Skip to main content

Is hyperbaric oxygen therapy a salvage treatment option for sudden sensorineural hearing loss?

  • Y Alimoglu (a1) and E Inci (a2)
Abstract Objective:

To investigate of the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a salvage treatment after unsuccessful oral corticosteroid therapy.


Case notes of patients who were followed up because of idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss between 2005 and 2011 in a tertiary care centre were examined retrospectively. Audiograms from before and after hyperbaric oxygen therapy were examined in terms of mean gains in pure tone average and at 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 and 8 kHz. In addition, recovery according to Siegel's criteria was noted.


Mean gain in pure tone average was 10.55 ± 13.56 dB. Mean gains at 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 and 8 kHz were 16.66 ± 18.43 dB, 16.94 ± 19.93 dB, 12.63 ± 16.71 dB, 7.36 ± 15.28 dB, 5.27 ± 11.58 dB and 2.91 ± 12.44 dB, respectively. Three patients had complete recovery, 1 had partial recovery, 5 had slight recovery and 25 had no improvement.


Hyperbaric oxygen utilised as a salvage therapy after failed corticosteroid therapy may be beneficial in some patients. Studies with more patients are needed.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr Yalcin Alimoglu, Haseki Egitim ve Arastirma Hastanesi, Kulak Burun Bogaz Klinigi, Fatih, İstanbul, Turkey E-mail:
Hide All
1 National Institutes of Health. Sudden Deafness (NIH publication 00-4757). Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, 2000
2 Mattox, DE, Simmons, FB. Natural history of sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 1977;86:463–80
3 Hughes, GB, Freedman, MA, Haberkamp, TJ, Guay, ME. Sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Otolaryngol Clin North Am 1996;29:393405
4 Byl, FM Jr. Sudden hearing loss: 8 years’ experience and suggested prognostic table. Laryngoscope 1984;94:647–61
5 Alimoglu, Y, Inci, E, Edizer, DT, Ozdilek, A, Aslan, M. Efficacy comparison of oral steroid, intratympanic steroid, hyperbaric oxygen and oral steroid + hyperbaric oxygen treatments in idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss cases. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2011;268:1735–41
6 Siegel, LG. The treatment of idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Otolaryngol Clin North Am 1975;8:467–73
7 Mazurek, B, Haupt, H, Georgiewa, P, Klapp, BF, Reisshauer, A. A model of peripherally developing hearing loss and tinnitus based on the role of hypoxia and ischemia. Med Hypotheses 2006;67:892–9
8 Bennett, MH, Kertesz, T, Yeung, P. Hyperbaric oxygen for idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2007;(1):CD004739
9 Nagahara, K, Fisch, U, Yagi, N. Perilymph oxygenation in sudden and progressive sensorineural hearing loss. Acta Otolaryngol 1983;96:5768
10 Kubo, T, Matsunaga, T, Asai, H, Kawamoto, K, Kusakari, J, Nomura, Y et al. Efficacy of defibrinogenation and steroid therapies on sudden deafness. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1988;114:649–52
11 Muzzi, E, Zennaro, B, Visentin, R, Soldano, F, Sacilotto, C. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy as salvage treatment for sudden sensorineural hearing loss: review of rationale and preliminary report. J Laryngol Otol 2010;124:e2
12 Horn, CE, Himel, HN, Selesnick, SH. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for sudden sensorineural hearing loss: a prospective trial of patients failing steroid and antiviral treatment. Otol Neurotol 2005;26:882–9
13 Cvorovic, L, Jovanovic, MB, Milutinovic, Z, Arsovic, N, Djeric, D. Randomized prospective trial of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and intratympanic steroid injection as salvage treatment of sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Otol Neurotol 2013;34:1021–6
14 Yang, CH, Wu, RW, Hwang, CF. Comparison of intratympanic steroid injection, hyperbaric oxygen and combination therapy in refractory sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Otol Neurotol 2013;34:1411–16
15 Psillas, G, Ouzounidou, S, Stefanidou, S, Kotsiou, M, Giaglis, GD, Vital, I et al. Hyperbaric oxygen as salvage treatment for idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss. B-ENT 2015;11:3944
16 Pezzoli, M, Magnano, M, Maffi, L, Pezzoli, L, Marcato, P, Orione, M et al. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy as salvage treatment for sudden sensorineural hearing loss: a prospective controlled study. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2015;272:1659–66
17 Stachler, RJ, Chandrasekhar, SS, Archer, SM, Rosenfeld, RM, Schwartz, SR, Barrs, DM et al. Clinical practice guideline: sudden hearing loss. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2012;146:S135
18 Yeo, SW, Lee, DH, Jun, BC, Park, SY, Park, YS. Hearing outcome of sudden sensorineural hearing loss: long-term follow-up. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2007;136:221–4
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-laryngology-and-otology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 23
Total number of PDF views: 189 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 830 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th March 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.