Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss; SSHL
- Conductive—Caused by the inability of the sound to reach the inner ear.
- Sensorineural—Caused by disorders of the inner ear, auditory nerve, or areas of the brain involved with hearing. This type of loss is usually permanent.
|Anatomy of the Ear|
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- Certain infections in the mother during pregnancy, including rubella or sexually transmitted diseases
- Certain medications taken by the mother that affect the fetus during pregnancy
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
- Insufficient oxygen to the fetus during birth or other birth trauma
- Newborn jaundice, which can cause damage to the auditory nerve
- Certain genetic disorders
- Structural defects in the ear
- Ear disorders, such as:
- Family history
- Occupations with noise exposure without proper hearing protection
- Infections, such as meningitis or mumps
- Head or ear trauma
- Previous brain or ear surgery
- Sudden pressure changes—barotrauma
- Sudden excessive noise that damages the ear, such as an explosion
- Cogans syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder
- Inability or extreme difficulty hearing
- Feeling of ear fullness, pressure, or blockage
- In some, tinnitus may be present
- 1-4 months—lack of response to sounds or voices
- Disinterest in musical toys
- Lack of verbalization, such as babbling, cooing, and making sounds
- 8-12 months—lack of recognition of child’s own name
- 12-16 months—lack of speech
- Location of the problem
- Degree of loss
- Cause—not always possible to identify the exact cause of hearing loss, but this information can help guide treatment
- Otoscopy—a lighted scope used to see inside the ear
- Tympanometry to test the pressure of eardrum and other middle ear structures
- A brainstem auditory evoked response test
- Tuning fork test to the vibration of auditory bones
- Hearing tests—audiogram
- Learning sign language and/or lip reading to improve communication skills
- TTY—a means of communication over the phone by using a keyboard
- Using writing as a means of communication
- Using closed captioning
- Make sure all vaccines are up to date.
- Get proper prenatal care, including screening for infectious diseases.
- Avoid certain drugs during pregnancy.
- Consider genetic testing if there is a family history of deafness.
- Get prompt treatment for infections, including those that affect the ear directly.
National Association of the Deaf http://nad.org
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) http://www.nidcd.nih.gov
Canadian Association of the Deaf http://www.cad.ca
Canadian Hearing Society http://www.chs.ca
Adjusting to hearing loss. Hearing Link website. Available at: http://www.hearinglink.org/adjusting-to-hearing-loss. Accessed September 11, 2015.
Deafness—a range of causes. State Government of Victoria Better Health website. Available at: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Deafness%5F-%5Fa%5Frange%5Fof%5Fcauses. Updated June 2011. Accessed September 11, 2015.
Deafness and hearing loss. World Health Organization website. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs300/en. Accessed September 11, 2015.
Plaza G, Herráiz C. Intratympanic steroids for treatment of sudden hearing loss after failure of intravenous therapy. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007 Jul;137(1):74-78.
Sudden deafness. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/ear-nose-and-throat-disorders/hearing-loss/sudden-deafness. Updated October 2012. Accessed September 11, 2015.
Sudden deafness. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) website. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/Pages/sudden.aspx. Updated November 2013. Accessed September 11, 2015.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2015 -
- Update Date: 09/11/2015 -