Anyone who suddenly loses their sense of hearing or has a feeling of pressure in their ears is probably suffering from a sudden hearing loss. You can find out how to proceed and what the causes are here.

A slight hearing loss, a feeling of pressure in the ear or even a distorted perception of sounds – these are common symptoms of sudden hearing loss.

Dizziness, a furry feeling around the auricle or oversensitive hearing can also indicate this. It usually comes on suddenly and without warning.

“As with most other diseases, a lot of rest and relaxation also helps with sudden hearing loss in order to put as little additional stress on the body as possible,” advises Prof. Götz Lehnerdt, ENT doctor at the Petrus Hospital in Wuppertal.

If the hearing loss is severe, you should consult an ENT doctor immediately. He can clarify possible previous illnesses – and carry out appropriate examinations.

In the case of a very slight sudden hearing loss, it is quite possible to wait a day or two. In most cases, hearing will return on its own within a day – and the symptoms will subside. If the situation does not improve, you should see an ENT doctor – preferably the next day.

The exact causes of sudden hearing loss have not yet been conclusively clarified. Experts suspect a connection with the cardiovascular system and circulatory disorders in the inner ear.

Metabolic disorders and previous illnesses such as viral infections, diabetes, thrombosis, embolism or vascular spasms can be possible causes. Stress and noise are also suspected of possibly triggering sudden hearing loss. It’s not just about a noise level that damages hearing, explains Lehnerdt, chief physician for ear, nose and throat medicine, head and neck surgery.

Prof. Lehnerdt cites traffic noise as an example: “Sound affects the entire organism, which triggers physical stress reactions,” says the ENT doctor.

“Due to the restlessness, the body releases more stress hormones.” The result: blood pressure and heart rate change. “This in turn can have a significant impact on the blood circulation in the inner ear.”

A sudden hearing loss is not that rare. Along with middle ear infections, it is one of the most common ear diseases in Germany.