A nearby gunshot or explosion, a burst of noise in your earphone or the sudden blast of a jackhammer may take your breath away, and your hearing, too. Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is a shocking experience. And you don't know if this is the time your hearing is gone forever.
A group of Polish scientists have discovered a possible remedy against sudden hearing loss. They studied how hyperbaric oxygen therapy in combination with pharmacological treatment may alleviate the problem.
The researchers found that the treatment stimulated the regeneration process by increasing the concentration of oxygen in inner ear fluids. No side-effects were seen, but early treatment as soon as possible after the hearing loss is essential.
The Polish study was based on just nine patients. Further testing is needed before more specific conclusions can be made about the new treatment option. The immediate results, however, were promising and a useful treatment for the indefinable problem of sudden hearing loss would be highly welcome.
Source: Otalaryngol Pol., 61 (5).
Published on hear-it on January 7, 2009.