Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL), or sudden deafness, is an unexplained rapid loss of hearing that typically occurs in one ear over a 72-hour period. SSHL affects between one and six people per 5,000 every year, however the actual SSHL incident cases may be higher since it often goes undiagnosed. SSHL most often affects adults between the ages of 40–50-year-olds.1

Common causes:
  • Viral or bacterial infection
  • Loss of blood flow (ischemia) to the inner ear
  • A ruptured membrane in the inner ear
  • Stroke
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Acoustic Neuroma
Current treatment:
  • Corticosteroids

Advancements in the science behind SSHL have been limited over the past several decades. Thus, with this new initiative at The House Institute Foundation, we hope to improve our understanding of the etiologies, diagnostic capabilities, and treatments for SSHL.


1. Sudden Deafness. NIH Pub. No. 00-4757. March 2018.

A Patient’s Perspective:

SSHL Progress:

  • HSA for SSHL initiated in October 2022
  • In-person workshop held on April 21-23, 2023 in Washington D.C.
  • White paper submitted for publication in Otology & Neurotology journal in February 2024
  • William Slattery, MD will be presenting research priorities at COSM conference in Chicago of May 2024
  • Facilitation to promote research priorities has commenced
  • Update meeting with past SSHL experts/participants will be arranged

Get Involved:

For questions or ways to get involved, please contact:

Shemms Najjar
Hearing Science Accelerator Coordinator

Stay Up to Date with Our Research Efforts

Literature Updates:

  • Plontke, S.K., Girndt, M., Meisner, C., Fischer, I., Böselt, I., Löhler, J., Ludwig-Kraus, B., Richter, M., Steighardt, J., Reuter, B., Böttcher, C., Langer, J., Pethe, W., Seiwerth, I., Jovanovic, N., Großmann, W., Kienle-Gogolok, A., Boehm, A., Neudert, M., Diensthuber, M., Müller, A.H., Dazert, S., Guntinas-Lichius, O., Hornung, J., Vielsmeier, V., Stadler, J., & Rahne, T. (2023). High-Dose Glucocorticoids for the Treatment of Sudden Hearing Loss. NEJM Evidence. DOI:10.1056/evidoa2300172 High-Dose Glucocorticoids for the Treatment of Sudden Hearing Loss | NEJM Evidence