An intratympanic infusion is a technique used to deliver medication directly to the inner ear, by injecting the drug dissolved in liquid into the middle ear cavity. This treatment procedure, which is regularly carried out at the ENT Clinic in London, can be used to deliver different kinds of drugs, including corticosteroids to treat sudden inner ear hearing loss and dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus due to inner ear endolymphatic hydrops. Vertigo caused by inner ear problems such as Menière’s disease or sudden vestibular failure, which does not respond to other medical treatment, may be treated with gentamicin infusions. There will almost certainly be further different types of inner ear treatment drugs in the future. No matter which drug is injected the procedure protocol is identical.

Intratympanic infusions are carried out under topical local anaesthetic as an out-patient procedure. The patient preparation is similar to that for a myringotomy and grommet insertion procedure (see above), except that analgesics and anti-dizzy drugs are given to make posit-treatment discomfort or dizziness much less likely. A small grommet is inserted at the time of the first treatment, which remains in place for about 2 months. This ventilation tube can help inner ear function as well and facilitates the infusion treatment. The medication is injected into the middle ear through a fine needle and the patient then lays with the treated ear uppermost to keep the medication in the right part of the ear. Patients often notice a temporary reduction in their hearing and a feeling of fullness in the ear during intratympanic infusions. Other potential side effects include transient tinnitus and dizziness for a short while after the procedure. Three treatment sessions at the ENT clinic in London are invariably required.

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