Purushothaman Ganesan(1*), Purushothaman Pavanjur Kothandaraman(2), Simham Swapna(3), Vinaya Manchaiah(4)
1 Expert Hearing Solutions, Wall Street Audiology Inc., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
3 Hindu Mission Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
4 Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX, USA; The Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Department of Behavioral Science and Learning, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden; Audiology India, Mysore, Karnataka, India.
(*) Corresponding Author:
The purpose of this retrospective study was to analyze the clinical characteristics and document hearing recovery in patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSNHL). 122 patients diagnosed with unilateral ISSNHL, from March 2009 to December 2014, were treated with oral steroids and pentoxifylline. Hearing change was evaluated by comparing pre-treatment and post-treatment pure-tone average (PTA) (500, 1K, and 2K Hz), and categorized into complete, partial, and no recovery of hearing. T-test, Wilcoxon Signed Rank test and Regression analysis were employed to analyze the statistical significance. Of the 122 patients, seventy-one (58%) had complete recovery and 34 (28%) had partial recovery. The average pre-treatment PTA was 78.3 ± 16.9 dB whereas post-treatment average was 47.0 ± 20.8 dB, showing statistically significant improvement (t=24.89, P≤0.001). The factors such as presence of tinnitus (P=0.005) and initial milder hearing loss (P=0.005) were found to be significant predictors for hearing recovery. Conventional steroid regimes produced a recovery rate in ISSNHL, which exceeds the spontaneous recovery rate. The current study results highlight the importance of medical treatment in the management of ISSNHL.