Delivery of substances into the inner ear via local routes is increasingly being used in clinical treatment. Studies have focused on methods to increase permeability through the round window membrane (RWM) and enhance drug diffusion into the inner ear. However, the clinical applications of those methods have been unclear and few studies have investigated the efficacy of methods in an inner ear injury model. Here, we employed the medium chain fatty acid caprate, a biologically safe, clinically applicable substance, to modulate tight junctions of the RWM. Intratympanic treatment of sodium caprate (SC) induced transient, but wider, gaps in intercellular spaces of the RWM epithelial layer and enhanced the perilymph and cochlear concentrations/uptake of dexamethasone. Importantly, dexamethasone co–administered with SC led to significantly more rapid recovery from noise–induced hearing loss at 4 and 8 kHz, compared with the dexamethasone-only group. Taken together, our data indicate that junctional modulation of the RWM by SC enhances dexamethasone uptake into the inner ear, thereby hastening the recovery of hearing sensitivity after noise trauma.