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February 1973

Management of Fluctuant Hearing Loss

Author Affiliations

From the Memphis Otologic Clinic (Dr. Shea) and the laboratories of endocrinology and metabolism research service, Veterans Administration Hospital and the departments of biochemistry and medicine, University of Tennessee Medical Units, Memphis (Dr. Kitabchi).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1973;97(2):118-124. doi:10.1001/archotol.1973.00780010124004

Fullness, tinnitus, fluctuation in hearing, and vertigo occur in the anatomic-metabolic disorder of the inner ear known as fluctuant hearing loss. Obstruction of the endolymphatic duct and sac are known to occur in fluctuant hearing loss but various metabolic disorders such as diabetes, syphilis, hyperlipemia, excessive smoking and salt intake, fluid retention, allergy, and anxiety are known to cause or aggravate it as well.

A method of management of the disorder is presented that includes a low-salt diet, potassium-sparing diuretic, and vasodilation of the inner ear by the inhalation of a mixture of 5% CO2 and 95% O2 together with treatment of any other abnormality present. Results with this method of management have been good regarding the preservation of hearing and control of dizziness.

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