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About Sudden SensoriNeural Hearing Loss (SSNHL)

SSNHL is also known as sudden deafness and belongs to the group of rare conditions that affect the inner ear.

  • Rapid (instant or in <72 hours) hearing loss typically unilateral

  • Loss of >30 decibels (a 1000-fold reduction of sound perception)

  • Often accompanied by tinnitus and vertigo

  • Most commonly affects people over 45 years of age

SSNHL occurs with the destruction of sensory hair cells (sound detectors), the sensory neurons (conducting auditory information to the brain), or their connections.

While the cause of most cases (71%) in unknown (idiopathic), other possible causes include

  • Infectious (12.8%) or otologic (4.7%) diseases

  • Traumatic injury including noise (4.2%)

  • Vascular/hematologic (2.8%)

  • Neoplasia (2.3%)

  • Other (2.2%)

No treatments are currently available for SSNHL