What is Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease?
When hearing loss is rapid and occurs in both ears, it is characterized as inner ear disease, which is an inflammatory condition of the inner ear. Hearing loss typically occurs suddenly in one ear and progresses rapidly to the second ear, and can happen over a period of weeks or months. Many of the symptoms are similar to a middle ear infection, including fullness in the ear and tinnitus, and perhaps some vertigo. When hearing loss occurs in the second ear and a diagnosis is made, treatment usually begins.
Though not certain, inner ear disease is suspected to be an autoimmune disease, occurring when the inner ear cells are mistaken for a virus or bacteria, resulting in an attack by the body’s immune system. If treated quickly, inner ear disease can be stopped and hearing can be restored to at least some degree.
If you experience sudden hearing loss, please make an appointment with our office right away. Our experienced ear, nose & throat specialists are able to identify diseases quickly and create a proper treatment plan tailored to your hearing loss.