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Laryngoscope. 2011 Mar;121(3):617-21. doi: 10.1002/lary.21291. Epub 2010 Oct 6.

Zinc in the treatment of idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical Center, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.



The objective of this study was to investigate whether zinc supplementation can enhance the recovery of idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL).


Prospective, randomized study.


The 66 SSNHL patients who participated in this study were randomly divided into two groups: 33 were given corticosteroid treatment (control group) and 33 were given oral zinc gluconate plus corticosteroid treatment (zinc group). Serum zinc levels were checked before treatment in both groups and after zinc supplementation in the zinc group. Hearing gain and percentage of recovery were analyzed and compared between the two groups. The correlation between the serum zinc level changes and hearing recovery was also analyzed.


A significantly larger hearing gain, an increased percentage of recovery, and an increased rate of successful recovery were seen in the zinc group compared with the control group (all P < .05). There was a significant correlation between serum zinc level changes and posttreatment hearing thresholds by correlation analysis (P < .05), as well as between changes of serum zinc levels and percentage of recovery in the zinc group (P < .05).


Zinc supplementation may enhance the hearing recovery of SSNHL patients. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects may help reduce the oxidative stress of the cochlea in SSNHL, implying a new direction in the treatment of this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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