People who experience SSHL should see a physician immediately. Doctors believe that early treatment increases the chances for recovery. Several treatments are used for SSHL, but researchers are not yet certain which is the best for any one cause. The most common therapy for SSHL, especially in cases with an unknown cause, is treatment with steroids. Steroids are used to treat many different disorders and usually work to reduce inflammation, decrease swelling, and help the body fight illness. Another common method that may help some patients is a diet low in salt. Researchers believe that this method aids people with SSHL who also have Ménière's disease, a hearing and balance disorder. A water pill is also frequently prescribed to reduce possible swelling in the inner ear.
The injections are performed with the patient lying down and using the office microscope. The ear is first cleaned of wax. A small area of the eardrum is numbed with a drop of medication. A small needle and syringe are then used and the needle is passed through the eardrum at the site that is numbed so that the tip is in the ear, near the round window. This is a membrane where drugs are absorbed in to the cochlea. The fluid is injected in to the middle ear and the patient stays lying down for 20-30 minutes during which he does not swallow or sniff. The drug sits against the round window and is absorbed in to the inner ear. The patient then sits up slowly and leaves the office. Patients should not drive for a few hours after this procedure. Water is kept out of the ear until it is confirmed that the tiny hole has healed.