Piotr H. Skarzynski, Joanna Rajchel, Henryk Skarzynski
(Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, World Hearing Center, Warsaw/Kajetany, Poland)
JHS 2016; 6(4): 9-18
Many issues concerning sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) remain unresolved. An especially troublesome and uncharted field is SSNHL in children. The aim of the present literature review was to recognize, critically evaluate, and synthesize knowledge on pediatric SSNHL derived from available studies. Articles published between 2000 and 2016 in the English and Polish languages were investigated. Included in the analysis were studies examining children and adolescents ≤18 years or, in the case of comparative studies of children and adults, reports which treated the younger age group as a separate entity. An increase in the attention given to pediatric SSNHL could be observed over the last 16 years. Due to substantial differences in approach found in the analyzed articles, it was impossible to conduct a meta-analysis and provide descriptive statistics. The average age of the investigated children was 12 years. There was no difference in SSNHL prevalence between either gender. Unilateral cases were much more common than bilateral, and no preponderance for left or right ear was noted. The most common factors accompanying SNSHL were tinnitus and vertigo; the most common proposed etiologies were idiopathic and viral infections. There were two main treatment types: steroids (oral, intratympanic, intravenous) and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Depending on the treatment protocol, the rate of complete recovery ranged from 9 to 57%. The most common positive prognostic factors were mild degrees of hearing loss, occurrence of tinnitus, and early treatment onset, whereas bilateral hearing loss and vertigo were found to be negative prognostic factors.
Keywords: Child, Diagnosis, Hearing Loss, Sudden, Therapeutics