What is the pathophysiology of sudden hearing loss?

Updated: Aug 28, 2019
  • Author: Neeraj N Mathur, MBBS, MS, DNB(ENT), MNAMS, FAMS; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
  • Print

The postulated pathophysiology for idiopathic sudden sensory hearing loss (ISSHL) has 4 theoretical pathways, as follows:

  • Labyrinthine viral infection

  • Labyrinthine vascular compromise

  • Intracochlear membrane ruptures

  • Immune-mediated inner ear disease.

A disease process involving any of these theoretical possibilities could have sudden hearing loss as a symptom. Each theory may explain a fraction of the episodes of sudden sensory hearing loss, but none of the existing theories individually could account for all episodes.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!