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Friday, October 12, 2018

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Key to Curing SSNHL

The addition of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to standard corticosteroid treatment is associated with higher rates of hearing recovery in patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL), according to a new study (JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2018 Sep 27. doi: 10.1001/jamaoto.2018.2133). A systematic review, which included three randomized clinical trials and 16 nonrandomized studies, found that the rate of complete hearing recovery in SSNHL patients who received both HBOT and medical therapy of systemic and/or intratympanic corticosteroids was 29.4 percent, compared with 20.7 percent in those who were only treated with medications. Absolute hearing gain was also significantly greater in the HBOT and medical treatment group than in the medical treatment alone group for the overall frequencies. Furthermore, the benefit of this treatment approach was greater in those with severe to profound hearing loss.

The authors wrote that this study demonstrates for the first time to date that HBOT combined with medical treatment is associated with a significant improvement in complete hearing recovery and any hearing recovery. "Using HBOT, it is possible to maximize the oxygen partial pressure supplied to the inner ear," they wrote. "This process can minimize ischemic damage after SSNHL and aid vascular recovery. Furthermore, it can provide antibacterial effects through oxygen radicals and promote angiogenesis with tissue regeneration."