Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and corticosteroid therapy in military personnel with acute acoustic trauma
  1. A B Bayoumy1,
  2. E L van der Veen1,2,
  3. P-J A M van Ooij3,
  4. F S Besseling-Hansen1,2,
  5. D A A Koch1,
  6. I Stegeman2,4 and
  7. J A de Ru1,2
  1. 1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Central Military Hospital, Ministry of Defense, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  3. 3 Diving Medical Center, Royal Netherlands Navy, Ministry of Defense, Den Helder, The Netherlands
  4. 4 Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to A B Bayoumy, Central Military Hospital, Utrecht 3584EZ, The Netherlands; a.b.bayoumy{at}


Introduction Acute acoustic trauma (AAT) is a sensorineural hearing impairment due to exposure to an intense impulse noise which causes cochlear hypoxia. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) could provide an adequate oxygen supply. The aim was to investigate the effectiveness of early treatment with combined HBO and corticosteroid therapy in patients with AAT compared with corticosteroid monotherapy.

Methods A retrospective study was performed on military personnel diagnosed with AAT between November 2012 and December 2017. Inclusion criteria for HBO therapy were hearing loss of 30 dB or greater on at least one, 25 dB or more on at least two, or 20 dB or more on three or more frequencies as compared with the contralateral ear.

Results Absolute hearing improvements showed significant differences (independent t-test) between patients receiving HBO and the control group at 500 Hz (p=0.014), 3000 Hz (p=0.023), 4000 Hz (p=0.001) and 6000 Hz (p=0.01) and at the mean of all frequencies (p=0.002). Relative hearing improvements were significantly different (independent t-test) at 4000 Hz (p=0.046) and 6000 Hz (p=0.013) and at all frequencies combined (p=0.005). Furthermore, the percentage of patients with recovery to the functional level required by the Dutch Armed Forces (clinical outcome score) was higher in the HBO group.

Conclusions Early-stage combination therapy for patients with AAT was associated with better audiometric results at higher frequencies and better clinical outcome score.

  • hearing loss
  • noise-induced
  • hyperbaric oxygenation

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors ABB: data inclusion and analysis, manuscript writing. ELvdV: patient inclusion, manuscript writing. P-JAMvO: patient inclusion, technical support and manuscript writing. FSB-H: patient inclusion and manuscript review. DAAK: manuscript review. IS: methodology and manuscript review. JAdR: patient and data inclusion, manuscript writing.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval Institutional Review Board approval was obtained from the local medical ethical review board (reference number W17_352 #17.410).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.