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Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) is sudden hearing loss where clinical assessment fails to reveal a cause. Hearing loss may vary from partial to total loss, and is usually accompanied by tinnitus. It has been frequently considered that ISSHL may have a vascular origin (i.e. is related to the blood circulatory system) and vasodilators and rheological substances are widely used as treatments. Vasodilators are drugs which widen blood vessels and thus improve blood flow. Vasoactive/rheological substances increase flow through blood vessels in other ways (such as by altering the viscosity of fluid). We found three trials, involving 189 participants, which showed improvement in hearing thresholds in those treated with vasodilators compared to control groups. However, as the number of patients included in the studies was small, and there were differences in the type, dosage and duration of vasodilator treatment used in each of these studies, the results could not be combined to reach a conclusion. The effectiveness of vasodilators in the treatment of ISSHL could not be proven. Further research is needed. 

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2010

Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) is common and often results in permanent hearing loss. It therefore has a high impact on the well‐being of those affected. Tinnitus (abnormal persistent noises or ringing in the ear) is similarly common and often accompanies the hearing loss. Although the cause of these complaints is not clear, they may be related to a lack of oxygen secondary to a vascular problem not yet identified. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves breathing pure oxygen in a specially designed chamber and it is sometimes used as a treatment to increase the supply of oxygen to the ear and brain in an attempt to reduce the severity of hearing loss and tinnitus.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

A sudden onset of hearing loss due to disease of the hearing organs is a medical emergency and requires prompt recognition and treatment. In addition to the hearing impairment, patients may also suffer from symptoms of tinnitus (background ringing noise), a sensation of ear fullness and dizziness. In many instances medical specialists are able to find the cause and treat the hearing impairment. However, in a large proportion of patients, no known cause of the sudden hearing loss can be found. Steroids are commonly used to treat patients with sudden hearing loss of an unknown origin. The specific action of the steroids in the hearing apparatus is uncertain. It is possible that the steroid treatment improves hearing because of its ability to reduce inflammation and oedema (swelling) in the hearing organs. The review of the trials showed a lack of good‐quality evidence for the effectiveness of steroids in the treatment of sudden hearing loss of an unknown origin. The quality of the trials was generally low and more research is needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) is sudden loss of hearing where clinical assessment has failed to reveal a cause. Patients may also suffer from additional symptoms such as tinnitus (a background ringing noise), together with dizziness and a sensation of fullness in the ear. Prompt investigation is essential to identify and treat the hearing impairment. In a large proportion of patients, however, no cause can be found.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Background: Neonatal meningitis is a common cause of death and long‐term disability among children everywhere, particularly in developing countries. In this review, we investigated the benefits and safety of adjunctive corticosteroids in the treatment of neonatal meningitis.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Your doctor may recommend an ear examination, if you have sudden or gradual hearing loss, ringing in your ears (tinnitus), earache, dizziness or if they think you might have a middle ear infection. Also, if a fluid comes out of your ear or if you have injured your lower jaw. Read about what types of ear examination there are.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: September 22, 2016

Bell’s palsy is a paralysis of the muscles of the face, usually on one side, that has no known underlying cause. The symptoms probably occur when a nerve in the face is trapped and swollen. People with Bell's palsy generally recover but there is a small group who do not. Some surgeons have thought that an operation to free the nerve could improve recovery. We did this review to assess the effects of surgery for Bell's palsy compared with no treatment, other types of surgery, sham (fake) treatment or treatment with medicines.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Acute middle ear infection (acute otitis media) is a very common disease in children and may cause pain and hearing loss. Delayed or ineffective treatment may lead to serious complications such as ear drum perforation, sensorineural hearing loss or the disease becoming chronic. Amoxicillin, with or without clavulanate, is the most commonly used antibiotic for treating acute otitis media. Currently, a reduction in the dosing interval to one or two daily doses is being used, in preference to the conventional three or four daily doses, to aid compliance.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Mitochondria are found within every human cell and are responsible for the majority of each cell's energy production. When the mitochondria do not function properly, they cause diseases affecting many of the body's organs. Usually, these are the organs with the highest energy needs, such as muscle, brain, the eyes, and heart, although these diseases are highly variable. As a group these conditions are referred to as mitochondrial disorders, and they can cause significant disability or early death. We conducted this review of treatment for mitochondrial disorders to determine whether any available treatments are effective. We identified 12 randomised controlled trials that were of high enough quality to be included in the review. Of these, eight were new studies that had been published since the previous version of this review. Two studies which were included in the previous version of this review were excluded because of a high risk that the study results may be biased.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

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