I woke up this morning with no hearing in one ear. What should I do?
A sudden change in hearing, particularly in only one ear, is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Some people experience tinnitus and vertigo with the decreased hearing. Many people who notice a sudden change think, “It’s nothing serious. I’ll just wait and see what happens.” But it is critical that you be examined by a physician, preferably an ear, nose and throat specialist, as soon as possible. The physician can rule out easily-treatable causes such as earwax blocking your ear canal or an ear infection. However, in 90% of the cases of sudden changes in hearing, the cause cannot be identified. Some people’s hearing recovers spontaneously within 10-14 days. Unfortunately, many people experience a permanent loss of hearing, especially those who do not seek immediate treatment. The most common treatment is steroids, which should be administered immediately, since they will not be effective if too much time has passed. What should you do if you notice a sudden change in hearing? Seek medical treatment immediately!
April 1, 2020Ask the Audiologists