Sudden hearing loss

Sudden hearing loss is an unexplained sudden change in hearing in one or both ears.


Most people tend to experience sudden hearing loss in one ear. Some people may experience a loud popping sound before their hearing reduces. Other symptoms can include a feeling of fullness in the ear, dizziness (vertigo), and tinnitus.


The exact cause of sudden hearing loss resulting in a sensorineural hearing loss is unknown. Possible causes may include earwax build-up, ear infection, injury to the ear, some viruses, certain medications and Ménière's disease.


Any hearing loss you experience suddenly and without any obvious cause, should be examined as soon as possible.

Treatment and prevention

If you experience sudden hearing loss, we recommend you see a medical professional within 24 hours. Treatment can include steroids, antibiotics, changing medication, earwax removal and hearing aids.