Korean J Audiol.  2011 Apr;15(1):1-7.

Clinical Characteristics and Management of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Chungbuk National University College of Medicine, Cheongju, Korea. soshin@chungbuk.ac.kr

Abstract

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) is characterized by abrupt unilateral loss of hearing, sometimes accompanied by tinnitus or vertigo. From the majority of patients with SSNHL, no specific cause can be identified, but numerous conditions including viral infection, vascular compromise and intracochlear membrane break are considered as possible causes of disease. According to these etiologic hypotheses, a combination therapy has been frequently used combining several options among steroids, antiviral agents, vasodilators, volume expanders, stellate ganglion block and carbogen or hyperbaric oxygen. The contents of the combination could vary according to the experience of each clinic, but steroids have been accepted as the mainstay of the treatment for SSNHL since Wilson's landmark study although two recent meta-analysis of steroid treatment suggested there was no benefit. The amount and the length of oral steroid therapy have not been well established. Commonly used regimen of oral steroid therapy is prednisone. A reported success rate with systemic steroid therapy is between 49% and 89%, whereas only 30% to 65% of patients without treatment achieved hearing improvement. Recently there is an obvious trend for an increasing number of positive results of intratympanic steroids injection. It is difficult to evaluate the efficacy of a certain drug or regimen prescribed for SSNHL because of various drugs used as combination therapy, many prognostic factors and different inclusion criteria.

Keyword

Sudden hearing loss; Sensorineural

MeSH Terms

Antiviral Agents
Carbon Dioxide
Hearing
Hearing Loss, Sensorineural
Hearing Loss, Sudden
Humans
Membranes
Oxygen
Prednisone
Stellate Ganglion
Steroids
Tinnitus
Vasodilator Agents
Vertigo
Antiviral Agents
Carbon Dioxide
Oxygen
Prednisone
Steroids
Vasodilator Agents
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