Posted on: July 20, 2011

We take our hearing for granted. We expect to hear the telephone ringing when someone calls or the doorbell chiming to announce the arrival of a visitor. What if you woke up one day with no hearing? What if you couldn’t hear that telephone ringing or enjoy a simple conversation with your spouse? Sudden hearing loss affects about 20 per 100,000 people..

The causes of sudden hearing loss are varied and may include:
• An inner ear virus.
• Vascular disease.
• Trauma to the head.
• Medications that are toxic to the ear (such as those used in the treatment of cancer).
• Sudden hearing loss is often accompanied by ringing in the ears and dizziness.

It is imperative that sudden hearing loss be treated as soon as possible. Many people tend to take a “wait and see” approach, hoping it is just wax or congestion. However, only a proper hearing test can determine whether the cause is something simple such as wax or something more serious. While it is true that the hearing may not come back, there is a better chance of recovery if treated within the first few days.

Treatment usually includes the administration of steroids such as prednisone. However, after as little as 1-2 weeks any treatment may be ineffective. This is why it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. After all, if you woke up with little or no sight you would probably head straight your doctor. Hearing loss should be treated with the same urgency.

If you are experiencing a sudden decrease in your hearing book an appointment with your local hearing care professional.