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Rapidly progressive sensorineural hearing loss (rapid deafness).

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Department of Otolaryngology, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.


28 ears of 28 patients, aged 15 to 60 years, whose sensorineural hearing loss had developed over a period of a few hours to 3 days, were defined as having rapidly progressing sensorineural hearing loss (rapid deafness), in comparison with so-called sudden deafness with instantaneous onset. For other criteria, their hearing loss was idiopathic and the rate of hearing loss was confirmed by reliable means. The rate was greatest within the first 1-3 days. Of the 28 patients, 12 (43%) recovered completely, while another 12 improved markedly. The prognosis in rapid deafness was relatively good, but the recovery time was longer than in spontaneously healing sudden deafness. Sensorineural hearing loss in contralateral ears more often preceded rapid deafness (9 cases, 32%). No clear-cut difference could be found between rapid deafness and sudden deafness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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