How good is the scientific evidence for AudioNotch? And What About Homeopathy?
In Evidence Based Medicine, there exists a hierarchy of evidence. This means that the higher a particular treatment is in the hierarchy, the more likely it is to actually be effective in real life. As you go higher and higher in the hierarchy, from lower quality evidence to higher quality evidence, you can be more sure that a therapy is truly effective.
AudioNotch sits somewhere in the middle of the evidence based hierarchy – there is one randomized controlled trial (Notched White Noise) and a couple pseudo-randomized controlled trials (Notched Music). Although more research needs to be done to confirm the efficacy of Tailor-Made Notched Sound Therapy. We have been careful to include a critical review in our “Science” section of our FAQ to allow patients to evaluate the evidence for themselves. More research needs to be done on Tailor-Made Notched Sound Therapy, however patients need access to promising treatments now, and not tomorrow. That’s why AudioNotch exists. To help people now by translating the latest scientific research directly into patient-accessible treatments.
What’s more important, however, is to consider where other things sit on the hierarchy. Therapies such as homeopathic tinnitus cures. I’ve expanded the pyramid to include that:
There is also a homeopathic treatment for tinnitus that has been widely marketed recently. The product is known as Quietus (not to be confused with the suicide drug from the excellent movie, Children of Men). The Quietus website proclaims:
Quietus® homeopathic tablets are formulated to homeopathically help support the body’s own healing mechanism that cancels out symptoms such as roaring, buzzing & whizzing, and supports healthy functioning in the inner ear… safely & naturally.
The site does not list the homeopathic “ingredients” of this product. It doesn’t matter, of course, because most homeopathic preparations are diluted to the point that there are no active ingredients left. I say “most” because some products may be only slightly diluted and still contain active ingredients, which is worse because then direct toxicity becomes a possibility.
There is no evidence that Quietus or any homeopathic preparation is effective for tinnitus (or for any indication, for that matter). The marketers of Quietus offer only testimonials, which are worse than useless given that they are cherry picked to give a certain impression. The website does contain the usual CAM disclaimer:
**These results not typical. Individual results will vary. These real testimonials do not represent the typical or ordinary experience of users. Each person’s experience with Quietus® is different, which cannot be determined from these testimonials. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Claims are based on traditional homeopathic principles, which are different than modern scientific testing. For more information on homeopathy, please visit http://nccam.nih.gov/health/homeopathy
If any visitor bothers to follow the link to the NCCAM website they will find this statement about homeopathy:
There is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition.
Several key concepts of homeopathy are inconsistent with fundamental concepts of chemistry and physics.