Hearing loss can occur gradually or with sudden onset. At Echo Audiology, your Orléans hearing clinic, we take your hearing seriously. Sudden Onset Hearing Loss may be mistaken for something else. If you suspect Sudden Onset Hearing Loss, contact Echo Audiology, your Orléans hearing clinic, immediately to schedule a priority assessment appointment.
A Sudden Onset Hearing Loss is described as a rapid loss of hearing. This can happen to a person all at once or over a period of up to 3 days. For most people, this also only occurs in one ear. A sudden loss of hearing should be considered a medical emergency!
How Can I Know?
Most people know immediately when their hearing suddenly goes away! It is often accompanied by the presence of tinnitus (ringing in the ears), or dizziness, or both. Some patients have also described a loud popping sound right before losing their hearing. Others have described noticing it when they first wake up in the morning, or when they tried using the deafened ear to make a phone call.
What Should I Do?
If you suspect a sudden onset hearing loss, you should call an audiology clinic immediately and request a hearing assessment that same day! Most Audiologists understand the urgency of a sudden loss and will make room to see you at the end of the day or between patients.
The Next Step and Treatment
Based on the test results, the Audiologist will be able to confirm if this is in fact a sudden onset hearing loss, or if the loss of hearing is caused by something else. If it looks like sudden onset hearing loss, the audiologist will refer you to see a doctor immediately, to get treated within the same day. There is a small window of opportunity to get treated, therefore it is crucial not to wait!
Typically, physicians will treat this with steroids, and hope that the hearing comes back. That said, the treatment will be chosen by your physician, not us!
Once treated, we strongly recommend you come back for another test, so we can reassess your hearing and see if the treatment worked. Regardless of the outcome, we will be able to provide you with some answers and make a recommendation as to whether further medical referral is required, or if there is a rehabilitative solution available to you.
It is easy to mistake a sudden drop in hearing for an ear infection or changes in pressure in the ear, as they can give a similar sensation as a sudden hearing loss. If you notice any changes in your hearing, we urge you to not take any chances – just call us to get a hearing test done so you can be sure!
Let the Audiologist at Echo Audiology, your Orléans hearing clinic, assess your hearing to determine whether you are experiencing a Sudden Onset Hearing Loss or some other form of hearing impairment. Hearing tests are at no cost for adults and an Audiologist is always available for you in the case of an emergency. Call 613-841-3033 immediately should you experience hearing loss that is sudden.
Information obtained from various sources and www.canadianaudiology.ca; modified by Karine Bossé