Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Acute otitis media associated bilateral sudden hearing loss: case report and literature review

  • A Smith (a1), I Gutteridge (a2), D Elliott (a2) and M Cronin (a2)
Abstract Background:

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is a rare otological condition with potential for dire outcomes including permanent hearing loss. Although the majority of cases are deemed idiopathic, bilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss represents a rare subset typically related to systemic conditions, with higher morbidity and mortality. A controversial association with acute otitis media has been reported, with few bilateral cases published in the literature.

Case report:

A very rare case of bilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss associated with acute otitis media is described, with a review of the literature.


The limited evidence available suggests that acute otitis media with tinnitus and/or bacterial pathology may have an increased risk of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, which is consistent with the case described. Although there is no sufficiently powered published evidence to provide definitive treatment guidelines, the literature reviewed suggests that early myringotomy and antibiotics may greatly improve treatment outcomes.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr Aaron Smith, 50 Allambi Ave, Broadbeach Waters, Qld 4218, Australia E-mail:
Hide All
1 RJ Stachler , SS Chandrasekhar , SM Archer , RM Rosenfeld , SR Schwartz , DM Barrs Clinical practice guideline: sudden hearing loss. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2012;146:S135

3 JH Oh , K Park , SJ Lee , YR Shin , YH Choung . Bilateral versus unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2007;136:8791

6 SS da Costa , LP Rosito , C Dornelles . Sensorineural hearing loss in patients with chronic otitis media. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2009;266:221–4

7 C MacAndie , BF O'Reilly . Sensorineural hearing loss in chronic otitis media. Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci 1999;24:220–2

9 SK Juhn , MK Jung , MD Hoffman , BR Drew , DA Preciado , NJ Sausen The role of inflammatory mediators in the pathogenesis of otitis media and sequelae. Clin Exp Otorhinolaryngol 2008;1:117–38

10 S Joglekar , N Morita , S Cureoglu , PA Schachern , AF Deroee , V Tsuprun Cochlear pathology in human temporal bones with otitis media. Acta Otolaryngol 2010;130:472–6

14 T Kanazawa , H Hagiwara , K Kitamura . Labyrinthine involvement and multiple perforations of the tympanic membrane in acute otitis media due to group A streptococci. J Laryngol Otol 2000;114:47–9

15 D Hyden , B Akerlind , M Peebo . Inner ear and facial nerve complications of acute otitis media with focus on bacteriology and virology. Acta Otolaryngol 2006;126:460–6

16 JH Park , SJ Park , YH Kim , MH Park . Sensorineural hearing loss: a complication of acute otitis media in adults. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2014;271:1879–84

18 CH Jang , SY Park , PC Wang . A case of tympanogenic labyrinthitis complicated by acute otitis media. Yonsei Med J 2005;46:161–5

19 A Furuhashi , K Matsuda , K Asahi , T Nakashima . Sudden deafness: long-term follow-up and recurrence. Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci 2002;27:458–63

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-laryngology-and-otology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 11
Total number of PDF views: 72 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 345 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 17th April 2017 - 26th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.