Posted on Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss Treatment

Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss is treated by doctors like this man in a new and surprising way.

Sudden Senorieneural Hearing Loss (SSHL) has a short onset, typically within 72 hours and a short treatment window. Sudden hearing loss is 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 sensorineural hearing loss is to give oral steroids. SSHL treated with this option has a good chance of being restored partially or even fully. The side effects with using oral steroids is they often cause weight gain, insomnia, and an increase in blood sugar. Audiologists have found that these problems 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.

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. 250 people with SSHL were given treatment within fourteen days of onset. To get the benefits of steroid injections, patients had to make scheduled visits into their audiologist or ENT's office to receive the shots in their inner ear, but the results showed that despite prior concerns, injecting the steroid into the ear was no less effective than the oral steroid. Ear injections also involved less doses and patients avoided weight gain, insomnia, and higher blood sugar normally associated with oral steroid. As the medical expertise around injections for sudden sensorineural hearing loss continues to grow this option for hearing health treatment will become more widely available to patients.

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

Today sudden sensorineural hearing loss and other types of hearing loss have more successful options 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'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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