Efficacy of Oral Steroids for Acute Acoustic Trauma

Elchanan Zloczower, Nir Tsur, Shir Hershkovich, Nir Fink, Tal Marom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: This study aimed to study the effect of steroid treatment on new-onset sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) in subjects presenting shortly after an audiometry-confirmed acute acoustic trauma (AAT) injury. Study Design: This is a case-control study. Methods: We identified healthy military personnel who presented with AAT injury to the Israeli Defense Forces Medical Corps Otolaryngology/Audiology Services during 2016-2020. Patients were nonrandomly allocated to a treatment arm, where they received steroids (prednisone, 1 mg/kg, 60 mg maximal daily dose), administered for either ≥7 days or <7 days, or to a control arm, in which no treatment was offered besides loud noise avoidance. Audiometries were conducted within 7 days following the AAT and within 1 month later. We compared changes in bone conduction (BC) and air conduction (AC) thresholds at 2-8 kHz. Results: Of the 263 enrolled subjects, 137 (52%) received steroids and 126 (48%) received no treatment. Subjects who were treated early (<24 h) with high-dose steroids and for ≥7 days demonstrated significantly better hearing outcomes, compared with the nontreatment group. Subjects in the steroids group demonstrated 13-14 dB average improvement in BC thresholds at 3 and 4 kHz (p = 0.001) and additional 7-8 dB average improvement in AC thresholds at 6 and 8 kHz, compared with the nontreatment group (p < 0.0001). These observations were more compelling in patients who initially presented with worse hearing losses (>35 dB). No statistically significant differences were observed in AC/BC pure tone average between the two groups. Conclusions: Early oral steroids are recommended in AAT injuries and were shown to improve hearing outcomes within 1 month.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-320
Number of pages9
JournalAudiology and Neurotology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • Acute acoustic trauma
  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Steroids
  • Tinnitus


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