The clinical analysis of bilateral successive sudden sensorineural hearing loss
OBJECTIVES To analyze the clinical characteristics and treatment results between bilateral (bi-) and unilateral (uni-) sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING A retrospective study. METHODS Three hundred twenty-four patients with SSNHL were classified into two groups; simultaneous bi-SSNHL (n = 16) and uni-SSNHL (n = 308). We compared clinical characteristics, medical history, hearing level, and treatment results between the 2 groups. RESULTS The incidence of bi-SSNHL was 4.9 percent of overall patients with SSNHL. Bi-SSNHL occurs more commonly in patients of older age, with preexisting diabetes mellitus, and lipid panel abnormalities compared with uni-SSNHL. Ten patients (62.5%) in the bi-SSNHL group showed hearing recovery in 1 or both ears compared with 56.5 percent of patients with uni-SSNHL. Only 12 (37.5%) of all 32 ears recovered in bi-SSNHL, which was significantly lower than in uni-SSNHL. CONCLUSION Bi-SSNHL has a very low incidence and lower recovery rate than uni-SSNHL. Recognition of similarities and differences between bilateral and unilateral SSNHL can help in counseling and managing the patients.