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Kristin Hayes, R.N.

Steroids May Help Hearing Loss

By January 24, 2009

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Are you tired of asking your grandchildren to repeat themselves? A new study shows that dexamethasone, a steroid medication given as a shot inside the ear may improve low frequency hearing loss. The study was reported in the European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology. Steroids are commonly used to treat autoimmune disorders because of their ability to suppress the immune system, as well as disorders like asthma for their ability to decrease inflammation.

Though the study was small, consisting of only fourteen individuals who were given daily injections of dexamethasone as well as an oral dose of another steroid medication called prednisone, ten of the fourteen participants were cured of low frequency hearing loss! The implications of the results are unknown at this time but may be cause to sit back and dream of a day when the phrase "What did you say?" is eliminated from your vocabulary.

Comments
June 25, 2009 at 3:58 pm
(1) Lisa says:

Doc wants to give me a steriod shot in the ear for treatment if Menieres. How bad will this hurt?

June 25, 2009 at 4:42 pm
(2) ent says:

Hi Lisa,

This is a difficult question since I personally have not had a steroid shot in my ear. What I do know is that an insulin syringe is used which has a very small thin needle. Local anesthetic is not used and there doesn’t seem to be much documentation on pain in this procedure, suggesting that pain is not a big issue. Sometimes patients complain of a burning sensation when steroids are injected into other parts of the body, I’m not sure if this occurs when it is injected in your ear or not. BTW the medical term for this is intratympanic steroid perfusion, it might help to know this as you search for more information.
Hope this helps and good luck to you,

Kristin Hayes, R.N.
ent.about.com

June 11, 2010 at 2:33 pm
(3) Lee says:

I get my dexamethasone injected through a tube in my eardrum (myringotomy).

July 9, 2010 at 2:07 pm
(4) Laura says:

the shot hurts!!!!!! i got it yesterday and i was in so much pain after it wore off but hopefuly it will be worth it. I have been hearing a high pich sound in my right ear and i can’t hear from it we hope and pray that this works ill keep ya updated

August 9, 2011 at 9:07 pm
(5) Luanne says:

I have been receiving the prednisone ear injections for the last 4 weeks for my sudden hearing loss. The thought of getting the needle in the ear is horrible, but – honestly, it really did NOT hurt! My ENT gave my eardrum a little dose of numbing and followed through with the shot. After receiving the shot you just lay still on the bed and look up at the ceiling for 20 minutes. At first, the fluid in the ear makes one feel a tad-bit dizzy. But, it was really just cuz it was cold and your body is warm. It goes away very quickly. Please get in to see an ENT doctor immediately IF you should lose your hearing cuz “time is of the essence!”

December 31, 2011 at 5:35 pm
(6) Maggie says:

I have tinnitus in my left ear and my ent put me on steroids after a year with this problem and a hearing loss. The steroids helped and he told me if my tinnitus should flare up again to come back immediately and he would inject steroids directly into my ear. Today, of course, is a Saturday and my ear has started to act up and he is not in. He said come back immediately but does it hurt to wait a day or two? My hearing doesn’t seem any worse than what it was.

March 1, 2012 at 9:02 am
(7) John says:

Doesn’t hurt at all…thinking about it hurts!

March 1, 2012 at 9:03 am
(8) John says:

Thinking about it hurts…the actual injections don’t hurt at all. Been through them.

July 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm
(9) Kelley says:

Lost hearing on Monday and had the shot on Tuesday. I cried for an hour afterward. Severe bout of vertigo after shot. Dr said it was due to the steroid being cold. Next time, he said he would put the medicine in his pocket. Most of medicine felt like it ran down my throat. Next office visit – opted for the pills.

Today is Friday and I am sill off balance – loud refrigerator running in one ear.

April 11, 2013 at 11:07 pm
(10) Judy says:

Had the injection 3 days ago. ENT dr used some numbing medicine, which does hurt when applied. Then did the steroid injection through the eardrum into the middle ear. It did hurt a lot, but was over the minute it started to hurt. It ached slightly for about an hour. Minimal, really. I will have a repeat hearing test next week, and he will decide if I need another injection. I was already on oral steroids when the sudden hearing loss occurred.

May 5, 2013 at 9:22 pm
(11) Chelsea says:

i’m 24 and i woke up 4 weeks ago with sudden hearing loss in my left ear, i’ve been on prednisone for a week and i got the steroid shot in my ear. it wasn’t comfortable but i definitely would recommend it. i’ve noticed a very slight improvement but the uncomfortableness of the shot was worth it if i get my hearing back. advice is to just not think about it and go in with a positive mindset, otherwise you’ll just worry and possibly miss out on an effective treatment,.

July 27, 2013 at 9:59 am
(12) Bobbiejo says:

I have been getting decadron ear injections and oral prednisone for the past couple weeks. I am now experiencing extreme arm pain/swelling at the wrist. Makes no sense. Drs are stumped. Should not be swelling or feel any pain on such high doses of steroid 60mg/day. Any thoughts/ideas??

November 13, 2013 at 10:21 pm
(13) Jessica says:

I had the procedure done today and it doesn’t hurt. My ENT put a type of eardrop in my ear to numb it (which doesn’t hurt) then she used the needle (which doesn’t hurt) right after the injection it makes you feel extremely dizzy, but that feeling goes away within a couple of minutes. After you get the injection you lay there for 20 minutes and then its all over. Simple as that. By the way I have no pain from having it done. I think its worth trying.

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