Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in people with sudden hearing loss


A study conducted in New Delhi, India has shown that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), in addition to conventional treatment, significantly improves outcomes in sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL).

The researchers, from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) and the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital studied 40 patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss to assess whether HBOT as an adjunct to conventional medical treatment improved hearing outcomes.

Included patients were between 18 and 60 years of age. Twenty (Group A) were given steroids, the plasma expander dextran, gingko biloba extract, nicotinic acid, betahistine, and the antiviral acyclovir. The other 20 patients (Group B) were administered the same basic treatments but also had 10 sessions of HBOT. Hearing was evaluated on the basis of pure tone audiometry on day 5, day 10, and at the end of each month for 3 months.

Evaluated indices were the cure rate, marked recovery rate, recovery rate, and hearing gain. The mean hearing gain was 31.5 + 20.0 dB in Group B, which was significantly higher than in Group A, 16.8 + 17.5 dB (p = 0.018). The marked recovery rate was also significantly higher in Group B at 50% versus 20% (p = 0.047). However, no significant difference was found between cure rates and recovery rates.

It was also found that age, gender, tinnitus, and severity of hearing loss did not affect the outcome of SNHL. The authors conclude that use of HBOT should be encouraged as adjunctive therapy along with conventional medical treatment in sudden hearing loss.

Source: AHNS Translational Research Annual Meeting