Sudden sensorineural hearing loss: long-term follow-up results

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 May;134(5):809-15. doi: 10.1016/j.otohns.2005.12.002.


Objective: This study describes the long-term outcome of patients suffering from sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) after an initial combined therapy of steroids with vasodilators.

Study design and setting: Eighty cases were retrospectively reviewed to evaluate the long-term audiometric data and to statistically assess the value of specific clinical parameters. The persistent long-term otoneurologic manifestations associated with SSHL were also reported.

Results: In the long-term period, hearing level remained stable 2 months after the onset of SSHL. Patients complained of persistent tinnitus (36%), fluctuant hearing loss (8.7%), dizziness (8.7%), and classical Ménière's triad in 2.5% of cases. Profound and total SSHL associated with vertigo are poor prognostic indicators.

Conclusions: In terms of cost-effectiveness, a steroid-vasodilator therapy for SSHL for >2 months is not recommended because no additional effect was evidenced. Persistent otoneurologic manifestations, mainly tinnitus or dizziness are relatively common, particularly in patients with severe to total SSHL.

Ebm rating: C-4.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Audiometry
  • Child
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / drug therapy*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Vasodilator Agents