Dr. Kohan was interviewed for WebMD on a new therapy to help treat sudden hearing loss.

“Sensorineural hearing loss occurs in about 1 out of 10,000 people,” said Dr. Darius Kohan, and is thought to be triggered by a viral infection or circulatory problems within the ear. Kohan directs otology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

He said that 1 in every 3 people will get their hearing back without any treatment. For the other two-thirds of patients, drugs — most often steroids — are used, as well as hyperbaric oxygen.

In this treatment, patients are placed in a device that boosts oxygen levels in the inner ear.

But just how well does the therapy work? To find out, Rhee’s group looked at data from 19 studies that compared outcomes for people with sensorineural hearing loss. Patients either received drug therapy alone or drug therapy plus hyperbaric oxygen. A total of more than 2,400 patients, averaging 45 years of age, were included.


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