Translate
Translate this website into the following languages:



Close Tab
Donations
UC San Diego Health
menu iconMenu
search iconSearch

Loss of Hearing with a Cold Could be Sudden Deafness

 

December 27, 2005  |  

Sudden deafness is an ear emergency that strikes one person in 5,000 every year, says Jeffrey Harris, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center chief of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery.

Harris says about half the patients may notice dizziness or imbalance for up to a day or two, but the main symptom is a blocked ear and tinnitus (ringing, roaring, or buzzing noise). If caught quickly, at least 50% of cases can be reversed with medical treatment.

“Current evidence suggests that sudden deafness usually arises as a complication of viral infection,” says Harris. “The cold weather season is also the head cold season. Many patients who catch cold develop ear blockage and assume it is just congestion from the head cold when it could be sudden deafness. By the time the cold symptoms are gone and they notice that only one ear cleared and the other one is still blocked, it is often too late to treat the deafness.”

Harris adds that if a person had normal hearing before getting a head cold, there is a simple test that will tell if a blocked ear is from congestion or nerve damage: Hum out loud. If you hear your voice louder in the blocked ear, the problem is congestion and is probably temporary. But, if you hear your voice louder in the good ear, this indicates possible nerve damage in the blocked ear.

A blocked ear should be examined by an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, throat, head and neck specialist) as soon as possible. UCSD is conducting a clinical trial on sudden deafness. For information about the trial call 858-657-6836 or visit www.suddendeafness.org.

 

# # #

News Media Contact: Jeffree Itrich, 619-543-6163, jitrich@ucsd.edu

UCSD Health Sciences Communications HealthBeat: /news/

 

 




Media Contact

Share This Article


Related News

3/21/2017
In a new study, researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, University of Cyprus and Stanford University map the complex biological cascade caused by MIA: the expression ...
3/21/2017
Standard antidepressant medications don’t work for everyone, and even when they do they are slow to kick in. In an effort to find better depression treatments, researchers at University of California ...
3/21/2017
An international team of scientists, led by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and University of California San Francisco, has developed a novel genetic score that al ...
3/20/2017
Genetic mutations that cause cancer also weaken cancer cells, allowing researchers to develop drugs that will selectively kill them. This is called “synthetic lethality” because the drug is only letha ...



Follow Us

Our bimonthly newsletter delivers healthy lifestyle tips, patient stories and research discovery news. Subscribe: