Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss
(SSNHL) is a medical emergency
We are hoping to learn more with our five year (2004-2009) SSNHL research study sponsored by the NIH-NIDCD. Our recruitment phase is now closed but if you have sudden hearing loss in one ear please seek care from a specialist
Study Chair and Steering Committee Chair: Steven D. Rauch, MD
Site Principal Investigator, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary: Daniel J. Lee, MD FACS
Senior Study Audiologist: Chris Halpin, PhD,
Department of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard
Medical School, Boston, MA
The gold standard treatment for sudden deafness, if
caught within two weeks of the onset of the symptoms,
is high-dose steroids, taken by mouth.
Evidence now suggests that injection of medication into
the middle ear, using a relatively painless, and quick procedure
in the clinic, is also effective in treating sudden sensorineural
hearing loss without the side effects that can be seen when
taking high-dose steroids by mouth.
the 2004 AAA research poster here
the 2008 article by Dr. Rauch on sudden single-sided deafness in NEJM
Dr. Rauch and the lead center,
the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and
16 centers nationwide participated in a 5 year clinical
trial sponsored by the National Institute on Deafness and
Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) - National Institutes
of Health (NIH).
The study began in December, 2004 and was completed in 2010, and compared high dose oral steroids with intratympanic,
or middle-ear injections of a special formulation of steroid
medication for the treatment of sudden sensorineural hearing
This Sudden Sensorineural
Hearing Loss Multicenter Treatment Trial is the
first prospective, randomized clinical trial to compare
these two different treatment options.
This multimillion dollar NIDCD/NIH
study will provide valuable information to patients,
otologists and otolaryngologists, and referring physicians
about the most appropriate management of this otologic emergency.
information about Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss Multicenter
Treatment Trial can also be found on the NIH website