Silence is deafening: Acute bilateral hearing loss as a rare presentation of acute stroke

Acute bilateral hearing loss is an uncommon presentation in the Emergency Department (ED), with a variety of potential causes. It is important to consider neurologic vascular etiologies as a cause for acute sensorineural hearing loss. We report a case of acute hemorrhagic stroke presenting as acute bilateral hearing loss. A 60-year-old male with a history of atrial fibrillation presented to the ED with the acute onset of bilateral hearing loss with otherwise intact neurologic testing. He was found to have an acute left temporal hemorrhagic stroke, and magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated multifocal ischemia including an acute right temporal ischemic stroke. In the ED setting, cerebrovascular pathology is an important consideration in the patient presenting with acute hearing loss in the absence of an alternative diagnosis. Missing such a diagnosis can lead to significant morbidity and mortality.
as reported in: Am J Emerg Med. 2021 Jul 21 [Epub ahead of print]