The sudden deafness that you experienced is called Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL). The SSHL is a phenomenon of swift loss of hearing that can occur in one ear or both ears in a day or a period of several days. Consult your doctor immediately once you notice the early symptoms of SSHL. Ignoring the early signs of SSHL could trigger to worse conditions as it may also be an evidence of a more serious underlying health condition.
The Common Causes of SSHL
There are different causes of sudden hearing loss. However, exposure to loud noises is the most popular cause of hearing loss. Apart from that, the following factors can also be the cause for SSHL:
- Cochlear Cross Section
An impaired or insufficient supply of blood to the cochlea of the inner ear can cause hearing loss. If there is insufficient blood supply to the cochlea, it will neither receive any nutrients nor even get rid of bodily toxins. When this happens, the health of the cochlea will deteriorate as well as its functions.
- Certain Medical Conditions
An individual’s medical condition can also affect their hearing ability. It can be permanent or temporary, depending on how severe or mild their conditions are. Stress and tinnitus can also trigger a sudden hearing loss.
- Infectious Diseases and Ototoxic Drugs
Infectious diseases such as Acute Otitis Media and Swimmer’s Ear can also be a cause for your SSHL. Therefore, you have to be cautious when you have these symptoms. In parallel with these, you might also be taking medications to heal your other ailments. However, some drugs are ototoxic or harmful to the ears which can lead to either temporary or permanent hearing loss.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Sudden Deafness?
Your medical history is important for your diagnosis. Your personal data contains relevant information that might reveal the cause of your sudden deafness. However, if nothing comes up as a specific reason to what causes your hearing loss, your doctor will perform other diagnostic tests.
The doctor who will perform your diagnosis is called an otolaryngologist or an ENT specialist. Your ENT specialist will then use methods like ear microscopy, otoscopy, or pure-tone audiogram or audiometry.
The following diagnosis will help determine if your hearing loss is caused by inner ear obstructions such as earwax or fluid, or if it is caused by a sensorineural deficit. Further diagnosis will be conducted if a more serious condition is discovered. It will include blood examination, ultrasound, MRI, and blood pressure.
What is the Treatment for Sudden Deafness?
Various treatments for sudden deafness are available depending on the severity of your hearing loss.
- Corticosteroids are usually the treatment used when the cause of your hearing loss is unidentified or unknown.
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is also a good treatment method although it is not as effective.
- Heparin-induced extracorporeal LDL precipitation (H.E.L.P.) apheresis is another treatment method where it cleanses the blood from coagulation-promoting substances. This method helps improve your blood circulation.
However, if your hearing loss existed for quite some time already, using hearing aids is the best option for you. Hearing aids, together with other assistive listening devices, can help you improve your hearing quality. However, it does not restore your hearing.
Sudden hearing loss or SSHL can lead to worse health complications if ignored or left untreated. It cannot be avoided that there are always risks of total deafness or partial hearing impairment in our lives. We cannot prevent unexpected accidents or health issues from happening. But we can always do precautionary measures to care for our ears.
When you feel the early signs of hearing loss already, pay attention to it and immediately seek the help of your audiologist. In fact, you can schedule a free hearing consultation or free hearing test here at Beltone Audiology. Allow us to help you with your hearing problems and let us help you bring back the comfort of your life through better hearing. Call us today at (888) 210-5846.