What are possible causes 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...
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The term sudden hearing loss encompasses defined causes and ISSHL. In the evaluation of a sudden sensorineural hearing loss, a definite etiology may be uncovered. The following have been associated with sudden hearing loss:

The greater number of cases, however, fit into the idiopathic category. ISSHL is the frustrating endpoint for most patients with sudden hearing loss. However, a study by Passamonti et al indicated that the risk for ISSHL is increased in patients with hyperhomocysteinemia and high levels of factor VIII. The study, which included 118 patients with a first occurrence of ISSHL and 415 healthy controls, found that deficiencies of antithrombin or protein C or S, as well as the presence of cardiovascular risk factors (ie, arterial hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, smoking), may also increase the risk for ISSHL. [13]

Despite the detailed history taking, physical examination, and laboratory investigations, ascertaining the pathophysiology of the events in sudden hearing loss may not be possible; therefore, the cause and treatment of these cases may be more presumptive than factual.

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