Recently, doctors have started injecting steroids directly into the middle ear — a procedure called intratympanic treatment. This technique is thought to deliver more of the drug to the ear and to avoid some of the side effects that can come along with oral steroids. The side effects of oral therapy can be mild, like weight gain, mood changes and sleep disruption, or more serious, like high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar. Side effects of injected steroids are usually local, such as ear infection and vertigo. However, up until now, no study had compared the 2 treatments to see whether direct injection worked as well as oral steroids.
Clinically, the success rate of Intratympanic steroid therapy in patients with SHL is variable in the literature and the available studies are limited to retrospective and non-controlled prospective ones. In those studies steroids were used in various concentrations, regimens and delivery methods and their effectiveness have not been established due to the lack of randomized controlled trials. There have been some studies in the literature that discussed the effectiveness of Intratympanic steroid therapy as a salvage mode of therapy in patients who failed to respond to oral steroids (Herr & Marzo 2005, Slattery et al 2005).