Cure of acute deafness after bang, shots or explosion appears possibleNews item | 21-09-2022 | 12:12There are plenty of preventive measures to prevent hearing damage, such as acute deafness, for example during the use of weapons. And yet things go wrong with some regularity. However, there is a method to limit the damage after noise trauma. This is done with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The use of this treatment method for so-called noise trauma occurs worldwide, especially among soldiers. The 150th has now been treated in the Netherlands, most of which have had good results.Enlarge Image 3 soldiers with weapon and the attack, in rural area, at night.Acute deafness can occur during shooting, but also from fireworks, for example.“As long as you act quickly”, emphasizes captain-at-sea doctor Robert Weenink. “And I mean within 72 hours.”This anesthesiologist applies the therapy in the Amsterdam University Medical Center. Of course, not only soldiers benefit from this, but everyone who suffers from acute deafness from loud noise. This can also be the result of, for example, fireworks.Enlarge Image Burnt firecrackers in the street.Firecrackers can be disastrous for the hearing.Less damageThe fact that there is now a therapy is quite special. Not so long ago, deafness after noise trauma was actually a matter of bad luck. According to Weenink, there were medicines that helped something, but nothing else could be done about it. Until reports from abroad came to the attention of doctors at the Ministry of Defense. “Hyperbaric oxygen therapy could lead to less damage to hearing,” says Weenink. “Treatment with this was introduced for military personnel at the time.”Enlarge Image A recompression chamber, known from the diving world.A recompression chamber, known from the diving world.ciliaThe therapy is painless. The patient breathes 100% oxygen for 1.5 hours. This takes place in a recompression chamber known from the diving world, at a pressure that corresponds to a dive of 14 meters. During the 10 treatments required, the body receives a very large amount of oxygen, which also arrives in the inner ear and repairs damaged cilia.Enlarge Image A recompression chamber.The inside of a recompression chamber.By bang, shots or explosionOnly military personnel and police officers with significant hearing loss after noise trauma caused by a bang, shots or explosion are eligible for hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Weenink: “That is because less hearing loss usually recovers well without this treatment.” Unfortunately, people who now have permanent damage after prolonged exposure to noise are also not eligible. It’s really about the acute phase.Dutch ‘invention’Applying hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a Dutch ‘invention’. The Amsterdam surgeon Professor Ite Boerema was the founder of this treatment and has put it on the international map. The therapy is used to treat a variety of diseases, not specific to acute noise trauma. In the Netherlands, Defense is a forerunner in this field.