Statistics on SSNHL
Every year, out of 100,000 people between five to 30 individuals suddenly lose their hearing within a minute or a few hours due to sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). Unfortunately, most people do not seek immediate medical attention because SSNHL and other forms of hearing loss are very much alike and can be confused with a temporary obstruction that is caused by earwax or fluid. SSNHL should be treated as a medical emergency, and any instances of sudden hearing loss needs to be addressed immediately.
A background on SSNHL
SSNHL, or sudden deafness, is characterized as having a drop of 30 dB or more in over three frequencies over a brief period of time. Normally, it only affects one ear, but it’s possible that both ears can become affected. It appears to be most prevalent for those between the ages of 30 and 60. About 50 percent of those individuals regain their hearing within two weeks without any treatment. In order to have a better chance of restoring your hearing, some medical professionals may treat you with steroids and antiviral medication. These treatment should only be used with the guidance of a medical professional, who should take into account any possible side effects.
If you experience SSNHL, you may hear a pop in the ear that is affected. After this popping noise occurs, the hearing could immediately disappear, or slowly decline within a few hours. You may only notice SSNHL when you use a phone on the ear that is affected, and it might be accompanied by vertigo, tinnitus (a ringing or buzzing noise in the ear), or if your ear feels full.
Causes of SSNHL
Some causes of SSNHL include:
In many cases, the precise cause is never discovered. SSNHL can occur at any age, whether or not you’ve had any previous hearing problems. Approximately 10 percent of people who are diagnosed have a detectable cause.
A high dosage of steroids are commonly used to treat SSNHL. Get treatment within two to three days for the best outcome. Even if you wait two weeks to get help, there’s a chance that steroids will not be helpful. You might need follow-up tests and frequent hearing assessments in order to observe the progress or your recovery.
Preventative care for SSNHL
It’s difficult to prevent SSNHL, but the best practice is to monitor your general well-being and take care of your ears:
Who would typically experience SSNHL?
If you recently experienced an ear infection, problems with blood circulation, head trauma, neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis, or Meniere’s Disease, you could be at a higher risk of SSNHL. This type of hearing loss can happen without a warning, so it’s important to address any sudden hearing loss that you experience.
If you have already sought immediate medical attention for SSNHL, but continue to experience any range of hearing loss please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. Our hearing instrument specialists will discuss hearing solutions for your specific needs.