The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

Is it Beneficial to Treat Patients Presenting Three Weeks or Longer after the Onset of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss?


Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Hebrew University Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel

J Int Adv Otol 2020; 16: 323-327
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2020.8489
Read: 1496 Downloads: 700 Published: 16 October 2020

OBJECTIVES: The accepted treatment for idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSNHL) consists of oral or intratympanic steroids. The time from onset to treatment is considered as an important prognostic factor, although there is no clear cutoff point when treatment is no longer beneficial. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of treatment with oral or intratympanic steroids and carbogen, in patients presenting 21 days or later after the onset of hearing loss.

MATERIALS and METHODS: A total of 895 patients with ISSNHL was seen in our center between 2010 and 2018. The study cohort included 103 patients treated with oral or intratympanic steroids or both with carbogen 21 days or longer after experiencing hearing loss. Retrospective analysis of files and audiometry was conducted, and pre- and post-treatment audiograms were compared. Improvement was defined by SRT (≥15 dB improvement), discrimination (≥15% improvement), or 15 dB improvement at specific frequencies (250-500, 4000-6000 Hz).

RESULTS: Hearing improvement, according to the study definition, was seen in 22.3% (23/103) of patients within the time period of the treatment. All the 23 patients had functional hearing after treatment and 16 of them returned to their baseline or normal hearing. While the time from onset of ISSNHL to treatment varied, most patients demonstrating improvement were treated 21-30 days after onset.

CONCLUSION: In this patient cohort treated late for sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL), a small but significant number of patients improved during the time of treatment. Although the lack of a control group makes it difficult to prove that the improvement resulted from the treatment, we recommend not to rule out treatment systematically in patients presenting late after ISSNHL. Additional prospective studies are warranted.

Cite this article as: Chen I, Cohen O, Shaul C, Sichel JY, Perez R. Is it Beneficial to Treat Patients Presenting Three Weeks or Longer after the Onset of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss? J Int Adv Otol 2020; 16(3): 323-7.

EISSN 2148-3817