BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: High-dose systemic steroid therapy is the mainstay treatment for sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). Recovery rates from SSNHL range are about 47-63% and are influenced by various prognostic factors. To evaluate the prognostic value of specific clinical parameters, we reviewed 289 cases by clinical and statistical analysis. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: This study included 289 patients with SSNHL who visited the Department of Otolaryngology at Soonchunhyang University Hospital from January 2005 to December 2012. The cases were reviewed retrospectively based on clinical charts. Hearing improvement was evaluated in relation to pure-tone audiogram results, duration between SSNHL onset and time of initial treatment, seasonal incidence, dizziness, patient age, degree of hearing loss, patterns of initial pure-tone audiogram and presence of underlying disease. RESULTS: Hearing improvement was observed in 196 of 289 (67.8%) patients; such improvement began within 7 days in most patients, followed by rapid hearing recovery. Cases that failed to show improvement within 14 days were unlikely to achieve hearing recovery. The more severe the hearing loss during the early stage, the lower the hearing recovery rates. Patients aged less than 60 years appear to have better prognosis of hearing improvement compared to those who are over 60 years. CONCLUSIONS: Important prognostic factors for recovery in patients with SSNHL include the time of initiating treatment after symptom onset, the degree of early-stage hearing loss, and the age of the affected patient.