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Audiology Section
March 1961

Hearing Loss of Sudden Onset

Arch Otolaryngol. 1961;73(3):350-357. doi:10.1001/archotol.1961.00740020358017

Sudden deafness has been commonly associated with cochlear disturbance. Vascular accident,1-12 acute rise in labyrinthine pressure,13-14 and retarded blood flow in the internal auditory artery15-16 have all been hypothesized. Concurrently, viral infection and toxic neuritis of the eighth nerve have also been proposed as possible etiologies.10, 12,17-23 Some investigators have even suggested a more central site.10,24-25

The present study was motivated by a recent clinical observation that many patients with unilateral sudden deafness showed marked threshold adaptation on Békésy audiometry, behaving, in this respect, like patients with acoustic neurinoma.26-27 The implication of apparent eighth nerve rather than cochlear lesion in these patients prompted us to study, in detail, the manner in which patients with sudden deafness respond to various auditory and vestibular tests.

Subjects  All of the 24 patients tested in this experiment had unilateral sensorineural hearing loss. They were divided into 2 groups,

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