Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) is defined as areduction of at least 30 DB in hearing capacities in 3 contiguousfrequencies.This complication is mostly attained within a timespan of 72 hours.1ISSHL generally has an impact on one ear. Tinnitus is reported as a symptomalongside the initial hearing reduction. With over 800,000 patients beingvictimised by hearing impairment, the prevalence of reduced hearing hasincreased over the past few years within the Dutch society.2 Arecent cross-sectional study performed by the AMC, measured the correlationbetween hearing loss and age. The test determined the Speech ReceptionThreshold (SRT) within the subjects. SRT is the signal-to-noise ratio whom 50%of the speech is understood correctly.
They discovered that 1/5th ofthe subjects aged from 12 to 24 years had a ”lesser than good” result ontheir hearing test.3 Systemic and intratympanic steroid treatments are allotted as primarytherapy for treating ISSHL patients. However, controversies about the standardtherapy for ISSHL still exist. To date, no consensus has been reached regardingthe standard practice guideline for the treatment of ISSHL.4 Thetreatment options are endless but the effectivity of certain therapies stillraises questions. Especially the effectivity of the therapy based on hyperbaricoxygen is still questioned by Dutch ENT doctors.
Reimbursement on this specifictype of treatment was not endorsed by insurance companies, due to the highexpenditures of the therapy. This review should answer the convenience of thistreatment and if neglecting this type of treatment can be seen as a cleverdecision. With this review, I will try to establish a critical appraisal on thelatest developments concerning the therapy guidelines of ISSHL. It will try toemphasize the combination of corticosteroid and hyperbaric oxygen as a form oftreatment. This will be accomplished by providing a clear and comprehensive compositionof information, whereas the knowledge is dispersed. Also, this review will providenew insights on various dilemmas which pertain the chosen set of therapies.
Various systems have been developed in order to search systematicallythrough articles. One strategy I would prefer to use is the ”snowball”technique. This strategy makes use of searching through the references withinarticles. Which will lead to more results relatively quickly and easily.
AMEDLINE literature search will be conducted to identify the therapy options ofISSHL. MeSH terms such as, sensorineuralhearing loss and hyperbaric oxygentherapy will be included. Furthermore,the Boolean method will have a key role in establishing my search strategy. Byusing both methods I should be able to obtain more specified results.Especially the snowball method will help me increase my chances of findingrelevant information.