Sudden Hearing Loss
Sudden deafness or sudden hearing loss is defined as a rapid onset hearing impairment occurring over a 72-h period, equal or greater than 30 dB in three consecutive frequencies. The annual incidence is 5-20 cases per 100,000, most being unilateral. Simultaneous bilateral involvement is rare, occurring in 1-2% of all cases.
This is the first report of bilateral involvement as the presenting symptom of breast cancer diagnosed 1 year later. The authors present a case of a female patient, 63-year-old, who appeared in the emergency department with sudden deafness as the only symptom. The examination showed no further alterations. Additional studies were performed, and the patient was admitted in the hospital for monitoring, therapy and etiologic investigation. After investigation, we concluded this was a rare case of severe bilateral sensorineural hearing loss associated with occult carcinoma of breast, diagnosed later.
Sudden hearing loss is an ear emergency, in which fast evaluation by a specialist or someone who may recognize the complaints significantly improves the prognosis for hearing recovery.
Source: Journal of Medical Cases