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Cause of Hearing Loss - Sudden Deafness

Went to Bed Hearing, Woke Up Deaf

By

Updated June 11, 2014

I have been deaf my entire life, so it is hard for me to truly appreciate what people who experience sudden deafness must go through.

Sudden Deafness is Rare

There is very little on the internet about sudden hearing loss, in part because it is relatively rare. People can have normal hearing their entire lives, then wake up deaf. Others can have mild hearing impairment, then suddenly lose all the rest of their hearing.

Resources on Sudden Deafness

The best page on sudden hearing loss is the UTMB page, a long page that discusses diagnosis, frequency, etiology, prognosis, and treatment. It also provides a lengthy bibliography.

Few personal pages describe experience with sudden hearing loss. One parent described her son's experience with sudden loss from Mondini Syndrome.

Still more information on sudden deafness is available through a PubMed search.

One Person's Sudden Deafness Experience

An About.com visitor wrote:

"I was born hearing, but was deliberately exposed to the German Measles at the age of 4 by my mother (who believed it was a harmless childhood diseases.) For the duration of the hi (107) fever, I was completely deaf. When the fever broke, I got back MOST of my hearing. But the hearing has deteriorated slowly as I have aged (I am now 51).

I got a cochlear implant a year ago. It is NOT working well for me. I cannot distinguish between sounds I hear through it. But my real reason for writing, is that this past summer, I experienced sudden adult onset deafness. I woke up one morning with a really loud hum in my good (unimplanted) ear, AND COMPLETE DEAFNESS. This lasted for 3 days. As a teacher of the deaf, I knew this had happened to many late-deafened adults. They always told me that the cause was never found.

I called the doctor who had implanted me, and he started me on a regimen of steroids. Within a week, my hearing returned. Everyone knows the story of Rush Limbaugh. What they DON'T know, is that when this kind of thing strikes them, THERE ARE TREATMENTS TO DEAL WITH THIS. If this sort of thing is caught early enough, it can be stopped, even reversed.

Why isn't this information out there? Why do I continue to meet educated adults who tell me the same story of their sudden onsetdeafness? I think that medicine is NOT doing enough to spread the word about steroid treatments for sudden onset deafness. Everyone knows how to prevent the spread of aids, how to do monthly breast self-examinations, and how to avoid sun-damage to your skin. But why isn't the word out there about the symptoms of, and the ticking-timeclock of sudden onset deafness? As a 24-year veteran teacher of the deaf, I can only impact a very few people with this story."

For examples of About.com forum discussions on sudden deafness, see the Sudden Deafness FAQ page.

Readers Respond: How To Cope with Sudden Hearing Loss?

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