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Long-term follow up of sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients treated with intratympanic steroids: audiological and quality of life evaluation

  • I Dallan (a1), S Fortunato (a1), A P Casani (a1), E Bernardini (a1), S Sellari-Franceschini (a1), S Berrettini (a2) and A Nacci (a2)...

Abstract

Objective:

To evaluate the long-term stability of intratympanic steroids and investigate the ‘real’ impact of sudden sensorineural hearing loss on patients.

Method:

A total of 14 patients treated with intratympanic steroids were evaluated by audiometric and vestibular examinations. The modified Glasgow Benefit Inventory was used to evaluate quality of life changes after intratympanic steroid treatment.

Results:

There was no significant difference between pure tone average post-intratympanic steroids and at follow up. The general Glasgow Benefit Inventory score was not significantly associated with the presence of tinnitus or dizziness, or with patient age. The change in pure tone average after intratympanic steroid treatment did not correlate with social or physical scores, but correlated strongly with the general Glasgow Benefit Inventory score (p = 0.0023). Intratympanic steroid administration led to a stable improvement in hearing. Quality of life assessment showed that patients can feel satisfaction regardless of the hearing outcome. Patients who regained a social hearing level expressed greater satisfaction than patients without serviceable hearing. Overall, quality of life improvement was not related to hearing improvement.

Conclusion:

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is devastating. Considering the audiological effects alone ignores the ‘human’ perspective. Audiological success can correlate with poor quality of life outcome.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr S Fortunato, First ENT Unit, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana, Via Paradisa, 3, 56126 Pisa, Italy Fax: +39 (0)50 997517 E-mail: susanna.fortunato@gmail.com

References

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