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It is strongly advised to see your doctor for a sudden hearing loss treatment on an emergency basis as soon as possible after the occurrence of a sudden hearing loss.

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Just as the precise source of your sudden hearing loss may be hard to pinpoint, it may be difficult to treat. It is strongly advised to see your doctor for a sudden hearing loss treatment on an emergency basis as soon as possible after the occurrence of SSNHL in order that causes demanding immediate attention may be determined or eliminated.

However, the usefulness of medical sudden hearing loss treatment of itself is debatable. Whereas some specialists favour aggressive treatment of underlying causes in the hope of reversing or curing many cases of sudden hearing loss, others conclude based on earlier studies that their patients are equally likely to regain their suddenly lost hearing fully or partially whether they receive treatment or not. However, some recent studies indicate improved results in patients receiving some forms of steroid therapy when this treatment is deemed appropriate.

Among the 30 percent to 70 percent of the patients whose sudden hearing loss becomes permanent, treatment options vary from hearing aids to cochlear implants.

In the vast majority of sudden hearing loss cases, one ear is affected. Unilateral hearing loss particularly affects communication in situations with background noise.

For the majority of the patients who do not recover their hearing by a sudden hearing loss treatment, hearing aids and assistive listening devices are the best treatment. Cochlear implants may be considered for the small fraction of SSNHL patients with severe to profound bilateral hearing loss. In cases of severe or profound unilateral hearing loss, the most common treatment includes a bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA) - a hearing implant that is placed in the skull behind the ear.

Source: Hearing Review, December 2003, Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss special issue.

Causes of sudden hearing loss

Sudden hearing loss can be treated with steroid injection

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