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Otol Neurotol. 2003 Jul;24(4):572-5.

Antioxidants in treatment of idiopathic sudden hearing loss.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, Rambam Medical Center and Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.



Assuming that superoxide anion radicals (O(2)-) may play a role in damage to the inner ear, the authors investigated the possible benefit of vitamin E as an antioxidant in the treatment of idiopathic sudden hearing loss.


Prospective, double-blind study.


The Department of Otolaryngology of Rambam Medical Center serves as a tertiary referral center for a population of 1.2 million people.


A total of 66 patients, aged 15 to 70 years, with diagnoses of idiopathic sudden hearing loss of less than 7 days' duration during 1998 to 2001, were included in the study. All were treated with bed rest, steroids, magnesium, and carbogen inhalation. The study group received vitamin E in addition.


The recovery rate, calculated as hearing gain divided by the difference in hearing level between the affected and unaffected ear, was better than 75% in 41 of 66 (62.12%) patients. This rate was achieved in 26 (78.78%) patients in the study group treated with vitamin E, compared with 15 (45.45%) patients in the control group.


Patients treated with the addition of vitamin E achieved better recovery than did the control patients. Further studies should be directed toward a better understanding of the role of antioxidants in idiopathic sudden hearing loss.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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