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]