sudden-hearing-loss-Hearing Injury

Sudden Hearing Loss Needs Emergency Treatment

By Dennis A. Colucci, AuD, MA

 

 

When I see patients whose lives are significantly affected by sudden hearing loss and comorbid tinnitus, I often learn that they were initially treated with antibiotics for their hearing loss but not given the benefit of a hearing test or professional follow-up care. The saga continues when their aural fullness does not resolve within days to many weeks, and an ENT physician or audiologist eventually sees the patient. By that time, though, the benefits of treatment can be limited or already lost.

 

The functional deficits related to sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) are catastrophic. The condition results in severe difficulty localizing sound; hearing from the affected side; and listening to soft voices, with background noise, or in reverberant rooms. Most patients also experience a significant psychological burden of sadness and depression that affects interpersonal relationships, environmental engagement and awareness, and quality of life.