September 24th

Deaf´s National Day

It is possible to avoid becoming deaf. Be aware.

Today, September 24th, Deaf´s National Day, I would like to make a remark focusing on sudden deafness. Sudden deafness is a sudden hearing loss, in most cases, unilateral and predominant in the population between 40 and 60 years old. The most important thing facing a situation of sudden deafness is to consult an otolaryngologist and start treatment in order to prevent the problem from getting worse, and the hearing loss becoming permanent.

In most situations, the reasons for sudden deafness are undetermined and inexplicable, which is why this is one of the most controversial and challenging issues for otolaryngologists. There is no unanimity regarding the treatment, medication with corticoids or by trans-tympanic injection is unquestionable, although there is growing evidence that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has brought a lot of improvements to many patients.

The current use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy appears as a rescue therapy, (or last solution) and there are proofs that it significantly improves initial hearing, but then, I ask: if Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is used when none of the other therapies are successful, imagine what it would be like to use it right from the start as a complementary therapy?!

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has shown to provide a significant additional beneficial effect when used in combination with so-called conventional steroid-based therapy. For this reason, I believe that the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy should be encouraged, since it plays an important role in the treatment of this pathology, mainly as an initial treatment (associated with other therapies).

Many of the patient situations that we receive at the Hyperbaric Center of Cascais are situations in which the deafness “maturity” is already exceeding or very close to what is predicted to be the possible time for recovery from sudden deafness, which is around 3 months. I am convinced that, as with everything else in health, the faster the treatment, the greater the success rate of hearing recovery.

The Hyperbaric Center of Cascais’ staff has a highly specialized team with competence in Hyperbaric Medicine given by the Medical Association and a vast experience in the several applications of this type of treatment.

We daily witness with our patients who suffer from sudden deafness, that early treatment is often essential for its success.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is therefore a therapy to be considered in the treatment of Sudden Deafness. Much of the quality of life of all of us depends on hearing and at the Hyperbaric Center of Cascais we cherish it a lot!