Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. Jul-Aug 1977;86(4 Pt 1):463-80.
doi: 10.1177/000348947708600406.

Natural History of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Natural History of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

D E Mattox et al. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. .


This is a prospective in-depth study of patients with sudden idiopathic sensorineural hearing loss. We found that 65% recover completely to functional hearing levels spontaneously and independent of any type of medical treatment. The majority do so within 14 days and many within the first few days. Prognosis can be predicted according to the slope of the initial audiogram (low-frequency losses do better than high-frequency losses), hearing at 8 kHz, erythrocyte sedimentation rates, in some select instances spatial disorientation symptoms, and speech discrimination scores. There was a very poor correlation between hearing and vestibular test abnormalities, except hypoactive calories. There were no correlations with age (excepting the very elderly), with antecedent respiratory infections, hypertension, diabetes, or other chronic diseases. We conclude that there is a fundamental difference in the behavior of apical and basal cochlea losses, that hearing recovery is always better at low than at high frequencies, that because of the high spontaneous recovery rates, tympanotomies seeking peri-lymph fistulas should be delayed ten days unless there is a progressive hearing loss, and that none of the current recommended treatments, especially histamine, have any effect on the outcome.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 103 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

MeSH terms

LinkOut - more resources