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A doctor can determine whether a person has experienced SSHL by conducting a normal hearing test.
Some patients recover completely without medical intervention, and this is called a spontaneous recovery. Though there are more than 100 possible causes of sudden deafness, it is rare for a specific cause to be precisely identified. If hearing does not completely recover, and the ear is aidable (has good word recognition) then a hearing aid can be considered if the patient feels impaired by their hearing loss. Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, which are the layers that surround the brain and spinal cord. Normal hearing happens because nerve cells in the cochlea send sound signals along the auditory nerve to the brain.
A cochlear implant reproduces sound in ears that don’t work for certain reasons, including meningitis-related ossification. It does this with what’s called an electrode array, a thin and flexible piece of silicone that’s inserted into the cochlea. MED-EL has the largest range of electrode arrays, even special electrode arrays specifically for ossified cochleae, and if you’re considering a cochlear implant then your surgeon will pick out the right electrode array. About this blog:This is the official blog of MED-EL, a leader in implantable hearing loss solutions. Sensorineural Hearing Loss: Develops when the auditory nerve or hair cells in the inner ear are damaged.
An initial hearing loss manifests when people begin to notice a reduction in their hearing ability. If a loss of at least 30 decibels in three connected frequencies is discovered, it is diagnosed as SSHL.
A complete diagnostic audiometric evaluation is also performed to evaluate the type and severity of the loss.

This involves injecting steroid through the ear drum and into the middle ear where it is absorbed through the round window and in to the cochlea. If the ear has such poor word recognition that a hearing aid is not successfully worn (unaidable), then a bone anchored hearing aid insertion can be considered. You have menges because they’re supposed to protect your nervous system, but unfortunately sometimes they can do the exact opposite: inflame and damage your nerves. This inflammation can destroy parts of the cochlea, which is the tiny organ responsible for sending sound signals to your brain. If the meningitis causes hearing loss, hearing normally doesn’t come back because the soft tissues inside the cochlea start to turn to bone, and the nerve cells start to die. The electrode array sits in the cochlea, so every time it sends a tiny electrical pulse this pulse is sent through the living nerve cells so they are ‘heard’ by your brain. It is a place where you can connect with MED-EL and learn all about hearing and hearing implants. The source may be located in the inner ear, the nerve from the inner ear to the brain, or in the brain. Sensory hearing loss refers to loss caused by abnormalities in the cochlea, such as by damage from noise trauma, viral infection, drug toxicity, or Meniere’s disease. It becomes difficult to understand what is being said, when three or more people are talking together. Other sounds, such as bird song, doorbells or a ringing telephone, can recede or simply disappear. The problem is unilateral ( affecting only one ear) in 9 out of 10 people who experience SSHL. Patients who lose hearing suddenly require an MRI scan with gadolinium injection as studies show that 4-10% of these patients will have an acoustic neuroma tumor (link). Several treatments are used for SSHL, but researchers are not yet certain which is the best for any one cause.

Animal research has shown this treatment can increase the concentration of steroids into the cochlea higher than can oral steroids alone. Once this inflammation happens the cochlea can’t respond to sound waves and therefore the ear can’t hear. A cochlear implant can stimulate these nerve cells with electrical pulses, keeping them alive, and sends a signal along the auditory nerve in a way that’s similar to normal hearing.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a 2 year old or 102; a shorter time between hearing loss and cochlear implantation can lead to better hearing with the cochlear implant.
Cochlear osteoneogenesis after meningitis in cochlear implant patients: a retrospective analysis.
Neural loss stems from problems in the auditory (eighth cranial) nerve, such as tumors or neurologic disorders. The most common therapy for SSHL, especially in cases with an unknown cause, is treatment with steroids. Tumors such as acoustic neuromas can lead to sensorineural hearing losses, as can viral infections, Meniere’s disease and meningitis. Others first notice it when they try to use the deafened ear, such as when they make a phone call. Steroids are used to treat many different disorders and usually work to reduce inflammation, decrease swelling, and help the body fight illness. Sensorineural hearing loss can also be the result of repeated, continuous loud noise exposure, certain toxic medications, or as an inherited condition. People with SSHL often experience dizziness, ear fullness, or a ringing in their ears (tinnitus.

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