36 individuals with a sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) improved their hearing after treatment with intratympanic steroids. Prior to this treatment, these patients had undergone a conventional systemic treatment without recovering their hearing.
Intratympanic steroids as recommended therapy
"We agree with the last recommendation of the American Academy in the field of SSHL that considers the salvage intratympanic steroids as a recommended therapy," said Francesco Dispenza and his colleagues who conducted the study.
10 other patients had also failed to recover their hearing during the first treatment but declined the salvage therapy with intratympanic steroids.
The research showed no hearing improvement in these patients, which is a finding that "is indicative of some important action of the steroids into the cochlear recovery process,” according to Dispenza and his research group at the Italian Hospital of San Giovanni di Dio.
Smoking may delay hearing recovery
The study further revealed a remarkably greater improvement in hearing among non-smokers, compared with smokers. This result should be considered for future treatment in smoking patients.
“This study linked the failure of intratympanic salvage therapy to tobacco smoking, and this data should be kept in mind when planning some salvage therapy in patients who smoke cigarettes during treatment," the researchers hence stated in their paper, which was published in the American Journal of Otolaryngology.