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Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital. 2006 Feb;26(1):7-13.

Effectiveness of sulphur spa therapy with politzer in the treatment of rhinogenic deafness.

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Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Pharmacology L. Donatelli, School of Medical Hydrology, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Second University of Naples, Italy.


Several studies have focused on the usefulness of sulphur, radioactive and bromo-iodine mineral waters in the treatment of chronic inflammatory lower and upper respiratory processes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the tolerability, effectiveness and impact on quality of life of sulphur spa therapy with Politzer in subjects with chronic inflammatory processes responsible for the onset or persistence of rhinogenic deafness. The study was performed on 27 subjects (mean age 62 +/- 2.2 years, range: 28-88) with chronic catarrhalis otitis, chronic rhino-sinusitis and pharyngeal inflammation. These patients underwent 12 sessions of humid-hot inhalation, with vapour jet 20 cm from the face, at 38 degrees C for 10 min, followed by Politzer with sulphur sodium chloride bicarbonate alkaline mineral water from "Rosapepe" Spa, in Contursi (Salerno, Italy). Middle ear function and possible social recovery (based on Giaccai and Gardenghi guidelines) of the patients were assessed, at the beginning and end of the spa therapy. Results, at the end of this treatment, showed a significant (p < 0.05) increase in audiometric curves corresponding to the normal ventilation of the tympanic box (incidence of 24% before therapy and 33% thereafter) and a decrease in pathological curves. Moreover, a significant (p < 0.05) reduction in the percentage of auditory loss was recorded (N = 41; 19.7% +/- 2.5 --> 13.9% +/- 1.9) and improved hearing, at the frequencies required for daily activities: 500-1000 and 2000 Hz (31.1 dB +/- 1.7 --> 26.8 dB +/- 1.5). No adverse effects to the spa therapy were observed during the study. In conclusion, the results of this study are in agreement with data in the literature, demonstrating that associated spa therapy with Politzer and inhalation have a positive impact on the therapeutic strategy of chronic inflammatory processes, responsible for the onset or persistence of rhinogenic deafness, in order to enhance and combine with the already consolidated pharmacological approaches.

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