NIDCD Fact Sheet | Hearing and Balance
NIDCD Fact Sheet | Hearing and Balance. Sudden Deafness . What is sudden deafness? Sudden sensorineural (“inner ear”) hearing loss (SSHL), commonly known as sudden deafness, is an unexplained, rapid loss of hearing either all at once or over a few days. SSHL happens because there is something wrong with the sensory organs of the inner ear.