Objective: To describe ten years of experience with Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss and compare the outcomes with and without treatment with oral corticosteroids.
Study design: Retrospective review of medical records.
Setting: Large specialty hospital, Department of Otolaryngology.
Patients: Patients presenting with sudden onset (72 hours) unilateral sensorineural hearing loss, with no evidence of Ménière's Disease, acoustic injury, retrocochlear disease, and other specifiable disorders.
Interventions: The majority of patients received a standard course of oral corticosteroids (Prednisone 60 mg and taper). A smaller group declined treatment.
Main outcome measures: Recovery of hearing sensitivity was measured using standard audiometry and reported as change in Pure Tone Average. Word recognition scores were also analyzed.
Results: When severe-to-profound cases are analyzed, a significant improvement (p <.01) in Pure Tone Average is seen in cases treated with steroids versus those untreated. When milder cases are included, a statistical floor effect prevents differentiation of these groups. Word recognition scores were significantly improved (p <.05) in the treated group.
Conclusions: Application of steroid medication significantly improves the recovery outcomes in cases of Severe Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss.