The effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen in patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss: a systematic review

Burak Eryigit, Fuat Ziylan, Furkan Yaz, Hans G.X.M. Thomeer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen in the treatment of patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL). DATA SOURCES: An Embase, MEDLINE and Cochrane search were utilised to identify various clinical trials on the treatment of ISSHL. Studies that were published between 2002 and 2018 and written in the English, Dutch or German language were included. Search terms included synonyms for idiopathic sudden hearing loss. DATA SYNTHESIS: A total of 16 articles were identified regarding hyperbaric oxygen therapy. All patients were evaluated with pure-tone audiometry. A major part of the cases presented with unilateral hearing loss(bilateral hearing loss less than 5%). In several studies, the average of the mean hearing gain at five contiguous frequencies was significantly higher in the hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy and systemic steroid (SS) group in patients with severe or profound hearing impairment. They recorded a significant treatment effect (p = 0.005) of HBO + SS therapy on patients with an initial hearing loss of ≥ 81 dB. CONCLUSIONS: On the whole group of ISSHL patients, no significant difference was demonstrated between the intervention and control group. However, in severe or profound hearing-impaired ISSHL patients, significant benefit was observed in the intervention group. These results likely indicate that adding HBO to steroid therapies might be of benefit in cases of severe and profound hearing impairment.

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