What is sudden hearing loss
Sudden hearing loss is a rapid loss of hearing occurring within a week and almost always affects only one ear. People often discover the hearing loss when they try to use the affected ear, such as when they use a phone. Still others notice a loud, alarming “pop” or blocked feeling or ringing noise. Many are not aware and assume the pop or ringing noise to other causes and put off seeing a doctor because they think their hearing loss is due to earwax plugging the ear canal, or other common conditions.
What causes it?
Majority of times the cause is unknown and only about 10 percent of people have an identifiable cause like infections, head trauma, autoimmune diseases etc.,
How is sudden deafness diagnosed and treated?
If you have sudden hearing loss, you should meet with a neurotologist who will examine and ensure that it is sudden hearing loss. One should understand that this condition is a medical emergency, receiving timely treatment greatly increases the chance that you will recover your hearing and delaying treatment can decrease treatment effectiveness. The most common treatment is high dose steroids either as an oral medication or as an injection. Steroids should be used as soon as possible to reverse or reduce permanent hearing loss.
I have had children aged less than 10 who have become deaf on one side because they complained of ear block and parents thought it was just wax and ignored and realised their mistake after few months when it was too late.
The golden period for treating sensorineural hearing loss is within the first two weeks of experiencing symptoms like ear block, ringing in the ears, or muffled sounds. This is the time when the chances of recovery are highest, and prompt medical attention can prevent permanent hearing loss.