A sudden sensorineural (“inner ear”) hearing loss can occur without warning, and result in partial or complete hearing loss. It frequently affects only one ear. Approximately 20 of every 100,000 individuals will experience a sudden hearing loss. Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and vertigo (dizziness) often occur with the sudden hearing loss.

To diagnose sudden sensorineural hearing loss, we must first rule out conductive hearing loss—hearing loss due to obstruction in the ear, such as fluid or ear wax. Our doctors of audiology at Alexandria Hearing Centers will perform a comprehensive hearing evaluation to determine the degree and type of hearing loss.

A sudden hearing loss is considered a medical emergency and you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible with an ENT doctor and audiologist. Receiving timely treatment greatly increases the chance that you will recover at least some of your hearing.

Possible Causes:

  • Infections
  • Ototoxic medications
  • Circulatory problems
  • Immunologic or neurological diseases                            
  • Disorders of the inner ear, such as Meniere’s disease

Most Common Treatments:

  • Oral steroids
  • Intratympanic steroid injections
  • If hearing is not fully recovered, hearing aids may be recommended

If you notice a sudden decrease in your hearing, don’t wait!

Call our office at 703-922-4262

to be seen for a hearing evaluation.