Sudden hearing loss is a frightening occurrence that affects one person in 20,000 every year. While doctors often are unable to find the cause of the deafness that becomes apparent in 72 hours or less, they may be successful in treating it with oral steroid medicine such as prednisone. Prompt treatment is essential for good results.
Now a study suggests that patients suffering from sudden hearing loss may also benefit from steroid injections directly through the eardrum. This allows for a higher dose at the middle ear without as many systemic side effects as oral medication. The investigators found that both treatments are equally effective, though injections are likely to cost more than generic oral steroids.
[JAMA, May 25, 2011]

Join Over 53,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. Andrewcall
    Reply

    I had hearing loss. Totally deaf in left ear on holiday in Greece. Doctor gave me pills and nasal spray which didn’t work.
    Sent me to an ear specialist whom injected me with steroids. Few days later my hearing improved around 90%. The injections cost me €6. So think you guys were getting ripped off with the $7000 price tag
    Also for seeing him four times and the injections my overall price was €200. So if your hearing goes then go on holiday to Greece and get it done over their. A lot cheaper

  2. Hopeful
    Reply

    My left ear hearing loss from June 15 ended up at about 50%. It is still hard to understand at times and I watch TV with closed captioning on. I had three steroid injections spaced a week apart. I am now using a hearing aid in my right ear, which helps immensely. If you have a sudden hearing loss, insist on the injections immediately. I wish I had done that. I started after one week and best results are starting within 72 hours.
    I am Catholic and also pray to Saint Katherine Drexell for help with my hearing problems.

  3. NIK T
    Reply

    Today is 22 Feb 2013. On the 22 Jan 2013 I woke up in the morning (4am) due to some heavy piercing sound on my rt ear & when I touch it ( rt ear) I realized that I totally loss the hearing sensation. After 14 hrs I met the doc & he prescribed me some nuero cap & tab ( Nue+ , cortimax). 1 week after taking the medicine I went to the hospital (NEIGRIHMS-Shillong) for more checkup ( rt ear hearing sensation still zero) where they done the MRI (ear & brain), Blood test,etc.. where all the report is Normal. So on day no.20 ( of hearing loss) they (NEIGRIHMS’s doctor ENT) injected me with the steroid (Depo Medrol 40mg) with a one week gap & also gave vertin 24mg twice a day for 1 month. Till today my rt ear hearing power is totally NIL (no improvement at all). I just had my 2nd injection on the 18 Feb 2013. Please suggest what should I do. I am 38 years old (male).

  4. Hopeful
    Reply

    Today is June 30, 2012. I woke up on June 15, 2012 with a roaring in my ears, stuffy and running nose and no hearing. My family doctor gave me antibiotics, a shot of cortisone and nose spray. After two days the hearing was no better and I went to urgent care where they prescribed stronger antibiotics and ear drops.
    Two days later, I went to an ear surgeon. They gave me a cortisone injection on June 21. A week later they said I had 10% improvement and gave me another injection. I have an appointment for July 6 for a final injection. I am hoping this works. I do hear much better even if it is only a 10% increase because my other ear is compensating.

  5. Justin
    Reply

    Today was week three since my sshl onset. I had severe to profound loss, I completed two weeks of 60mg prednisone with taper. I got back almost 25%, my first doctor said it was a hopeful sign and said I didn’t need the injections, so I humored it for one week until I had a conversation with a friends father. He had profound loss and his doctor administered prednisone and injections.
    Within one month and a few days he got back 90% and within a year back to 100. So I went and saw another doctor and he said the injections where a great idea and not to wait. Injections hurt and I’m currently suffering from a headache. The charge was almost $2,000 but at 30 years of age, the gamble was worth it. Not to jinx anything but I feel that I have heard a rise and I hope it will continue. Sad person did they work for you?

  6. lt
    Reply

    I just had sudden hearing loss on my rt ear and I am on steroid therapy pred 60mg/d for one wk. My doctor wants me to come for injection treatment after two days of starting oral med. Do u think I should go for injection or see the oral steroid result?

  7. sadperson
    Reply

    How much do injections normally cost? My doctor gave me three steroidal injections (one per week) for my left ear sudden hearing loss last month and charged me about $7000 each injection and total cost about $21000. I don’t understand why it costs so much? The injection procedure only took about 5 mins. The description for injection is Labyrinthotomy Transcanal. Is Labyrinthotomy Transcanal equal to steroidal injection? Please help me to figure out.

  8. lynda
    Reply

    After a hysterectomy, I experienced complete hearing loss in one ear within 3 days. An audiologist prescribed an oral steroid which was taken for approximately 3 weeks. Fortunately, my hearing returned after finishing the medication. For me it was a ”miracle” as no one could promise anything. I always wondered if it was related to the use of a penicillin related drug administered prior to surgery even though I reported that I was allergic to penicillin. No answers were ever found.

  9. Paul43
    Reply

    I would also like to hear the answer to OLDETIMER’S question

  10. Oldetimer
    Reply

    What are the clinical differences between “Sudden” Hearing Loss and the more general or conventional types of hearing loss? Why wouldn’t the latter type be appropriate for the injections?

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts with others, but be mindful of protecting your own and others' privacy. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from web visitors is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. In posting a comment, you agree to our commenting policy and website terms and conditions.