idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL)

Last edited 09/2018 and last reviewed 03/2023

Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) is usually unilateral, can range from mild to total and can be temporary or permanent

  • SSNHL has a significant impact on people's lives, causing considerable concern and disability, particularly if there is already a hearing deficit in the other ear

First-line treatment options for idiopathic SSNHL can include oral steroids, intra-tympanic steroid injections or a combination of both


  • there is a paucity of evidence assessing the effectiveness of these different treatment options - there is heterogeneity in doses and types of steroids and this makes the findings unreliable