Suddenly losing your hearing

Sudden hearing loss can happen at any age. Your hearing could return by itself, but treatment may be required.


What you'll find on this page

  • Learn about sudden hearing loss
  • Hear from someone who has experienced a hearing journey similar to yours
  • How to take the next steps to better hearing

What is sudden hearing loss?

Sudden hearing loss is rapid loss of hearing, most commonly in just one ear. It affects around one in 5,000 people every year, mostly adults in their 40s and 50s.1 There is a clear cause in only 10 to 15 percent of cases.2

What are the signs of sudden hearing loss?3,5

  • 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 a court reporter Angie’s hearing loss started to impact her job. She discovered she lost her hearing from a viral infection. After weeks of using medicine, she researched other options and later talked to her doctor. Read more about Angie’s story and how the Baha® System changed her life.

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

How is sudden hearing loss treated?

Around half of all people affected by sudden hearing loss find that their hearing comes back by itself, usually within one to two weeks.4,5 For others, treatment may be needed. Angie found that a Cochlear™ bone conduction solution gave her back her career and family life.

What should I do if I suddenly lost my hearing?

Get your hearing tested by a hearing health professional who specializes in all types of hearing solutions, including hearing implants. They will be able to diagnose and recommend the best treatment for you.

Find a Hearing Implant Specialist near you


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 read the instructions for use. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for product information.

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

For a full list of Cochlear’s trademarks, please visit our Terms of Use page.


1-4. (accessed 14 March, 2018)

5. Kuhn, M., Heman-Ackah, S. E., Shaikh, J. A., & Roehm, P. C. (2011). Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss: A Review of Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prognosis. Trends in Amplification, 15(3), 91–105.