Sudden Hearing Loss Patient with Improvement

Oct 17 – sudden hearing loss right ear
Oct 21 – tube inserted through eardrum (topical steroids & oral begin); initial hearing test 75% loss
Oct 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 – O2 Hyperbaric Treatments at Oxford Recovery Center (6 treatments total)
Oct 25th – precautionary MRI; no tumor or other issues identified (presumption loss is due to virus)
Nov 3rd – 2nd audiologist test showing improvements
Nov 9th – tube removed & eardrum patched
The red dashed line shows the results from my initial audiologist report and shows the severe hearing loss in my right ear.  The red circles are from the 2nd appointment showing the across-the-board improvement.

I did review available studies on O2 Hyperbaric Treatment in relation to my hearing loss and was able to access them as my partner is a researcher at MSU.  The studies were mostly from China and one from S. Korea.  The study sizes were small (around 100 – 180) and did include experiment and control groups.  The control groups only got steroids (I believe both topically & orally like I did).  The experiment group got the same steroids and O2 hyperbaric chamber treatments.  At least 1 study in China included additional Eastern treatments.  The # of treatments and frequency varied.  One study listed 2/day for the first 3 days.  There is no agreed upon prescribed treatment.  The quality of the studies is diminished due to self-selection of control vs experiment group.  Overall reviews of the studies from Western researchers state that the studies are indicative that O2 Hyperbaric Chamber treatments are beneficial for hearing improvement particularly at low frequencies (which is where I had my greatest loss).  The reviews also state that the key time is within the 1st two weeks of hearing loss.  One reviewer said he would not prescribe O2 Hyperbaric Chamber treatments after this 2-week period as there is no indication of any benefit.

So – I am so very relieved that my hearing has come back!!!  The chart shows some degradation at a couple frequencies, but I do think my hearing improved further after having the tube/grommet pulled out.  There was still a bit of a weird “fullness” feeling that went away after removal.  I really can’t tell any difference from before this all happened.  From what I read, full recovery can be expected somewhere around 10% of the time, partial 50-60% and maybe 30% w/o much improvement.  So I feel very fortunate.  I’m happy the ENT mentioned the hyperbaric treatment and that I did it.

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