Health Library

Hearing Loss, Sudden

Sudden Hearing Loss

If you notice a change in your child’s hearing, talk with an audiologist or your child’s doctor. Your child may need to have a diagnostic hearing test. 

How Will I Know If My Child’s Hearing Has Changed?

You may notice your child having any of these issues:

  • Telling you that they cannot hear
  • Not answering you or others
  • Asking people to repeat themselves more often
  • Misunderstanding what is said more often  

Common Causes

Some of the common causes of sudden hearing loss include:

  • Allergies, ear infections, sinus infections or ear-wax buildup. These are usually temporary conditions.
  • Loud noises, head injuries, medications or other disorders

Some children have sudden hearing loss, and the cause cannot be identified. Hearing may drop all at once or over a few days, and it usually occurs in only one ear.

Testing for Hearing Loss

An audiologist will give your child a diagnostic hearing test. This test tells if the hearing loss is temporary or permanent. The audiologist can help you decide what to do next. 


Treatment depends on the results of the hearing test. If hearing loss is discovered, your child will need to see an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) doctor. It is important to follow the audiologist’s instructions. Temporary hearing loss may become permanent if you do not seek treatment quickly.

Last Updated 08/2016

Who treats this.

The Division of Audiology at Cincinnati Children’s is one of the largest pediatric audiology programs in the nation. Early intervention and active collaboration with your family can change the outcome for your child with a hearing problem.

Contact us.