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Avatar universal

Sudden partial hearing loss and ear ringing in one ear. Lasts 5 seconds

I have had the strangest thing happening to me for years and after searching the Internet all over I came here to see if I can get an explanation.

I will out of the blue have sudden partial hearing loss in one ear accompanied by loud ear ringing that then fades over the course of 3-5 seconds. My hearing comes back in that same time frame. It can happen in any ear. It's never happened in both ears at the same time. I can go months without having one of these and then suddenly have it happen 3 or 4 times in a day. It typically happens a few times over the course of a day or two then is gone for awhile.

I was worried it was some form of a TIA or stroke. I do have a VSD (very small hole in ventricle of my heart) and was told by my doctor that small clots could form and break free. Not sure if this is an explanation.

I am 46 male in good shape, 5' 11" 175 pounds. I don't smoke, drink light, Blood pressure on the high side of normal and Cholesterol is borderline high.

I was diagnosed with some moderate to severe cervical degeneration at c6/c7 and may explain numbness tingling in my right arm. Also, had some moderate spinal cord compression although a neck surgeon I saw last year did not see it as a major problem at the moment.

I still don't have any kind of explanation for this sudden ear ringing which lasts  seconds then goes away.
20 Responses
152264 tn?1280354657
This seems pretty common--at least among people with ear problems of any kind--but I would think you should see an ENT and have a hearing test, just in case something is going on.

I don't know what causes it. I get it too (or used to) but no explanation. Doesn't seem to signify anything serious. But I would see an ENT about it.
Avatar universal
I have been getting this for years and years. Sometimes it won't happen for a year or longer. It's always really random, just happens for no reason it seems. One ear goes partially deaf and rings really loud. The hearing slowly comes back after a few seconds and the ringing quiets.

I was diagnosed with Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome and had brain surgery to fix the condition a few months ago, but I had this problem long before I was diagnosed. I've been left with loud high and low pitched tinnitus after surgery, and some pulsatile tinnitus. Not fun stuff, but before surgery  I had chronic dizziness, ear fullness, low frequency hearing loss, fatigue, hyperacusis (extreme sound sensitivity) and I was able to hear everything in my body, including my eyeballs moving and liquids moving around my brain. It's a creepy condition.

Anyway, from what I have heard and read, the sudden loss of hearing and ringing usually means you've had some kind of hearing damage. You should take this as a warning to protect your hearing in the future. It's possible you will have some loss of hearing as you age. Be glad your hearing comes back and the tinnitus goes away because chronic tinnitus really tests a person's sanity.
Avatar universal
I defined it as a kid as my ears are updating their software. Haha. But I'm sure it's nothing to worry about. I've had it for a long time and I have perfect hearing, tested recently. :)
1 Comments
Ears updating software! Haha, now I have the perfect explanation for it, thanks!

