The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

The Effectiveness of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Severe Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss


Research Institute of Hearing Enhancement, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Wonju, South Korea


Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Wonju, South Korea

J Int Adv Otol 2021; 17: 215-220
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2021.9182
Read: 1666 Downloads: 553 Published: 01 May 2021

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of combined hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and steroid therapy in severe idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSNHL).

METHODS: Between January 2010 and July 2017, we evaluated 218 patients with ISSNHL and divided them into 2 groups: those with hearing loss greater than 80 dB and those with hearing loss of 60-79 dB. Each group was further divided into 3 groups according to the treatment method: oral steroids alone (PO), PO+intratympanic injection (IT), and PO+IT+HBOT. The treatment effect was evaluated for improvement in hearing thresholds at mid-term (3 weeks later) and final term (2 months later).

RESULTS: When comparing the 3 treatment groups within the group that had a hearing loss greater than 80 dB, no differences were observed in  the gaps in hearing thresholds and in the duration of improvement (P = .0764 and .2938, respectively). However, in the group with 60-79 dB hearing loss, the gaps in hearing thresholds at mid-term were 27.50 dB in the PO group, 38.13 dB in the PO+IT group, and 51.25 dB in the PO+IT+HBOT group. The treatment was more effective and faster in the initial period in the PO+IT+HBOT group than in the other groups. In addition, the results of frequency analysis showed greatest treatment efficacy at low frequencies of hearing.

CONCLUSION: Patients with ISSNHL above 80 dB are less likely to recover hearing even after PO+IT+HBOT. However, this treatment initially accelerates recovery in patients with a hearing loss below 80 dB. Therefore, the appropriate indication for HBOT benefits in patients with severe or profound ISSNHL should be reviewed.

Cite this article as: Ahn Y, Joon Seo Y, Sub Lee Y. The effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in severe idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss. J Int Adv Otol. 2021;17(3):215-220.

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