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What causes sudden hearing loss?

Unlike typical sensorineural hearing loss, which happens gradually, sudden hearing loss occurs quickly. Sudden hearing loss is scary for many patients, particularly because it often comes without any known cause. Typically, the audiologist or physician will look for the following potential causes:

  • Viral infections
  • Neurologic problems
  • Metabolic and immunologic disease
  • Toxicity
  • Trauma to the inner ear
  • Circulatory problems of the inner ear (such as Meniere’s disease)

Research has also linked sudden hearing loss with the risk of stroke. If you experience a sudden, acute loss of hearing, visit your audiologist or physician or nearest medical center as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.


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