Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) is a condition characterized by the sudden loss of hearing in one ear, with no identifiable cause. It can be a frightening and disorienting experience for those who are affected. Understanding the treatment options and management strategies for ISSHL is essential in order to provide the best care for patients.


A recent study conducted on the management of ISSHL revealed some interesting findings. Out of the 540 questionnaires that were distributed, 266 replies were received, resulting in a response rate of 49.2%. It should be noted that not all questionnaires were fully completed, which affected the individual results. The following are the key findings from the study:

Admission and Follow-Up

When asked whether they would admit a patient with unilateral, acute, idiopathic sensorineural hearing loss, 59.1% of the respondents stated that they would admit the patient. Interestingly, even among those who would not admit the patient, the majority would still arrange a follow-up in the clinic within a specific timeframe. Only a small percentage of the respondents would not arrange any follow-up.

Written Protocols

Among the respondents who would admit the patient, less than one-third had a written protocol for patient management. However, when considering all the respondents who would treat the patient, whether they admitted them or not, only about 23.8% had a written protocol. This highlights the need for standardized protocols in the management of ISSHL.

Treatment Options

The study found that almost all respondents (93.2%) would prescribe some form of treatment for ISSHL. The most commonly prescribed treatment was oral steroids, either alone or in combination with other drugs. A small percentage of respondents (1.2%) would administer steroids intra-tympanically. Other treatment options mentioned by the respondents included low molecular weight dextran, carbogen, betahistine, aspirin, antiviral agents, peripheral vasodilators, calcium antagonists, hyperbaric oxygen, heparin, antibiotics, methotrexate, practolol, Dyazide, tranquillisers, and plasma exchange.

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Combinations of Treatments

Among the respondents who would treat the patient, about 30.8% would use only one form of treatment, while the rest would prescribe two or more drugs. The study provided details of the various combinations of drugs and their frequencies.

Prognosis and Audiogram

When asked about the prognosis of ISSHL with medical treatment, about 26.9% of the respondents believed that medical treatment could improve the patient’s prognosis, while 16.2% believed that it would not. The majority of the respondents (56.9%) were unsure about the efficacy of medical treatment. Regarding the timing of the second audiogram after presentation, most respondents (55.8%) would repeat it after one or two days, while others (28.3%) would repeat it within one week.


Finally, the study explored the investigations that the respondents who would admit the patient would undertake. The details of these investigations were provided in the study.

These findings provide valuable insights into the current practices and perspectives regarding the management of ISSHL. It is important for healthcare professionals to stay updated on the latest research and guidelines in order to provide the best possible care for patients with this condition.

Remember, early intervention and appropriate treatment are crucial in improving outcomes for patients with ISSHL. If you or someone you know is experiencing sudden hearing loss, it is important to seek medical attention promptly.

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