Sudden hearing loss can be described as a loss of at least 30 dB (decibel) at 3 sound frequencies occurring in less than 3 days, followed by a hearing test (audiometry).
The incidence of sudden hearing loss is 5 to 20 in one hundred thousand. Although it has been found in both women and, it is known to occur more frequently in the 40s.
Sudden hearing loss usually affects one ear.
What are the causes of sudden hearing loss?
The cause of sudden hearing loss is not reported for certain, but there are some reasons that are effective in the formation of:
Viral infections: viral infections such as mumps, measles, rubella, herpes virus, flu can affect the hearing nerves and cause sudden hearing loss.
The inner ear: which is the center of hearing and balance, is very delicate, thin and small in number. Hearing loss can occur as a result of blood clotting disorder or any other cause that may block the vessel, such as embolism.
Autoimmune diseases: our immune cells, which are responsible for protecting our bodies, have the ability to distinguish between what is and what is not. Sometimes this mechanism breaks down and our defense cells open up war to our own body cells by being perceived as foreign matter. The inner ear is affected by this condition and sudden hearing loss can occur.
Hearing loss can be caused by a bacterial infection of the inner ear called the labyrinth.
Tumors: tumors such as meningioma, hemangioma, acoustic neurinoma can affect the hearing nerves or other structures of the ear, causing sudden hearing loss.
Medicines: streptomycin, cyclophosphamide, some diuretics, cisplatin may cause sudden hearing loss.
In addition to the trauma of the inner ear, which can be caused by head trauma, pressure changes that can cause a tear in the mucosa or membranes of the inner ear structures can also result in sudden hearing loss.
Metabolic diseases: diabetes, fat metabolism disorders such as diseases can cause sudden hearing loss is known.
How is hearing loss diagnosed?
The development of hearing loss in less than 3 days is the most remarkable feature. In some patients, dizziness can be observed as well as hearing loss.
- The main test for the diagnosis of sudden hearing loss is audiometry (hearing test). At least 30 dB (decibel) hearing loss should be detected at three frequencies in a row in the hearing test.
- The blood test scans for Metabolic and etiological factors.
If the hearing loss does not improve within three weeks, a detailed examination is carried out with MRI and CT.
Treatment of sudden hearing loss
Patients admitted to our department with sudden hearing loss in the first 10 days are taken to hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The best results in this treatment are obtained in patients who apply in the first 48 hours. The success rate of this treatment is low in patients with sudden hearing loss for 15 days.
For the treatment of sudden hearing loss, blood thinners, certain medications, systemic or local (in-ear) corticosteroids, karbojen, high-molecular-weight serums, vitamins and diuretics, some treatments, such as coenzyme Q can be applied individually or in combination.
Factors affecting the course of the disease can be listed as follows:
- Accompanied dizziness
- Vascular risk factors
- Presence of metabolic diseases such as diabetes, alcohol and smoking
- Late start of treatment (after 3 days)
The most important issue in sudden hearing loss is to start treatment as soon as possible. The more time is wasted in this disease, the less hope of a good response to treatment can be taken.