Sudden Hearing Loss

Sudden hearing loss in one year is potentially a calamitous event. It usually involves damage to the nerve of hearing or to the inner ear itself. The most common cause is thought to be either a viral infection or reduction in / damage to the blood supply of the nerve of hearing.

Sudden Hearing Loss

Particularly in younger individuals, sudden onset of hearing loss, after a viral infection, is nearly always due to viral inflammation along the auditory pathway.

There is some controversy as to how this is appropriately treated, but there is general consensus that if treatment is to be successful, the sooner it is instigated the more likely it is to work.

Treatment options in conventional use are;

  • Use of oral steroids.
  • Use of oral antiviral agents such as Acyclovir.
  • Rebreathing strategies and or the use of Carbon Dioxide gas (carbogen).

In all cases, counselling needs to be given about the avoidance of loud noise, particularly during the period of potential recovery. If recovery or substantial improvement has not occurred within one week, some people inject steroids into the middle ear cleft (intratympanic steroid injection) assuming that this will facilitate a high concentration of steroid permeating into the inner ear space.

If recovery does not occur, it is very important to rule out potential pathology between the inner ear and the base of the brain (retro cochlear pathology) and appropriate imaging using MRI/ MRA is organized. In that case, please contact Havas ENT Clinics to book an appointment as soon as possible.