Sudden deafness


The actual annual number of cases is estimated 10-20 cases for 100’000 inhabitants. A more recent german study increases these figures to 160 new cases for 100’000 inhabitants.

Characteristics of sudden hearing loss

Sensation of blocked ear, hearing loss, tinnitus. The hearing loss is confirmed with the audiogram by the ENT doctor.

Spontaneous evolution

Up to a third of affected patients recover spontaneously without any treatment . In others, permanent deafness often accompanied by tinnitus sets in.

Clinical studies on HBOT

In a recently published article, it says that most of the treatments used to treat sudden deafness are not very effective. This also applies to the treatment most often prescribed in Switzerland, namely cortisone (12)as well as for all drugs supposed to improve circulation(3). Caution should therefore also be exercised with regard to HBOT. However, it should be noted that numerous publications highlight a positive effect of HBOT(4567). Even the Cochrane evaluation , generally very strict as well as the American ENT company consider that the HBOT is effective . Many positive HBOT studies have been added (89101112). It seems that patients who suffer from marked impairment or who are jointly treated with cortisone benefit most from HBOT A recent controlled study has just reconfirmed it . HBOT is not effective against the treatment of isolated tinnitus or against old deafness. A group of experts estimated in 2012 that HBOT and corticosteroids offered the best chances of success. HBO must be started no later than three months after the onset of sudden deafness .19 studies including 2,401 patients have been scrutinized regarding the effect of HBO when combined with cortisone. The result was that the combination of cortisone and OHB is probably superior to cortisone alone, the result is even clearer when HBO is used as salvage therapy for severe cases. Plus vite, c’est mieux.

Practical use of HBOT

HBOT should be started as soon as possible after the onset of sudden hearing loss. 15 consecutive sessions are prescribed until the first hearing assessment. HBOT still seems effective in cases where other forms of treatment have failed. HBOT should however be startedas soon as possible after l’the failure of the first treatment has been registred. Many patients come to us too late or have to give up treatment for economic reasons.