How can hyperbaric oxygen therapy help with sudden hearing loss?
Learn the role that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can play in your recovery
Sudden hearing loss is a rare but life changing condition. Some people simply wake up one day with total hearing loss in one or both ears. Others will notice a decline in their ability to hear over the course of a few days.
The good news is that with timely medical treatment most people can reverse their hearing loss, with the recovery of partial or even full hearing in the affected ear.
Let’s explore more about the causes and diagnosis of sudden hearing loss, and the role that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can play in your recovery.
What is sudden hearing loss?
Also known as sudden deafness, sudden hearing loss can affect people of all ages. It frequently affects only one ear, and is characterized by the loss of hearing of more than 20 decibels (dB) over the course of three days or less.
About 1 in 5,000 to 1 in 10,000 people develop sudden hearing loss each year.
What causes sudden hearing loss?
In around 90% of cases, the exact cause of sudden hearing loss is unexplained.
Conditions that have been known to cause sudden hearing loss include:
- Head trauma
- Autoimmune diseases
- Exposure to certain drugs that treat cancer or severe infections
- Blood circulation problems
- Neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis
- Disorders of the inner ear, such as Ménière’s disease.
How is sudden hearing loss diagnosed?
Sudden hearing loss is diagnosed by an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) doctor, also known as an otolaryngologist. They will perform a number of tests to try to determine the underlying reason for your loss of hearing. These may include blood tests, imaging tests such as an MRI, and balance tests.
How do you treat sudden hearing loss?
Sudden hearing loss should be treated very seriously. The sooner you seek medical attention, the greater the chance of you regaining your hearing. The best recovery results are seen when patients begin medical treatment with 24–48 hours of onset.
To treat sudden hearing loss, an ENT doctor will usually administer a course of oral steroids for 10 days. If there is no improvement, a weekly steroid injection is administered directly into the eardrum. If there is still no improvement after three of these steroid injections, your ENT doctor may begin to explore other options with you.
How can hyperbaric oxygen therapy help with sudden hearing loss?
Unfortunately, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is often only recommended by ENT doctors as a last resort, when traditional medical treatments have failed to recover hearing.
However, our sudden hearing loss patients have seen great results when HBOT is used in conjunction with traditional medical treatment. By providing the body with 10–15 times its normal supply of oxygen, HBOT enhances the intake of steroids and improves the circulation of blood around all parts of the body, including the eardrums and surrounding areas.
How we treat patients with sudden hearing loss
At Hyperbaric Healing Treatment Center, we see at least 2 patients a month dealing with sudden hearing loss. We’ve treated people of all ages, ranging from as young as 13 years old to 77 years old. Most patients come to us as referrals from their ENT doctor. In 9 out of 10 cases, the course of hyperbaric treatment is fully covered by the patient’s insurance.
We recommend that patients contact us as soon as they’re diagnosed with sudden hearing loss. Our aggressive treatment plan can be used as adjunct therapy alongside traditional medical treatments, and we’ve seen great results!
Our specially modified protocol treats sudden hearing loss patients over a 15 day period. We have found that using varied pressures over the course of treatment can stimulate the eardrum into action, and in many cases we’ve been able to help patients recover the majority of their hearing.
We’re proud to collaborate with Florida Otolaryngology Group, P.A. | Orlando Sinus & Allergy Center to assist in the healing of their sudden hearing loss patients. To learn more about the Florida Otolaryngology Group, visit their website at www.flotogroup.com.
Here are a few before and after hearing tests from patients who came to us for hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment to help treat their sudden hearing loss:
One of our patients was kind enough to write about his experience being treated for sudden hearing loss. You can read his Google review below:
“On Saturday, June 28, 2018 I woke up with a sudden hearing loss out of my right ear. I have never had any hearing problems at all. Over that weekend I was hoping my hearing would return. Well, my hearing did not improve, so on Monday I walked in as an emergency to an ENT doctor. The doctor did not know what caused my hearing loss but did give me a steroid injection into the ear.
After my ENT appointment I called the Hyperbaric Healing Treatment Center to discuss my situation. They mentioned that they had helped another patient with a similar situation. They came up with an aggressive plan of hyperbaric treatments. I followed their plan, which included two treatments on some days. One treatment in the morning and another in the afternoon.
After 10 days my hearing started to improve. Today, my hearing is normal or so close to normal that its not an issue any more. The staff at HHTC are fantastic! They treat you like family and have a lot of experience in treating a wide variety of conditions. They will try to get your insurance to help cover the costs, and I know that is not an easy task. If you have any medical condition, you should do everything you can to help yourself. Also, the sooner you start hyperbaric treatments the better your chance of obtaining the results you hope for.
I am so grateful that the Hyperbaric Healing Treatment Center is in Southwest Orlando. Thank you all at HHTC – I can hear again. You are the best!!!”
— John Nowell, via Google
If you think you are experiencing sudden hearing loss, call an ENT doctor immediately. If a diagnosis of sudden hearing loss is confirmed, don’t hesitate to contact us to see if hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help you with your recovery. The sooner you start the treatment with us, higher the chances are for you to recover your hearing.
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