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Therapy of hearing disorders - conservative procedures

Author(s): Plontke, Stefan

Journal: GMS Current Topics in Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery
ISSN 1865-1011

Volume: 4;
Start page: Doc01;
Date: 2005;
Original page

A wide range of therapeutic strategies are available for the therapy of hearing disorders including pharmaceutical, acoustic, electrical, surgical, radiological, cognitive-behavioural and so-called "alternative" strategies. This review focuses on general conservative strategies and specific therapeutic approaches mainly for inner ear disorders, whereas surgical and device-based therapies including hearing aids and cochlear implants are described in other chapters in this volume. In addition to the systemic medication-based therapies for the treatment of hearing disorders, the rapidly growing field of local drug delivery to the inner ear as a promising therapeutic strategy is discussed on the background of unresolved issues. After description of non-drug-based therapeutic procedures, the conservative therapy of specific diseases and syndromes is reviewed. In general, there is a major discrepancy between promising animal studies up to regeneration and stem-cell transplantation, and uncontrolled experimental studies in humans on the one hand and the shortage of randomized controlled clinical trials with a high level of evidence on the other hand. Therefore, the review and comments on published clinical studies should assist the reader in making his/her own decision about the effectiveness of various, especially pharmaceutical treatments. From a critical analysis - particularly of the clinical studies presented - conclusions are drawn for the therapy of hearing disorders in the future.
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