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Ear fullness and sudden sensorineural low tone hearing loss

, : Ear fullness and sudden sensorineural low tone hearing loss. Practica Otologica Kyoto 82(4): 529-535

The symptom of ear fullness or blocked ear has not been investigated so far, although it is commonly associated with a variety of ear diseases. A retrospective study of 41 patients in the last 3 years revealed that sudden sensorineural low tone hearing loss (SSLHL) was one of the most frequent causes of ear fullness. Clinically, this disease can be regarded to be nearly identical to cochlear hydrops or endolymphatic hydrops without vertigo, which has been described in the foreign literature. However, its etiology remains unclear. A review of the Japanese literature and a study of our 41 cases indicate that: 1) This disease is more common than expected. 2) It is likely that a considerable number of patients with SSLHL have been misdiagnosed as having Eustachian tube dysfunction, which has long been considered to be the primary cause of blocking sensation. 3) Although in most cases hearing was restored, 25% of the patients did not respond to treatment. 4) Recurrent attacks were noted in seven patients (17%). Such cases can be classified into two groups according to the outcome. In one group, the more numerous the attacks, the poorer was the response to treatment. In the other group, hearing recovered completely after each attack. 5) The treatment of choice is simply rest. Medical treatment with the calcium entery blocker flunarizine, isosorbide, or diuretics may be reserved for recalcitrant cases.


DOI: 10.5631/jibirin.82.529

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