Steroids as an effective form of treatment for sudden hearing lossAccording to a review published in the Archives of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, there is little evidence that can support the present guidelines that steroids can be an effective form of treatment for sudden hearing loss.

Sudden Hearing Loss or sudden sensorineural hearing loss affects about five to 20 of every 100,000 individuals yearly and the varying treatment methods include vitamins, herbs, minerals, antiviral medications, hyperbaric oxygen, and agents capable of diluting the blood.

From News-Medical.Net:

Anne Elizabeth Conlin, B.A. & Sc., M.D., of the University of Ottawa, Ontario, and Lorne S. Parnes, M.D., F.R.C.S.C., of the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, searched for all randomized clinical trials evaluating treatments for sudden hearing loss published between 1966 and 2006.

For the systematic review, 21 trials were identified and evaluated, all of which used measures from hearing tests to define treatment outcomes. “Only two studies used identical criteria to define sudden sensorineural hearing loss,” the authors write. “The method of randomization was described in two studies. Validity scores ranged from two to eight (of nine). Positive results were reported favoring systemic steroids, intratympanic [inside the inner ear] steroids, batroxobin, magnesium, vitamin E and hyperbaric oxygen, although there were serious limitations in each study with a positive finding.”

According to the authors, treatment of sudden hearing loss is a difficult task in itself as the cause of such a loss is often unknown in most of the cases. It was also remarked by the authors that this ailment can be termed as a medical emergency without a rational treatment approach or scientific understanding of its cause.