Management of sudden hearing loss with hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Undersea Hyperb Med. 2014 Sep-Oct;41(5):363-70.


Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) is defined as the sensorineural hearing loss of a minimum of 30 dB in at least three frequencies for three days or more. This study aims to evaluate the clinical efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO2) in the management of idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

Material-methods: Patients with ISSHL received treatment including oral corticosteroids and HBO2. HBO2 protocol included five phases of five sessions each. ISSHL was assessed by measuring the tonal audiogram before and after each phase. Tinnitus was assessed using a questionnaire and a visual analogue scale at the beginning and the end of the study. Secondary assessment points included changes in the intensity and the improvement of tinnitus.

Results: 56 patients were included in the study. All patients completed Phases I and II of HBO2, 43 completed Phase III, 13 completed Phase IV, and six completed all five phases. Overall, a significant improvement was noted between the initial and final audiogram after HBO2 (p < 0.001). Tinnitus evaluation score, intensity and related problems were also significantly reduced (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: This study affirms previous findings that the use of HBO2 and vasodilators are efficacious in the treatment of ISSHL. Our findings also suggest benefit for the treatment of tinnitus.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Audiometry
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / methods
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / therapy*
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tinnitus / diagnosis
  • Tinnitus / therapy
  • Trimetazidine / therapeutic use
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Prednisolone
  • Trimetazidine