Data on sudden deafness and the hyperbaric chamber

  • 360 million people worldwide suffer from disabling hearing loss. 32 million are children.
  • The loss of hearing is due to genetic causes, complications in childbirth, some infectious diseases, chronic ear infections, the use of certain drugs, exposure to excessive noise and aging.
  • 60% of cases of hearing loss in children are due to preventable causes.
  • 1100 million young people (between 12 and 35 years of age) are at risk of suffering from hearing loss due to their exposure to noise in recreational contexts.
  • The unattended cases of hearing loss represent an annual global cost of 750,000 million dollars. Interventions aimed at preventing, detecting and treating hearing loss are not expensive and can be very beneficial for those concerned.
  • The situation of people suffering from hearing loss improves thanks to early detection, the use of hearing aids, cochlear implants and other assistive devices, as well as the use of subtitles, sign language learning and other support measures educational and social.

More than 5% of the world population (360 million people) suffer from disabling hearing loss. Disabling hearing loss means a hearing loss greater than 40dB in the ear with better hearing in adults and greater than 30dB in the ear with better hearing in children. The majority of people with disabling hearing loss live in low and middle income countries.

Approximately one third of people over 65 suffer from disabling hearing loss. The highest prevalence in this age group is found in South Asia, Asia-Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa.

How does the hyperbaric chamber help patients with sudden deafness?

The hyperbaric chamber produces a greater contribution of oxygen to the inner ear and, as a consequence, it deflates it, helping the decrease or disappearance of the symptoms. In addition, it favors the recovery of cerebral nerves and increases the immunological action, among other effects.

There is a large number of scientific works that support the effectiveness of HBOT. In 2004, Dr. Racic and his team compared the use of hyperbaric oxygen with the use of drugs. The results showed a significant improvement of the patients who used HBOT, with a physiological recovery of 47.1% against 6.2% of those who did not use said therapy.

In another study published by Dr. Topuz, two groups of patients with sudden deafness were compared: the first group was given traditional therapy, while the second group was also given HBOT treatment. They found that the use of both combination therapies improved hearing loss especially at frequencies of 250, 500, 1,000 and 4,000 Hz.

The best results are obtained when the patient begins the hyperbaric treatment in conjunction with the usual therapy within the first 20 days of the installation of the table. The earlier the HBOT starts, the better results are obtained.


National Institute on Deafness and other communication disorders (NIDCD)

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Otorhinolaryngological indications. José F Casamitjana Claramunta, Jordi Desola Alab.

World Health Organization

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