Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mysterious Hearing Loss

Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL) should be treated as an emergency within the first two weeks. That can make a big difference as to how much hearing is retained since the hair cells in the inner ear (or cochlea) die in this condition. The early regiment is usually a round of steroids. Symptoms include a sudden loss of hearing, sometimes accompanied by a popping sound, ringing in the ear and dizziness. The worst problem is that these symptom are similar and often mistaken for a viral infection which will typically clear up on its own over the course of a couple of weeks.

Most of the time, the cause of SSHL is unknown. In cases where doctors know the causes, they say it includes head injuries, loud noises as well as meningitis, measles, and mumps. A build-up of pressure in the inner ear can rupture an inner membrane. In the unknown cases, most physicians would point to a virus or obstruction as the most likely culprit. SSHL hits some 6000 people every year in the US.