I've had it for years too, doesn't seem dangerous. Normal hearing, no illnesses or other conditions that I could link to it, besides some pulse tinnitus.
Avatar universal
Tell you this much, the kind of hearing loss and sudden ringing in a ear is not as common as people like to think. It's due to scare tissue that's a fraction of a micro millimetre and picks up high and I mean very high frequencies that not even a animal can pick up on. The reason it last less the 10 seconds is due to our brain correcting the response to the ear. I can say more but it's to long to say all
1 Comments
Thé other day i was driving and my son was sittingnext to me inside the front passenger Seat. I suddenly felt à fullness in my ear followed by ringing which lasted less than 10 seconds. When I touched my left ear my son immediately described the same symptoms I described above?? That was weird. I had 2 cell phones between me and my son on the car floor, could emf' have caused this ??
Avatar universal
A ringing in your ears that is not coming from an outside source, whether it is consistent or occasional could be pointing to tinnitus. It is a symptom related to hearing loss and can be caused by a number of factors including the following:
- exposure to excessively loud noise
- extreme stress or trauma
- age-related hearing loss
- some prescription and non-prescription drugs.
Avatar universal
This happens to me too, just like you described. It is usually in my left ear. Hearing will go out a bit (sound a bit muffled), and then ringing, and then fades and back to normal. My ENT said this is just typical with "tinnitus". I also have a bit of low-frequency hearing loss, and a tad bit of subtle ringing in one ear so it could be that, too. But I would go to an ENT to have a hearing exam done to see if that would be causing it. I have mentioned this phenomenon to the ENT physician's assistant more than once, though, to be sure she understood what I was saying, but she kept saying it was normal... shrug!!
Avatar universal
I've had exactly this symptom for over thirty years (hearing gets quiet in one ear,  ringing noise which subsides over about five seconds with hearing coming back).   I guess its not all that urgent.
Avatar universal
This happened to me yesterday differently than the other times. Yesterday I was at work unloading a truck when out of nowhere,the ringing hit me but this time it was louder than usual. It was so weird,I frosed up like a robot getting its power turned off. Some scary **** felt like somebody was scattering through my brain. Its been happening since late 2011 early 2012ish. Clearly theres something going on we dont know about.
Avatar universal
Same happens to me. Im 18 and it has been happening since I was about 11. Ive always thought it was a symptom of me listening to music with headphones and the volume turned all the way up for too long. Whenever I get my ears checked im always told im fine but Im scared I may be going deaf or something.
Avatar universal
I have had the same thing happen to me randomly since I was young (I am 37 now).  The one common thing I have noticed about each occurrence is that when it happens, there seems to be a big difference in the ambient sound on either side of me. For example, there may music playing to the right of me and a quiet room to the left of me, and suddenly one of my ears will get muffled and the ringing starts. Just like you, it only lasts for a few seconds and fades away. I have always attributed it to my ears reacting to the difference in sound and the internal muscles tensing up to protect the vulnerable ear. But that has always been a guess, I have never been tested by a doctor for it.
Avatar universal
This has happened to me for as long as I can remember. I've had fainting spells and severe dizziness along with it but I've been tested by an ENT for hearing among other things and all of my results came out fine.
I still don't know to this day why I pass out sporadically or lose hearing in both of my ears along with tinnitus temporarily. I feel clueless and was directly told by my doctor I'm just going to have to live with it. I guess I would feel better if I knew what "it" is. But anyway, I just recently had it happen again so I took to the internet to try and figure it out- I didn't realize so many other people go through the same thing.
3 Comments
Low blood pressure. I have always had the dizziness to the point everything goes black and I either squat down or I pass out. A couple years ago I got diagnosed with late onset type 1 diabetes so my doctor gave me this medicine to help me quit smoking, turned out to be a blood pressure medicine (lowering). I have always had low blood pressure so I was very nervous to take it and for good reason. The medicine caused my hearing to get muffled often, like when they plug up from high elevation, mostly with the black out dizziness but sometimes without as well.
Most places on the internet don't list temporary hearing loss as a symptom of hypotension but it can be found and I was also told by my doctor that that was what it was from.
I've had the same thing for a while now on and off I go really dizzy to the point I have to crouch down or put my head on the worktop, I have never actually passed out yet to this day but everything goes black , I'm a 21 year old female 5ft 3 and 8 and a half stone I get the muffled hearing to with the loud ringing for about 10- 30 seconds, it's like when you go up high and your ears pop, I don't know why this happens
Have you ever researched Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome? If not I would and compare your symptoms, many doctors are unaware or uneducated with the syndrome.
Avatar universal
The same thing has been happening to me for 3 years. It really gets me freaked out from time to time. It starts of as one of my ears going deaf (right or left) and then it gets a high pitched ring and then fades out. This usually lasts 5-10 seconds total and for the most part its random but it also happens as I'm starting to work out from time to time. Maybe it's triggered by anxiety, who knows. I've also been extremely tired for the past 3 years. I've been to the doctor so much I need my own desk and every test they do always comes back normal.
1 Comments
Thanks for sharing your experience.
Avatar universal
Same symptoms here 31 year old male 200 pounds 6ft tall everything is normal MRI of brain and blood work all look normal. Have seen multiple doctors over the last few years and they seem to say the same... When you feel the symptoms Lay down... I have really good insurance so I have encouraged them to do more tests. Spent 2 nights 3 days in the hospital with a machine attached but all the graphs looked "normal". If I'm normal explain the deafness and sudden fainting please.
1 Comments
Youre fainting, too? Sounds like a sudden drop in blood pressure.
Avatar universal
Could be anxiety. I've had the same thing happen to me ever since I developed anxiety a few months ago. I'm 25 and also had exams made to check my heart, and everything came back normal.
1 Comments
I am thinking the same. Bloody anxiety and sudden panic attacks.  I bet my last penny, that most of people describing it here with no other health problems (blood pressure, diabetes etc.) has it as sign of panic attack. Think when it happens if you are under pressure, overwhelm or in stress situation - sometimes it comes days after. I have tinnitus too and some heart palpitations too. Doctors basically say I am healthy.  But this hearing accidents and/or other anxiety and panic attack symptoms are hell.  Try to visit psychologist or psychiatrist and you might understand it better and might void it by changing your "mind".
20396652 tn?1496893240
It's Meniere’s Disease. Go to an ENT a definite diagnosis. But that is one of the symptoms. It's not anything that will kill you unless you are in a dangerous situation when the dizzy spells hit. When it first develops the symptom you are having may be the only symptom. Mine started like that, with just momentary deafness followed by tinnitus  20 years ago. Now I have the other symptoms as well, like vertigo, non stop tinnitus, full feeling in the ears, severe motion sickness. Luckily the more bothersome symptoms like vertigo come and go. That symptom and hearing my heart beat in my ears is what finally drove me to the ENT. The diagnosis didn't do me any good because there is no cure but it did give me peace of mind that nothing life threatening is wrong. And leave of mind is wonderful!
1 Comments
This exact same thing has been happening for me for the past 5 years. I've also had permanent high-pitched tinnitus in my left ear for the same period of time (usually at tolerable level, but sometimes it can get really loud). The "sudden hearing drop & tinnitus" problem comes and goes. I've been reading about Meniere's in the past and it's one thing that could fit the bill in my case as well.

