The most common treatment for sudden deafness, especially in cases where the cause is unknown, is corticosteroids. Steroids are used to treat many different disorders and usually work by reducing inflammation, decreasing swelling, and helping the body fight illness. Steroids are usually prescribed in pill form. In recent years, direct injection of steroids behind the eardrum into the middle ear (from here the steroids travel into the inner ear), called intratympanic corticosteroid therapy, has grown in popularity. In 2011, a clinical trial supported by the NIDCD showed that intratympanic steroids were no less effective than oral steroids , but were less comfortable overall for patients. They remain an option for people who can’t take oral steroids.
Step 1: Choosing the condition . Almost 5 million Americans have CHF, and family physicians commonly treat them. CHF is the leading cause of hospitalization for people older than 65; it contributes to 250,000 deaths annually and costs $10 billion each year. The five-year mortality rate approaches 50 percent in some studies. Research has demonstrated that adopting practice guidelines for CHF leads predictably to improved outcomes, and a set of evidence-based practice guidelines (“Heart Failure: Evaluation and Care of Patients With Left- Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction”) is available from the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR). Family physicians can provide most CHF care, and both physician and patient education can help improve outcomes. Measurable, reliable and relevant outcomes can be identified.