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NIHR Signal Oral steroids do not help hearing for children with glue ear
Oral steroids do not improve hearing, symptoms, or quality of life in children with glue ear. This NIHR-funded trial compared oral steroids with placebo for 389 children with glue ear, also called otitis media with effusion, and found no significant effect on those outcomes. Glue ear is when the middle ear fills with fluid, often following an ear or respiratory infection. The fluid makes hearing more difficult. It usually resolves within three months without treatment, but if it lasts longer, t...
NIHR Signal Sodium thiosulfate reduces hearing loss in children treated with chemotherapy
Treatment with sodium thiosulfate alongside cisplatin chemotherapy can reduce hearing loss in children with a liver tumour called hepatoblastoma. The risk of hearing loss was reduced by 48% in children who had the combination treatment compared with those who had cisplatin only. This phase 3 trial involved 109 children with standard-risk hepatoblastoma and tested the addition of sodium thiosulfate six hours after cisplatin treatment. The additional drug caused few major side effects, and there ...
NIHR Signal Swimming in seawater is linked with an increased chance of some illnesses
People who swim in seawater have almost double the odds of experiencingillness than people who avoid it. The specific illnesses linked to seawater exposure are ear and gastrointestinal illnesses, but the exact or absolute rates of infection are not available. Many people enjoy coastal waters for sport and recreation, and it's important that they can access relevant risk information. This is the first systematic review to look at infection risk from swimming in seawater. It gathered data fro...
NIHR Signal Hearing aids make communication easier for people with mild hearing loss
Hearing aids for people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss make communication easier and improve listening ability. Quality of life improved alongside the improvements in hearing. There were no reports of adverse effects for hearing aids. Hearing loss can have a far-reaching impact on people’s mental and physical health, taking a toll on their quality of life. It can be simply viewed as a natural part of ageing, but this review highlights the positive impact that hearing aids can have on ...
NIHR Signal Steroid injections into the inner ear may be safe for treating Ménière’s disease
Injecting steroids into the space behind the ear drum may be a safer alternative to injections of gentamycin for treating Ménière’s disease. This disease is marked by severe attacks of dizziness and balance problems. This NIHR-funded trial randomised 60 people with Ménière’s disease who experienced severe attacks of vertigo and had not responded to standard treatment. They were randomly chosen to receive either the corticosteroid methylprednisolone or the...
NIHR Signal Flushing your nose with salt water may be moderately useful for symptoms of sinusitis
Nasal irrigation seems moderately effective for symptoms of sinusitis. People using nasal irrigation showed greater improvement in their sinus-related quality of life compared to people who didn’t use irrigation. They were also less likely to use over-the-counter medicines, and to have spent fewer days unwell with symptoms by six months. Steam inhalation, meanwhile, seems to have minimal effect on quality of life compared with no inhalation. Neither treatment caused side effects or affect...
NIHR Signal Saline irrigation and corticosteroid spray are effective first choice treatments for chronic sinusitis
The authors of this systematic review found that high-volume saline irrigation and corticosteroid nasal sprays were effective at reducing symptoms of sinusitis. They recommend a combination of these two therapies as the first line treatment of choice, in accordance with guidelines from the Royal College of Surgeons and ENT UK. In addition they found that, in those with nasal polyps, corticosteroids sprays reduced the polyp size, and during acute exacerbations a two to three week course of oral ...
NIHR Signal Blowing up a balloon with the nose helps restore hearing in children with glue ear
The use of a simple nasal balloon can help restore hearing in children aged 4 to 11 with glue ear.After 3 months, this non-surgical treatment restored normal hearing to 49.6% of children with glue ear compared with 38.3% receiving usual care. Children inflate the balloon by blowing it up with their noses rather than their mouths. The activity which is done three times a day can be taught by nurses in a GP surgery. Few non-surgical treatments exist for children with glue ear. Some, such as antibi...
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