I'm a male, 37 and in addition to the momentary (partial) deafness, I've also had on and off dizziness for at least the 5 years or so. Sometimes I can go on for months without dizziness, but then something happens and I struggle with the unbalanced feeling for weeks or months. I also have several issues with my vision, but my eyes are in perfect health (been to eye docs more times than I can count!).

The vision problems I have include: Problems looking at patterns (like a striped shirt, certain carpets, window blinds, etc.), problems looking at a row of items (for example in a supermarket), slow adjustment of vision when coming in to a dim room from a bright sunlight and more.

I've been to audiometrist a few times in the past 5 years and my hearing seems to be intact. Haven't been to brain MRI in several years, but soon will do another one. My ears check out fine in "regular ear exam", but I don't know how the inner ears would be inspected?
Avatar universal
I have had this my whole life too.. sudden muffled hearing in one ear then ringing for a few seconds and fades away.  I think lots of people have it, but they don't trip on it.. since it goes away so fast and doesn't happen too often.. Another reason I think it is common is because there is a wives tale that says "when your ear rings it means someone is thinking about you"... I take some comfort in things that have saying associated with them because that kind of tells us it must be pretty common. =)
1 Comments
There is a recent study on this. The term used in the study is Sudden, Brief, Unilateral, Tapering Tinnitus (SBUTT). It is fairly common and can be scary, but it is benign. There is no corresponding worsening of tinnitus or other associated issues. Check the following and see if you have ringing, "fullness," or sensation of hearing loss in one ear:
Tighten your jaw, then move it side to side with some strain.
Turn your neck hard left and hard right. See if there is any change in hearing and if either side makes it better or worse.
Open your mouth very wide, and then repeat the side to side motion with your jaw.
If any of these cause an issue, the problem may be with the jaw, the cranial or cervical nerves, or it may be a benign vestibular disturbance.
In all cases, the sudden ringing or hearing loss that dissipates quickly is benign, but be aware of any ongoing changes in hearing or worsening tinnitus.
Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
I’ve been struggling with anxiety for a few months and then this has started happening to me recently as well. When this happens a I don’t feel faint or dizzy but I just go deaf and ear here loud ringing in one ear for a few seconds and it goes away. I’ve done blood tests, ekgs, echocardiograms, and been to the doctor multiple times and they say I’m healthy. I think it’s from stress, since it’s never caused me to pass out.
Avatar universal
There is a recent study on this. The term used in the study is Sudden, Brief, Unilateral, Tapering Tinnitus (SBUTT). It is fairly common and can be scary, but it is benign. There is no corresponding worsening of tinnitus or other associated issues. Check the following and see if you have ringing, "fullness," or sensation of hearing loss in one ear:
Tighten your jaw, then move it side to side with some strain.
Turn your neck hard left and hard right. See if there is any change in hearing and if either side makes it better or worse.
Open your mouth very wide, and then repeat the side to side motion with your jaw.
If any of these cause an issue, the problem may be with the jaw, the cranial or cervical nerves, or it may be a benign vestibular disturbance.
In all cases, the sudden ringing or hearing loss that dissipates quickly is benign, but be aware of any ongoing changes in hearing or worsening tinnitus.
Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
It’s happened to me and I’m only 12 years old I can also hear ghost my ears also hurt really bad so ya
Avatar universal
And it lasts for the whole day
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