Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO2) as an adjunct in the treatment of idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL)--a case report on two patients

Undersea Hyperb Med. 2014 Sep-Oct;41(5):401-5.


We report on two cases of idiopathic sensorineural sudden hearing loss (ISSHL) successfully treated at our center. The patients were referred to us by a neurotologist for adjunctive hyperbaric oxygen therapy and were treated using a standard 2.4 atmospheres absolute (atm abs) 90-minute protocol with two five- minute air breaks. During this period the referring physician administered injections of steroids at his offices. The outcome in both cases was positive and produced significantly improved scores in both speech reception and speech discrimination. In October 2011, the UHMS added ISSHL to its list of approved indications. Despite this and an increasing body of literature that supports the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as an adjunct in the treatment of ISSHL, it has not yet been accepted for reimbursement by CMS and, in our experience, commercial carriers. We believe it would be beneficial in developing the case for reimbursement in this indication if all facilities record and submit their results to a national database perhaps organized and managed by the UHMS.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Atmospheric Pressure
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / therapy*
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation / methods*
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation / statistics & numerical data
  • Injections / methods
  • Insurance, Health, Reimbursement
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Dexamethasone