The sudden loss of hearing by an apparently healthy person is an unusually alarming symptom. Roaring tinnitus is almost always associated, and true vertigo may be associated. A careful history has to be taken, however, in order to determine whether the deafness actually came on suddenly. Deafness may and occasionally does come on like "a bolt from the sky." When this does occur, the deafness is likely to be associated with vascular changes, such as atherosclerosis,1 and is often, but not always, total and permanent.
Since sudden deafness is seldom associated with an immediate fatal event or disease, factual information about the pathologic process underlying the loss of function is obscure.2 Several causative factors are suggested, however: (1) vascular changes such as thrombosis, spasm or hemorrhage of the auditory apparatus; (2) toxic involvement of the cochlea or eighth nerve; (3) neuritis of the eighth nerve; (4) systemic diseases,
HALLBERG OE, UIHLEIN A, SIEKERT RG. Sudden Deafness Due to Cerebellopontine-Angle Tumor. AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1959;69(2):160–162. doi:10.1001/archotol.1959.00730030166006
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