SeaSHeL Cohort Study

Each year, approximately 15,000 people in the United Kingdom experience sudden loss of hearing that is sensorineural in nature. In the majority of cases, the cause is unknown despite investigation, and these cases are termed idiopathic ‘sudden onset sensorineural hearing loss’ (SSNHL). Treatment options for idiopathic SSNHL mainly include steroid treatments, with considerable limitations in their effectiveness and evidence base.

There are a number of new treatments being developed for idiopathic SSNHL based upon recent discoveries in underlying molecular mechanisms. These treatments require rigorous testing in clinical trials before they can become available for clinical use. To allow for such trials to be run effectively, there is an urgent need for information on patient numbers, geographical distribution, demographics, patient and treatment pathways, as well as outcomes.

This study proposes to collect these data through an ENT trainee and Audiologist led nationwide prospective cohort study of adult patients presenting with SSNHL within the National Health Services (NHS). The study will take place at 97 NHS sites across England with Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) and Audiology services.

Data once collected will be analysed to:

  1. Establish the patient pathway for patients presenting with SSNHL in the NHS
  2. Develop a tool that will help predict recovery for patients with idiopathic SSNHL.
  3. Establish the impact of idiopathic SSNHL on people’s quality of life.

See the entry for more info.


The following sites are signed up to participate: