Causes of Sudden Hearing Loss

Sudden hearing loss, is sudden deafness, where the ability to hear is lost quickly in a short time. It could happen in both the ear, or may particular to a single ear. Many times, sudden loss of hearing is accompanied by tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and sometimes even loss of balance, or dizziness. It may be caused by a sudden conductive impairment, or a sensorineural origin.

When a person can not hear sounds within 30 decibels or more, in three different frequencies for an a period of 3 days, it is diagnosed to be a case of sudden loss of hearing. Some of the causes that result in sudden hearing loss are –

1. Trauma
2. Infections (Viral or Bacterial)
3. Ototoxic Drugs
4. Head Injury
5. Meningitis
6. Temporal Bone Fracture
7. Circulatory disorder causing reduced flow of blood in the inner ear.
8. Diseases of the inner ear like Meniere's diseases
9. Neurological disorders
10. Upper respiratory tract infection
11. Smoking
12. Trauma to the ear due to prolonged exposure to loud sounds etc.

Most people who have experienced sudden loss of hearing have complained of discharge or pus from the ear, vertigo, pain in the ear, tinnitus, and have a history of being exposed to loud sound. Treatment of cases presenting with sudden hearing loss depends on the cause. Most patients are put on vasodilators to improve the circulation of blood to the cochlea and improve inner ear sensitivity. Hearing aid is usedides steroid in the treatment of this condition.

It is very important to treat children with ear infection of the upper respiratory infection to avoid conditions leading to hearing defects. Beside, children being young are unable to express their pain and feelings. So it is important to take care of ear infections if any or treat upper respiratory tract infections timely. Avoid exposure to loud noises like listening to loud music over head phones or television etc.