To evaluate the beginning time and the completion time of hearing improvement in patients with sudden hearing loss who were treated with combination therapy including oral steroid. From September 2006 to December 2007, 102 idiopathic sudden hearing loss patients who showed any 'recovery' in hearing according to the Siegel's criteria after treatment were analyzed. Pure tone audiometries were performed on the pretreatment day and on the third, seventh, fourteenth post-treatment day, and on the first, second, third, sixth post-treatment month. The time of initial hearing improvement and the completion time of hearing improvement were analyzed. Of 102 patients who showed any improvement, cumulatively, 93.1% showed beginning of hearing improvement within 14 days after treatment. Complete recovery or an end of change was achieved in cumulatively 80.4% of the patients within 1 month after treatment and in 92.2% of the patients within 2 months after treatment. Prognosis can be predicted approximately 2 weeks after start of treatment because time of commencement shows plateau after 2 weeks in improved cases. Hearing should be followed-up for at least 2 months after treatment in patients who show incomplete or delayed hearing improvement.
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