Sudden hearing loss (SHL) is a common disease in the daily practice of ear-nose-throat (ENT) and audiology clinics. It is usually defined as a sensorineural type hearing loss of 30 dB or greater in three contiguous frequencies. Although several factors were suggested for the etiology of SHL, in most of the cases, no cause could be detected and they were diagnosed as idiopathic cases. Although certain specific treatments might be applied in patients with known etiology, corticosteroids are the main component in the treatment of idiopathic SHL. Many experts and centers have developed different treatment protocols with similar approaches. SHL is considered as an emergency in ENT, as it may cause a permanent loss in hair cells, if it is not treated or the treatment is not initiated at the right time. For patients, who did not or partially benefit from the initial treatment, different salvage treatment protocols had been developed. As SHL severely affects the patient’s quality of life, its diagnosis and treatment should be thoroughly deliberated.
Part of the book: An Excursus into Hearing Loss