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).
Managing an acute attack involves preparation. This includes consulting with a physician about any appropriate drugs that can be taken when an acute attack occurs, and deciding ahead of time when it is appropriate to go to a hospital. During an attack, it is helpful to lie down in a safe place with a firm surface, and avoid any head movement. Sometimes keeping the eyes open and fixed on a stationary object about 18 inches away is helpful. In order to control dehydration, a doctor should be called if fluid intake is not possible over time due to persistent vomiting.
The dura mater and the mastoid or craniotomy are then closed with a variety of materials, and the patient is observed in the intensive care unit. Because the balance fibers are cut suddenly, the surgery causes intense vertigo and imbalance for a few days requiring supportive medical care, medications for nausea and eventually physical therapy. A cane or walker may be needed for a while, depending on the patient’s health and activity level prior to the surgery. Once the patient is able to ambulate safely, he may be discharged home, but vestibular and balance therapy is continued on an out-patient basis to speed the patient’s recovery as much as possible. A return to full function occurs in most patients, although many do feel imbalanced when tired or stressed.