Time now for our “Life & Info” segment… where we focus on information useful for your everyday life.
Sudden deafness, true to its name, is the rapid loss of hearing.
About a third of cases result in permanent hearing loss even with treatment, …so it’s extremely important to be diagnosed and treated within the “golden time” of two weeks.
Park Se-young has more.
This patient suddenly lost hearing in one ear.
She went to the hospital as soon as she experienced a feeling that her ear was full and had trouble hearing upon waking up in the morning.
But at the hospital, she found out that her hearing loss had become permanent.
Sudden deafness, unlike age-related hearing loss or noise-induced hearing loss, …usually only affects one ear.
About 80 percent of patients hear ringing in their ears and 30 percent become dizzy, …both accompanied by a feeling of ear fullness.
“A hearing loss of 30 decibels or more over at least three frequencies within three days is defined as sudden deafness.”
The treatment consists of a high-dose of steroids, which are first taken orally.
Steroids can also be injected into the space behind the eardrum.
The high doses come with side effects like stomach problems and worsening of symptoms in people with diabetes or high blood pressure.
Even with the treatment, …only about one-third of patients completely recover, while another one-third have a partial recovery … and the rest end up needing hearing aids or cochlear implants.
Experts emphasize the importance of receiving treatment within two weeks of diagnosis.
“Organ transplants must take place within the golden time of six to eight hours, but they won’t work for sudden deafness two weeks after the onset. It’s best to get diagnosed as early as possible and begin using medicines.”
The exact cause of sudden deafness is unknown, …but some possible causes include illness and stress.
People experiencing symptoms like hearing different volumes in each ear, a muffling of speech, ringing in the ears and feeling of ear fullness, …should consider it a medical emergency and visit a doctor immediately.
Park Se-young, Arirang News.