Background: High-intensity noise exposure from impulse and blast noise events often leads to acute hearing loss and may cause irreversible permanent hearing loss as a long-term consequence. Here, a treatment regime was developed to limit permanent damage based on a preclinical animal model of acute noise trauma.
Aim: To develop clinical trials for the treatment of acute noise traumas using approved drugs. The otoprotective potential of glucocorticoids applied locally to the inner ear was examined.
Materials and methods: A series of experiments with different impulse noise exposures was performed. Permanent hearing loss and hair cell density were assessed 14 days after exposure. Hearing and hair cell preservation were investigated as a function of glucocorticoid dose.
Results: After impulse noise exposure, local application of high-dose prednisolone (25 mg/ml) or methylprednisolone (12.5 mg/ml) to the round window of the cochlea resulted in a statistically significant reduction in hearing loss compared to the control group.
Conclusion: Local application of high doses of the drugs to the round window of the cochlea appears to be an effective treatment for acute noise trauma.
Keywords: Acoustic trauma; Methylprednisolone; Prednisolone; Round window, ear; Sensorineural hearing loss.