Not all hearing loss comes as a result of long-term disorders or aging. Sometimes, single events or disturbances can cause sudden hearing loss. If you’ve noticed a sudden change in your hearing ability, you must seek out an audiologist or your primary care provider immediately, who can provide treatment to various causes of sudden hearing loss in one or both ears.
Symptoms of Sudden Hearing Loss
Sudden hearing loss is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a sudden or accelerated decrease in hearing ability. This phenomenon, also called sudden deafness, can happen in one ear or both, with the former, unilateral hearing loss, affecting over 90% of people who experience sudden hearing loss.
Common symptoms people experience with rapid hearing loss are:
- Muffled hearing
- Difficulty interpreting speech
- Difficulty hearing high pitches
- Difficulty distinguishing sounds among background noise
Whether or not the cause of sudden hearing loss is a permanent change in hearing, there are solutions to help people with hearing loss in one or both ears with a well-suited hearing aid or other treatment.
What Causes Sudden Hearing Loss?
Unlike gradual hearing loss that can be caused by a dozen or more different causes, sudden hearing loss is usually attributed to one of two common causes: a sudden change in either the inner or outer ear.
When sound doesn’t reach the inner ear from the outer and middle ear, it’s usually due to one-time events such as exposure to a very loud noise, earwax buildup, or a buildup of fluid caused by or causing an infection of the middle ear.
Causes of sudden hearing loss due to an interruption of the workings of the inner ear are usually either due to taking ototoxic (literally, ear poisoning) medications, injury to the head or ears, or a virus that can attack the hearing nerve.
Treatment for Sudden Hearing Loss
Even if you may know the cause of your sudden hearing loss, such as having attended a loud concert or experiencing an ear infection, the best course of action is to see a qualified Doctor of Audiology who can accurately diagnose your condition and get you the treatment you need.
During a comprehensive hearing examination, our Doctors of Audiology conduct a wide array of tests, including audiograms, taking your health history, and physically examining your ear, that inform each other and help them decide what to test next and how to do so. They can order additional tests from specialty facilities to further hone the diagnosis and ensure you pursue the right path of treatment for your sudden hearing loss.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as removing earwax or prescribing antibiotics. However, in more complicated cases, a personalized treatment plan is key to make sure you move forward with your lifestyle intact with a hearing solution that’s right for you and your loved ones.
Person-Centered Hearing Loss Solutions in New Jersey
At the Hearing Doctors of New Jersey, we don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to your hearing health. Instead, we look at not just how your ear works but how your brain perceives sound using our proprietary H.E.A.R. Method™ Treatment Program. If you are experiencing a sudden change in your hearing, call our office or contact us online today.