Acute-onset unilateral psychogenic hearing loss in adults: Report of six cases and diagnostic pitfalls

Naoki Oishi, Sho Kanzaki, Chinatsu Kataoka, Mami Tazoe, Yasuhiko Takei, Keiichi Nagai, Naoyuki Kohno, Kaoru Ogawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We encountered 6 rare cases of acute-onset unilateral psychogenic hearing loss in adults. All were women in their 20s and 30s. Three cases had severe hearing impairment characterized by hearing loss at every frequency; 2 cases had profound hearing impairment, and 1 case had low-frequency hearing impairment. Of the 6 cases, 3 had a history of hearing loss, and 1 had a history of psychogenic visual disturbance. All 6 cases were initially diagnosed as having idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss; all subsequently received steroid therapy. Three cases were not diagnosed as being psychogenic in origin until otoacoustic emissions and auditory brain responses were performed. Although the presence of distinctive clinical features (age, gender, and past history) is important for suspecting psychogenic hearing loss, objective audiological tests such as otoacoustic emissions are essential for diagnosing some cases. Compared to the existing reports of similar cases, our cases had a poorer prognosis (only 2 cases were cured).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-283
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Nov


  • Acute onset
  • Adults
  • Psychogenic hearing loss, unilateral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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