Objective: The objective was to identify and evaluate factors that may influence the recovery rate in patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSNHL).
Materials and methods: A retrospective analysis was performed for patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss between 2009 and 2013. Those with an identified etiology were excluded. The patients were divided into four treatment groups: (i) systemic corticosteroids (SC) only, (ii) SC+low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH), (iii) SC+hyperbaric oxygen (HBO), and (iv) SC+LMWH+HBO. Recovery was evaluated according to Siegel's criteria. Age, initial hearing level, onset, treatment and audiogram types, comorbidities, and associated tinnitus and vestibular symptoms were investigated for their impact on prognosis.
Results: Two hundred five patients with ISSNHL were included. Recovery was seen in 59% of the patients. The complete recovery rate was significantly lower in patients older than 60 years and in patients presenting with profound hearing loss. Different audiogram curves had no significant effect on recovery. Sudden hearing loss was accompanied by tinnitus in 107 (52.1%) patients and vestibular symptoms in 55 (26.8%); however, neither was noted to affect prognosis. Different treatment combinations did not significantly affect prognosis. However, hypertension and a delay in treatment by more than 10 days from the onset of hearing loss were associated with a worse prognosis.
Conclusion: Profound hearing loss, older than 60 years, a delay in treatment by more than 10 days, and hypertension were negative prognostic factors in this study, whereas, the type of audiogram curve and addition of HBO to SC did not affect prognosis.