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Sudden Hearing Loss can be a Medical Emergency

February 22, 2019

New Guidelines on the Management of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss will soon be available


The sudden loss of hearing in one ear can be caused by a virus that attacks the inner ear.  If this is not treated within the first 1 to 2 weeks, the hearing loss can be permanent.  Often sudden changes in hearing are due to plugging of the Eustachian Tube or Fluid in the middle ear and will almost always recover with time or with sinus or allergy treatments.  But an inner ear loss is a medical emergency that requires immediate aggressive treatment with steroids to prevent permanent loss.   Any sudden change in hearing that lasts more than a day should be evaluated by a physician or hearing specialist.  A hearing test can determine if the loss involves the inner ear.  Your doctor can also perform a simple Weber Test with a Tuning Fork to screen for inner ear hearing loss.  An immediate referral to an Ear Specialist for any suspected inner ear loss can make the difference between saving or losing your hearing. 



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