Injections in the Ear Drum to Treat Sudden Deafness

There have been ongoing debating as to whether Intra-Tympanic Steroid Injections would have been the most effective medical intervention in treating Sudden Hearing Loss or if the widely practiced evidence-based medical management of oral steroids would have been a safer choice.

The answer lies on the cause of the hearing loss and the personal preference of the person experiencing the problem. Treating hearing loss is not only limited to different ways of administering steroidal therapy but there are also medical interventions that focus on the root cause of the hearing loss. It is important to determine the predisposing factors of the loss of this sense to prevent progress and worse, complete hearing loss.

Before treating a hearing problem should even be considered, the diagnosis has to be determined by a physician, preferably specializing in the affected area which is the ear. Sudden hearing loss is often described as the decrease of the sense of hearing in a short period of time, occurring in a span of 72 hours or less. This may commonly be mistaken for dullness of the ear due to the common cold and is unilateral or occurs only in one ear. Oral or subjective complaints for patients experiencing the condition sudden hearing loss would include dizziness or nausea, feeling that their world is upside-down and that there is ringing heard in the ears, known as tinnitus.

Having laboratory exams done immediately could provide the accurate medical diagnosis and more often than not, predict the patient's diagnosis. Findings would indicate that there has been a sensorinural hearing loss which when calculated would exceed 30 decibels over 3 contiguous pure-tone frequencies within a 3 day period. Time is of the essence to treat this medical condition since the onset is rapid and the condition deteriorates quickly when left untreated.

Once the diagnosis is established, figuring out the cause can help in treating sudden hearing loss. The exact cause is yet unknown but the pathophysiology of this condition can be traced to:

  • Recent viral infection.
  • Compromise in the body's vascular system.
  • Rupture of the intra-cochlear membrane .
  • Inner ear diseases, which are immune-related.

Pharmacological Interventions include the newly introduced Intra-Tympanic Steroid Injection. In administrating this Intra-Tympanic Steroid Injection, the preparation is introduced through oral drops or injected through a tiny gauged needle directly to the eardrum. This method has been said to create faster results and restoration of the sense of hearing due to the route of administration. It is said that the potency of the Intra-Tympanic Steroid Injection is increased because it is introduced directly to the affected area.

Special consideration should be given to the patient since this procedure is considered painful and a diversion of some sort might be planned. There is a great risk though that the eardrum might be perforated, so most patients would not have this treatment. The cost of this drug should also be considered since Intra-Tympanic Steroid Injections are expensive.

Oral steroids, such as Prednisone, on the other hand are the drug of choice for many doctors.Ãï½Â Ãï½Â In Treating Sudden Hearing Loss in one ear, this treatment has been administered to many patients known to have suffered the disorder. The less invasive the administration is, the less risk for infection it poses. Long term therapies include monitoring blood pressure and blood sugar levels since oral steroids cause hypertension and increase in blood sugar. Antiviral drugs can also be given in treating hearing loss caused by viral infection and anti-vertigo can be given to bouts of dizziness or loss of balance.