Sudden Hearing Loss

Sudden loss of hearing, persistent dizziness, or worsening tinnitus should be treated urgently. While these symptoms can result from middle ear dysfunction or infection, they can also be due to a virus, Meniere's, autoimmune disorder, trauma, vascular incident, tumor, or neurologic disorder. EAR Audiology conducts thorough diagnostic evaluations to provide timely data for medical referral, diagnosis, and treatment.

Hearing loss typically occurs gradually, and in both ears, over a period of years. Loud noise, toxins, genetics, and other factors are to blame. Expedient treatment of gradual hearing loss is generally unnecessary. However, treatment of hearing loss that occurs over seconds to days should be regarded as an urgent need. It can occur in one or both ears.

Sudden hearing loss is sometimes accompanied by ringing in the ear (tinnitus) or a sense of the ear being clogged/plugged. In fact tinnitus and pressure are sometimes the primary or only symptoms. Furthermore, since the inner ear has both hearing and balance function, dizziness might also be attributed to inner ear dysfunction.

The inner ear is composed of the organ of hearing, which is known as the cochlea, and the organ of balance, which is called the vestibule. Although these components are functionally different, they share fluid and have closely tied neurologic and cardiovascular supplies. What affects one component can affect the other! In other words, the symptoms of hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear pressure can be accompanied by dizziness. One might perceive the dizziness as vertigo/spinning, imbalance, or even lightheadedness.

If you experience any of these symptoms then visit urgent care, your primary care physician, or an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) immediately. Also contact EAR Audiology for assessment as these data will be important for accurate medical diagnosis.