Sudden Hearing Loss: What’s this? And what can you do?

21 October 2017

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A sudden hearing loss usually occurs "out of the blue" on: Suddenly the person can on one or - more rarely - only poorly or not hear both ears. But where does the sudden hearing loss? And what can you do so that you can hear normal quickly?

Some researchers suspect that a sudden hearing loss with circulatory disorders of the inner ear related. Yet: To date, no one knows exactly what causes stuck behind a sudden hearing loss. The symptoms occur out of nowhere - for no apparent reason. This distinguishes the sudden loss of hearing, for example, by a so-called acoustic trauma, sudden noise in which the inner ear harm.

In addition to circulatory disorders but are also available other causes suspected cause some hearing - including, for example,

Find out more: For example, a sudden loss of hearing might arise

In the inner ear, specifically in the cochlea, there are so-called hair cells. These sensitive cells have the task of converting the recorded sound waves from the environment into electrochemical signals and transmit via the auditory nerve to the brain.

In the brain, even a certain area (so-called. Auditory cortex) processes these signals to Hörwahrnehmungen, including speech, music or ambient noise. When the hair cells are not getting enough blood and oxygen, this may limit the hearing and therefore may cause some hearing.

Facts about sudden hearing loss

A sudden hearing loss usually occurs without warning on: suddenly can not do anything more or hardly hear anything.

Many sufferers describe the feeling in a sudden loss of hearing as if a piece of cotton or earplugs stuck in her ear. They take sounds true only dull - sometimes a sudden loss of hearing is also ringing in the ears (tinnitus) or dizziness associated.

Medically speaking it concerns with a sudden loss of hearing while Not an emergency - but you should at the first symptoms see a doctor as soon as possible. Behind a sudden hearing loss and diseases can plug that must be treated quickly may or investigated further - for example, a middle ear infection or Meniere's disease.

In any case, you should treat yourself calm I after a sudden loss of hearing. Therefore, you will eventually get sick Write Your doctor or even transfer under certain circumstances for treatment in a hospital.

The good news: In about half the cases, the sudden hearing loss is within the first 24 hours spontaneously. The lower the hearing loss goes down, the better the prognosis.

Researchers suspect that a sudden hearing loss with circulatory disorders of the inner ear related. However, the exact causes are not known. © Jupiterimages / Stockbyte

Researchers suspect that a sudden hearing loss with circulatory disorders of the inner ear related. However, the exact causes are not known.

The question of the proper treatment can not be answered generally. While there are a variety of treatment methods that have been tried in recent years - until today, however, is not known exactly what treatment best helps in a sudden loss of hearing. 

With a slight sudden hearing loss, many doctors advise initially to wait a few days. If in a sudden loss of hearing within three days have set no improvement, the ear, nose and throat specialist may use, for example, certain drugs that act against inflammation and swelling in the ear.

These are so-called glucocorticoids, also called corticosteroids. These drugs (for example, prednisolone), the physician can both

Sometimes the doctor ordered separately (or only) pentoxifylline or ginkgo as tablets to increase blood flow in the ear - these drugs are not recommended by the current guidelines.


Should a sudden hearing loss do not heal by itself, the guideline currently in force in Germany recommends treatment with high doses of cortisone as an infusion solution or in tablet form. If no improvement after a few days despite these cortisone treatment, the doctor may inject the glucocorticoid directly into the middle ear (intratympanically). 


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