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January 1959

Sudden Deafness Due to Virus Infection

Author Affiliations

From The University of Chicago, Division of Otolaryngology.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1959;69(1):13-18. doi:10.1001/archotol.1959.00730030017003

The purpose of this presentation is to review one segment of a problem which often confronts the otologist, the etiologic diagnosis in cases of sudden deafness, with or without vertigo.

A sudden or rapid onset of deafness may occur at all ages, either with or without vertigo.

Certain circumstances associated with the onset may indicate the etiology in some cases. In others there may be evidence of the general nature of the disturbance, without any specific knowledge of the pathologic process. In many instances there is a lack of information both as to etiology and the pathologic process.

If we exclude from our discussion such well-established causes for sudden deafness as labyrinthitis due to bacterial infection, trauma, and tumor, certain general groups may be differentiated. The commonest of these are Ménière's disease (labyrinthine hydrops), vascular lesions, virus infections, and a group in which the etiology and pathology are quite obscure.