Hearing loss may take place during an acute exacerbation, which is also known as a relapse, attack or flare-up of MS?. This is the occurrence of new symptoms or the worsening of old symptoms. For 4 to 10% of MS patients, sudden sensorineural hearing loss happens between relapses or remissions.3 Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) is an unexplained, rapid loss of hearing either all at once or over a few days.
Most acute episodes of hearing loss caused by MS will tend to improve over time. However, some people may experience longer lasting changes to their hearing. It is important that if you experience sudden hearing loss you have a hearing assessment as soon as possible. It is recommended to complete the testing and follow up with an ENT or otolaryngologist within 48 hours whenever possible. They may be able to provide treatment options to improve the hearing loss.