loss, then your doctor will prescribe some type of steroid therapy to fight off inflammation in the inner ear.
In each case, you should be aware that half two-thirds of people experiencing sudden hearing loss recover after a persistent treatment.
In fact, as Dr. Woodson claims, people with mild hearing loss who seek out treatment within a week have higher rates of full recovery. The sooner you seek medical assistance the better the results will be. Moreover, studies have found a close relationship between sudden hearing loss and cardiovascular risk factors, including diabetes, high cholesterol levels, and hypertension.
Those symptoms should be dealt with immediately since they can be responsible for a general deterioration of human health. Chronic medical conditions can affect our health in several ways and they have been related to hearing issues, as well.
In some cases, sudden hearing loss may be confused for a temporary hearing issue called eustachian tube dysfunction. This condition resembles the feeling of blockage you may experience during your traveling on an airplane.
It is true that sudden hearing loss is an emergency condition that requires immediate medical care. If you happen to experience such a condition all of a sudden, then you should seek the advice of a medical provider. He is going to determine the real condition, its seriousness, and treatment options. The sooner you deal with this issue, the better are the chances that you fully recover your hearing.