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Sudden hearing loss - or sudden sensorineural hearing loss - is defined as a loss greater than 30dB in three contiguous frequencies, occurring over a period of less than three days. Sudden sensorineural hearing lossĀ  (SSNHL) may be noticed upon awakening in the morning or develop rapidly over hours or days. Incidents of Sudden sensorineural hearing loss are mostly unilateral, only 2% experience a case of bilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
Treatment with systemic steroids has proven to be successful in many cases, but sudden sensorineural hearing loss should be treated as soon as possible.
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For example, the audiogram on the left depicts a symmetrical hearing loss and the audiogram on the right depicts an assymetrical hearing loss.
The chances of full hearing recovery are smaller for patients with severe loss of hearing and when the sudden sensorineural hearing loss is accompanied by vertigo. Studies have shown that those who have begun treatment within two to four weeks have the greatest chance of recovery. In 30-70% of cases with permanent hearing loss, sudden sensorineural hearing loss may be treated with various types of hearing aids or cochlear implants, as determined by your hearing health specialists.
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Unilateral means hearing loss in one ear, with normal hearing sensitvity in the other ear.


This will be used to determine whether the hearing loss is truly a sensorineural hearing loss or whether it is due to another cause such as wax build-up or otitis media.
The hearing evaluation will also be used to determine the degree of impairment and monitor any change during the course of treatment.An otolaryngologist may also recommend further tests to determine the underlying cause of the hearing loss. The younger the patient, the greater likelihood of full recovery.If a sudden sensorineural hearing loss does not improve with medical treatment, the effects of the hearing loss can be managed with the use of hearing technology. Hearing technology and rehabilitation can be used to help alleviate some of these long-term issues.




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