Posted on Wednesday, February 08, 2012

New Treatment for Sudden Hearing Loss

New Treatment for Sudden Hearing Loss

Sudden hearing loss also known as Sudden Senorieneural Hearing Loss (SSHL) has a short onset, typically within 72 hours. Not surprisingly, this abrupt condition also has a short time window to get successful treatment. Sudden hearing loss is considered an emergency and an audiologist or ENT should be consulted within the first 24 to 48 hours. In the past these hearing health providers treated sudden hearing loss with oral steroids. Now there is a new option for treating sudden hearing loss, and it runs counter to everything you might have been taught about sticking things in your ear.

A common practice with sudden hearing loss is to give oral steroids. Sudden hearing loss treated with this option has a good chance of being restored partially or even fully. The problems with using oral steroids for sudden hearing loss—which aren’t such big problems considering what you get in return, is that they often cause weight gain, insomnia, and an increase in blood sugar. Audiologists have found that these side effects can be avoided when the steroid is injected into the middle ear.

In the past doctors hesitated to use a needle in the ear because of concerns that injecting the steroid would result in a less hearing recovery for the patient, but recent tests show this is not the case.

Recently Johns Hopkins conducted a study to find out if injecting the steroid into the inner ear would provide the same level of hearing recovery as the oral steroid. The study included 250 people who had presented with sudden hearing loss. They were given treatment within fourteen days of onset. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, “One hundred twenty-one patients received either 60 mg/d of oral prednisone for 14 days with a 5-day taper and 129 patients received 4 doses over 14 days of 40 mg/mL of methylprednisolone injected into the middle ear.”

The sudden hearing loss treatment inside the ear only required four doses compared with fourteen for the oral steroid.

To get the benefits of steroid injections, patients have to make scheduled visits into their audiologist or ENT's office to receive the shots in their inner ear, but the results indicate it might be worth it. The results showed that despite concerns, injecting the steroid into the ear was no less effective than the oral steroid and involved less doses. Another benefit of the injected steroid was that the patient avoided weight gain, insomnia, and higher blood sugar normally associated with oral steroid. As the technology and medical expertise around hearing loss continues to grow more options for hearing health become available to patients. Today sudden hearing loss and other types of hearing loss have more successful treatments and solutions available for patients. It is still important, however, that someone coping with sudden hearing loss or any kind of hearing loss take the first step and make an appointment with an audiologist or ENT. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!


Author unknown. “Injectable Treatment for Sudden Hearing Loss”Hear-it.org. Web. September 19 2011taken from: http://www.hear-it.org/Injectable-treatment-for-sudden-hearing-loss taken on October 10, 2011

Author unknown. “Intratympanic Injection of Steriods Comparable to Oral Delivery” Audiologytalk.com. Web. May 24 2011 Taken from:
http://www.audiologytalk.com/news/news_show.php?id=125 Taken on October 10, 2011

Rauch D. Steven, MD; Halpin F. Christopher, PHD; Antonelli J. Patrick, MD; Babu Seilesh, MD; Carey P. John, MD; Gantz J. Bruce, MD; Goebel J. Joel, MD; Hammerschlag E. Paul, MD; Harris P. Jeffrey, MD, PHD; Isaacson Brandon, MD; Lee Daniel, MD; Linstrom J. Christopher; Parnes S. Lorne, MD; Shi Helen, MS; Slattery H. William, MD; Telian A. Steven, MD; Vrabec T. Jeffrey, MD; Reda J. Domenic, PHD “Oral vs Intratympanic Corticosteroid Therapy for Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss” The Journal of the American Medical Association (n.d.) Taken from:
http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/305/20/2071.abstract?sid=85677bf8-88a4-... Taken on October 10, 2011

If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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