Hearing loss is a common and disabling condition that may result from problems with the cochlea, an inner ear structure that senses sound and sends information to the brain. Loss of hearing due to damage to the cochlea can occur suddenly and without an obvious cause, a condition described as idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSNHL). ISSNHL usually occurs in one ear, and can range from a mild hearing loss to a completely deaf ear.
The recovery of hearing following ISSNHL may be helped by urgent treatment with steroids, and this is the standard treatment that most doctors would recommend for the condition.
In the UK, steroids are commonly given for this condition in three forms: as tablets, as an injection through the ear drum, or by both routes at the same time. At the moment we do not know how best to give steroids for ISSNHL, but this study aims to identify the method that will provide the best recovery of hearing for patients with ISSNHL.