How to Deal with a Sudden Onset of Hearing Loss

Every year, around 4,000 Americans have to deal with a sudden onset of hearing loss. So what are the causes of this condition? And what are the challenges that come with it?


According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, only up to 15 percent of people know why they suffer from a sudden onset of hearing loss.

Potential reasons for sudden hearing loss include:

  • Meniere’s Disease. This disease is sudden, and it has a huge impact on your balance. People who suffer from Meniere’s disease have to deal with occasional attacks of vertigo as well.
  • Head or Ear Injury. Mechanical damage can puncture your eardrum, or harm the hair cells in your inner ear.
  • Foreign objects in the ear. They can block your ear canal, and also put pressure on your sensory organs.
  • Infectious Diseases. Complications following ear infections are another common problem.


Doctors will usually start your treatment plan with corticosteroids. After all, swelling is one possible cause for hearing issues, and it can be very difficult to diagnose.

Corticosteroids are also a great help with certain autoimmune diseases, such as Cogan syndrome.

Once the swelling or inflammation in your body is taken care of, you may get your hearing back to some extent. However, many people have to look into hearing implants instead.

Emotional Effects

It can be difficult and exhausting to deal with a sudden onset of hearing loss. For many, it is stressful not to know the cause of an illness. Usually, sudden hearing loss happens only in one ear, so you may not know whether your other ear is in danger too.

In addition to the stress caused by seeking out treatment, you will probably have to implement some lifestyle changes. Even if the problem is temporary, unexpected hearing loss can cause problems at work or at home. Hence, counseling or therapy might be a good idea.

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