What is Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss?

Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss - see an Audiologist

Do you have unexplained hearing loss?

Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSNHL) is a rapid loss of hearing.

It can affect 27 per 100,000 people every year.

SSNHL may present as:

  • Having no apparent cause
  • Often only in one ear
  • Usually over a timeframe of 3 days or less

If you are experiencing a sudden change in hearing, contact your physician and see an Audiologist right away.

You may also experience other symptoms

In addition to hearing loss, you may experience one or all of these symptoms. Again, if these symptoms are sudden and unusual, we cannot stress enough that you need to seek treatment right away.

Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss Additional Symptoms

Causes of SSHNL

Often we don't know what causes Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss.

Known causes can include:

  1. Head trauma
  2. A viral infection such as measles, mumps, hepatitis
  3. Autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rhumatoid arthritis
  4. Ototoxic (harmful to the ear) medications  - especially cancer or treatment of a severe infection
  5. Poor blood circulation
  6. Neurological disorders e.g. multiple sclerosis
  7. Inner ear diseases e.g. Menieres disease
  8. Allergic reactions

Treatment and outcomes

The majority of people with SSNL may fully or partially recover from SSNHL within one or two weeks. The sooner you seek treatment, the higher your chances for recovery.

Your Audiologist can help you manage the symptoms of SSNHL.

  • Monitoring your hearing
  • Monitoring your balance
  • Prescribing hearing aids 
  • Counselling and education
  • Vestibular rehabilitation therapy
  • Tinnitus evaluation and therapy

SSNHL symptoms can affect your physical and mental health if they are not treated.

If you need to see an Audiologist about sudden hearing loss, please request an appointment online or call us right away at Broadmead Hearing Clinic: 250-479-2969 or Oak Bay Hearing Clinic: 250-479-2921.

Thank you to Speech-Language & Audiology Canada for this information and promoting awareness of SSNHL.