SSNHL may be a risk factor for stroke. In a study of patients in Taiwan hospitalized for treatment of a first episode of SSNHL, the risk of stroke over a five-year follow-up period was increased compared with patients of similar age and demographics hospitalized for appendicitis (hazard ratio [HR] , 95% CI -) [ 9 ]. However, in a review of the literature, the committee developing 2012 guidelines for the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) found that the relationship between SSNHL and risk of stroke did not meet their threshold for significance [ 3 ]. SSHNL has also been associated with an increased risk for myocardial infarction later in life [ 10 ].
Sudden hearing loss may result in various complications that reduce hearing capacity. There is always the risk of hearing impairment or even complete deafness. Depending on individual circumstances, these can be short-term or permanent. A possible long-term effect is the development of tinnitus (a permanent buzzing or ringing in the ears) after sudden hearing loss. This can be expressed in various tones and be accompanied by a permanent feeling of pressure in the ear. In some cases, sudden hearing loss is followed by a feeling of internal restlessness and a racing heartbeat.
Depending on timing, intra-tympanic steroid injection is also offered (dexamethasone 10-24mg/cc). Intra-typmpanic steroid injection is performed by inserting a needle through the eardrum and injecting about of highly concentrated steroids directly into the middle ear space. The patient is than instructed to keep the affected ear up for 30 minutes without swallowing, yawning, or popping the ear. After injection, the patient is allowed to immediately resume normal activities. This steroid injection has also been used to treat Meniere's Disease flare-ups.