Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) added to standard medical therapy (MT) seems beneficial for sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). The study was published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare HBOT + MT with MT alone for patients with SSNHL. Data were included from three randomized clinical trials and 16 nonrandomized studies, comparing outcomes in 2,401 patients with SSNHL.

The researchers found that compared with the MT alone group, the HBOT + MT group had significantly higher pooled odds ratios for complete hearing recovery and any hearing recovery (odds ratios, 1.61 and 1.43, respectively).

There was also a significantly greater absolute hearing gain in the HBOT + MT group versus the MT alone group. The benefit of HBOT was greater in groups with severe to a profound hearing loss at baseline, HBOT as a salvage treatment, and a total HBOT duration of at least 1,200 minutes.

Treatment 

Optimal criteria for patient selection and a standardized regimen for HBOT should be applied in routine practice, with future trials to investigate maximal treatment benefit.

Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

The addition of HBOT to standard MT is a reasonable treatment option for SSNHL, particularly for those patients with severe to profound hearing loss at baseline and those who undergo HBOT as a salvage treatment with a prolonged duration.