Ear & Hearing

About Sudden Hearing Loss

The inner ear contains very fine nerve endings were sound waves are converted into neurological signals which are transmitted to the brain. Hearing impairment can result from inner ear degeneration and damage. This can be diagnosed on a hearing test. More specific investigations may be needed to diagnose different causes of SNHL. One of the most important conditions is sudden SNHL, where hearing loss in one ear may develop over a period of 1-3 days. Early diagnosis is crucial as the degree of recovery depends on how quickly treatment is started. The mainstay of treatment is systemic corticosteroids, usually prescribed as an oral treatment for 7 to 14 days. Alternatively, injection of corticosteroids into the middle ear is an option for patients who need treatment for longer periods or who are unable to tolerate systemic corticosteroids.