Suddenly losing your hearing

Sudden hearing loss can happen at any age. While your hearing could return by itself, many people need treatment.

A Baha recipient smiles at his wife

What you'll find on this page

  • The signs of sudden hearing loss.
  • One woman's story about her sudden hearing loss.
  • How to take the next steps to better hearing.

What is sudden hearing loss?

This is rapid loss of hearing, most commonly in just one ear. It can happen immediately or over a few days. There are many possible causes, including medication, illness or trauma. It's important to get it checked by a doctor.

What are the signs of sudden hearing loss?1

  • Waking up in the morning unable to hear.
  • Unable to hear on the phone.
  • A loud "pop" just before hearing suddenly disappears.
  • Dizziness and ringing in the ears.

Sudden hearing loss can have a major impact on your life — as active grandmother and court reporter Angie discovered. After regaining her hearing with a bone conduction implant, Angie got back in touch with her career and her family.

Implant recipient Angie poses for a photo with a baby

"A job I absolutely loved and that came easy to me for the last 30 years suddenly became difficult and exhausting."

- Angie M, Cochlear™ Baha® recipient, USA

What should I do if I suddenly lose my hearing?

Don't ignore it and hope your hearing comes back naturally. See a doctor so they can try to determine its cause and rule out any serious illnesses, such as stroke or bacterial infection. They may be able to treat the underlying cause with medication.

How can you treat sudden hearing loss?

About half of all people who suffer sudden hearing loss find that some or all of their hearing comes back spontaneously, usually within one to two weeks.1

If your hearing fails to return, you should get your hearing tested by an audiologist who specialises in all types of hearing solutions, including hearing implants. They can diagnose and recommend the best treatment for you.



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Please seek advice from your health professional about treatments for hearing loss. Outcomes may vary, and your health professional will advise you about the factors which could affect your outcome. Always follow the directions for use. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for product information.

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Views expressed are those of the individual. Consult your health professional to determine if you are a candidate for Cochlear technology.


  1. Sudden deafness [Internet]. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders; (2017), [cited Mar 14, 2018]. Available from: