Inner Ear

Sudden Deafness (Sudden Hearing Loss)

An unexplained rapid loss of hearing, usually in one ear – it should be considered a medical emergency.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Happens suddenly – over minutes, hours or days
  • Complete or partial loss of hearing;
    • sometimes only high or low tones are lost
    • the loss may be constant or fluctuating
  • May also have:
    • tinnitus – new humming or ringing
    • imbalance, giddiness, vertigo
    • blocking/pressure in the ear not relieved by popping
    • fullness/numbness on side of head


Some people will experience tinnitus and not realise that they have a hearing loss.  Some people will notice that they cannot hear on the phone or cannot tell which direction sounds are coming from.


Act Fast! Early diagnosis and starting treatment ASAP help improve your chances of recovery.


What’s Next?

See your GP urgently! They may:

  • discuss starting a course of steroid medication
  • refer you to an Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist, who may arrange a scan
  • discuss when to have your next hearing test


If anyone experiences any sudden change in hearing, they should see a TOLBECS Ear Nurse Therapist or their Doctor URGENTLY!


Sudden change in your hearing? Book an appointment now!