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Sudden sensorineural hearing loss: what can we learn from examining Reddit posts?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 October 2021

V Manchaiah*
Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas, USA Virtual Hearing Lab, Collaborative initiative between Lamar University and University of Pretoria, Beaumont, Texas, USA Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa Department of Speech and Hearing, School of Allied Health Sciences, Manipal, Karnataka, India
A K Deshpande
Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, USA Long Island Doctor of Audiology Consortium, Garden City, New York, USA
M L Bellon-Harn
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Piedmont University, Demorest, GA
R L Boyd
Department of Psychology, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK Security Lancaster, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK Data Science Institute, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
Author for correspondence: Dr Vinaya Manchaiah, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas77710, USA E-mail: Fax: +1 (409) 880 2265



Many patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss may seek hearing health information and social support online, although little is known about the online information seeking behaviour.


The present study aimed to examine the discussions around sudden sensorineural hearing loss in Reddit posts.


A total of 526 Reddit posts about sudden sensorineural hearing loss were extracted and analysed using qualitative and quantitative methods.


The content analysis identified eight main categories. Most of the posts were on topics of: sharing personal experiences (34 per cent), describing symptoms (31 per cent), discussing treatment options (36 per cent) and discussing possible causes (19 per cent) of sudden sensorineural hearing loss. The sudden sensorineural hearing loss Reddit posts varied significantly in terms of linguistic variables when compared to baseline Reddit posts. Reddit posts by individuals with sudden sensorineural hearing loss had significantly higher engagement, higher authenticity and made more references to their body when compared to other users.


The study results provide insights that can be helpful for professionals during clinical interactions.

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Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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Dr V Manchaiah takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper


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