Sudden hearing loss: eight years' experience and suggested prognostic table

Laryngoscope. 1984 May;94(5 Pt 1):647-61.


The etiology, incidence, acute and late prognosis, and treatment of sudden hearing loss (SHL) are described variously in the literature. In an 8-year prospective study of 225 SHL patients, initiated in July 1973, overall, normal, or complete recovery occurred in 45% of patients and late otologic complications in 28%. Important prognostic indicators were severity of initial hearing loss and vertigo, time to initial audiogram, and elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate; other indicators were age greater than 60 and less than 15 years, midfrequency audiogram configuration, and hearing status of the opposite ear. A common inflammatory cause is suggested for all degrees of severity in SHL, and a prognostic table is provided to aid the practitioner in predicting recovery. There is still no evidence that treatment achieves a result better than expected with spontaneous recovery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / administration & dosage
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / complications
  • Child
  • Cochlea / pathology
  • Cranial Nerves / physiopathology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / epidemiology
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / etiology*
  • Hearing Tests
  • Heparin / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Meniere Disease / complications
  • Middle Aged
  • Papaverine / administration & dosage
  • Prognosis
  • Serologic Tests
  • Vertigo / complications


  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Heparin
  • Papaverine