Sudden Hearing Loss – A Medical Emergency

Although I’ve discussed this topic before in my blog (click HERE to read), I feel it’s worth going over again.
Hearing loss usually occurs gradually over time so if you notice a sudden decline in hearing either instantly or over a few days it may be a sign of what is called “Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss”. Sudden sensorineural hearing loss can be irreparable without urgent medical care.
A sudden sensorineural hearing loss will often affect just one ear and it may be accompanied with tinnitus (a ringing/whooshing/roaring sound in the ear). It can also be accompanied by dizziness or a feeling of ‘fullness’ in the ear. If you experience these symptoms call an audiologist immediately. Most audiology clinics will try to get you in to see the audiologist the same day.
An audiologist will assess the degree and severity of the hearing loss as well as check for ear wax or infection. Diagnoses and access to treatment quickly after the onset of hearing loss is crucial to improving the chances of restoring your hearing, ideally within 48 hours or less.
We recommend everyone get a baseline hearing assessment and routine hearing checks to help understand and monitor their hearing health. It is important not to ignore any sudden changes in hearing (don’t just assume it’s wax) and seek urgent medical care if you experience any of the symptoms.