Sudden hearing loss

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There is a Web site with tips for people, who lost their hearing, and want to keep their job or find another job:


This Web page is not intended to replace your doctor's point of view. This is solely for information only. I have tried to keep the information as accurate and up to date as much as possible. If you have any medical questions refer those to your Ear Specialist. I am not a doctor. I am the Webmaster of this Web site. My goal is to gather information and make it available to people who suffer from sudden hearing loss.

Treatment of sudden hearing loss

As of January 2006, the current state of the art of sudden hearing loss treatment is to go to hospital ASAP! In some cases, steroids and rest help recover some of one's hearing, but the treatment must start as soon as possible after hearing loss. You also need to know which ENT specialist is well-versed with current treatments.

Statistics about sudden hearing loss

Sudden deafness occurs in about 1 in every 5000 people every year.

The cause is basically unknown, some say its due to an "un-named virus", others say of a vascular etiology.

The hearing loss is usually profound, and does not return in about one third of those afflicted.
Believe it or not, normal hearing returns in 7 to 10 days in another third,
while partial recovery occurs in the final third.

There is no real treatment and many ear nose & throat doctors/audiologists feel inept when dealing with such a condition.

(Contributed by Hartley Bressler at 26 June 1994.)

Sudden hearing loss due to Mondini syndrome

A characteristic of Mondini malformation of the inner ear can be sudden hearing loss. A mondini malformation is an underdeveloped cochlea. In my son's case his cochlea is only 1 1/2 turns, not the normal 2 3/4. I have several studies on this that I received from House Ear Institute as well as some other articles from textbooks. With a mondini, hearing loss can be sudden or gradual. Mild to profound. My son was borm with mild loss of 40 db. At 7 months he was 70-90 db., today at 2 1/2 years he is 107 db. Mondini malformations can be detected with a cat scan. It is thought to be 95% congenital , possibly X-linked. (In my family of 6 HOH/Deaf, the 2 males were/are severely to profoundly deaf. The 4 females are mild to moderate).

Sorry to drag on about this, but there is an interesting characteristic which sometimes manifests itself with mondini malformations. Some people hear ultra high frequencies only( ie over 8000 hz). They think this is due to the high frequency hair cells being located at the fat part (beginning) of the cochlea and since the cochlea did not develope completely, this area is saturated with hair cells. Not all audiologists have booths to test ultra-high sounds though.

Back to sudden loss, I can almost pinpoint the day my son's ears stopped working as his behavior changed dramatically. At 6 to 7 months, he started banging his head on the floor, hitting his ears with his hands as if to say "Hey, who turned the volume down!". He also started spitting/ making raspberries to get peoples attention.These things stopped when he was aided. (almost overnight in fact)

(Contributed by Karen Burka at 8 July 1994.)

Last update date: 
2006 Jan 6