The sensorineural hearing loss in 150 patients with chronic otitis media who were treated in the Haifa Medical Center (Rothschild) during a ten year period was studied. There were 124 patients treated with a mixture containing neomycin, polymyxin B and dexamethasone and a control group of 26 patients with dexamethasone only.
All patients were followed up for a period of 1–2 years. Patients with hearing loss due to factors such as previous ear surgery, family history, exposure to noise etc., have been excluded.
The conclusions reached were that there is a relationship between the period of disease and the sensorineural hearing loss and that the local treatment with a mixture containing neomycin + polymyxin B appears to contribute to the worsening of the sensorineural hearing loss in patients with chronic otitis media.
Our numbers are small and further studies must be done, but the fact that currently used ear drops may produce a sensorineural hearing loss should not be ignored.