After treatments, several patients with sudden deafness (SD) continued to have symptoms, including hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness. These unresolved symptoms and their effect on the quality of life (QOL) in SD patients have not been studied. We evaluated QOL using the Hearing handicap inventory (HHIA) and an original questionnaire in SD patients who had been treated more than 6 months prior to the study. Compared to results in bilateral sensorineural hearing were significantly lower in SD patients (p<0.01). In bil-SNHL, this score peaked two to K) years after onset of disease and decreased thereafter. The score peaked more than 10 years after onset of disease in patients with SD. While hearing and test scores were correlated in bil-SNHL, this was not observed in SD. About half of patients were embarrassed by hearing loss and tinnitus after treatment. Among patients who scored more than 44 points on HHIA, all reported hearing loss and tinnitus. When asked about subjective changes in hearing after treatment, 27% believed their hearing had improved, 60% believed there was no change, and 13% believed their hearing had deteriorated. Cases believing deterioration in hearing also had high scores on HHIA. Sequelae of SD may worsen QOL, driving embarrassed patients to visit other medical facilities in to improve their QOL. Even though hearing may not improve after initial treatment in ears affected by SD, informed consent about the clinical course and audiological follow-up should be done.
- Sudden deafness
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