Objective: Assuming that superoxide anion radicals (O2-) 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. Study design: Prospective, double-blind study. Setting: The Department of Otolaryngology of Rambam Medical Center serves as a tertiary referral center for a population of 1.2 million people. Patients: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems
- Clinical Neurology