Treating Sudden Hearing Loss

Treating Sudden Hearing Loss

Leanne E. Polhill, LHAS, BC-HIS, BA Hearing Loss, Hearing Loss Causes, Hearing Loss Treatment, Hearing Testing

Leanne E. Polhill, LHAS, BC-HIS, BA
Latest posts by Leanne E. Polhill, LHAS, BC-HIS, BA (see all)

Have you noticed any sudden changes in your hearing? Sudden hearing loss can be a sign of a health emergency, and you should take it seriously. This unexpected hearing loss may signal a health concern that may require immediate attention. 

Let’s talk about sudden hearing loss and what you can do about it.

What is Sudden Hearing Loss?

As you might have guessed, sudden hearing loss is hearing loss that happens very quickly. This usually means that you will notice a significant change in your hearing abilities in less than three days. You may even be able to track changes in your hearing throughout the day. Other symptoms include tinnitus and vertigo.

Sudden hearing loss can occur in one ear or both ears. You may notice hearing loss when you first wake up in the morning, and it could get worse throughout the day. You may also hear a pop or a loud noise just before the sudden hearing loss. Finally, you might feel pain or pressure in your head or your ears.

What Causes Sudden Hearing Loss?

Sudden hearing loss happens very quickly. In just a day or two, you may notice major changes to your hearing abilities. Often, sudden hearing loss is a sign that something’s not right. Some of the causes of sudden hearing loss include:

  • A viral infection in the upper respiratory system.
  • A tumor in the ear.
  • A trauma or blow to the head, neck, or ear. 
  • Neurological disorders.
  • Prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications that may cause hearing loss as a side effect.
  • A circulation issue that disrupts blood flow throughout the body and to the ears.
  • An autoimmune disorder.

These are just some causes of sudden hearing loss. If you’ve experienced sudden hearing loss, you should seek medical attention right away. Don’t wait for a few days to see if your hearing returns. During this time, the problem can intensify, and you’ll have a greater risk of permanent hearing loss.

Treating Sudden Hearing Loss

Getting the right treatment depends on what caused the sudden hearing loss. In some cases, treating the infection, removing a tumor, or switching medications can treat sudden hearing loss. Your hearing loss may return to normal, usually within the first week or two. 

However, sudden hearing loss may be permanent. You may have partial or complete hearing loss in one ear or experience hearing loss in both ears. 

Take a Hearing Test

If you have sudden hearing loss, you will have difficulty getting through the day. Your brain has not had time to adjust to the hearing loss, or compensate for sounds you’re not hearing. You may struggle to follow conversations, feel overwhelmed by loud sounds, and find it impossible to determine where sounds are coming from. People with sudden hearing loss often report feeling dizzy or having headaches. By the end of the day, straining to hear leads to exhaustion and fatigue. 

After you’ve consulted your doctor, it’s time to get a hearing test. A hearing test will show you your new hearing range. As part of the hearing test, we’ll also take the time to find out more about your lifestyle and hearing needs so we can make sure you get the hearing aids that are right for you. 

Treating Sudden Hearing Loss

In many cases, sudden hearing loss only affects one ear. We have a range of hearing aids for single-sided hearing loss. These hearing aids wirelessly send all the sounds from your “bad” ear to your “good” ear, so you’ll be able to hear clearly. You won’t need to turn your head to hear the person sitting beside you since your hearing aids will do all the work. These devices also help you localize sounds, or determine where sounds are coming from.

We have a range of hearing aids to suit every lifestyle. Whether you’re very active, spend a lot of time in places with background noise, want to socialize, or can’t wait to enjoy music again, we’ve got just the hearing aids for you. Advanced programs, features, and settings will help you hear all the sounds you’ve been missing.

If you experience sudden changes in hearing, contact us! We provide comprehensive hearing health services and we’re here to help.