Laser Therapy as a Treatment for Tinnitus?
I’m not entirely sure what to make of this, because I can’t postulate a mechanism for why this might work. But consider the following description of a tinnitus treatment:
Subjects in the intervention group underwent laser therapy for 20 sessions, every other day, 20 minutes each session, which was a combination of protocols used in the previous studies [1, 2, 13]. A low-level laser beam with wave length of 650nm and intensity of 5mW was irradiated to the ear via mastoid bone (device: TINNImed, Switzerland). This device was connected to the ear by a soft silicone tip. The treatment sessions were performed for the subjects in placebo group with turned-off device.
Background. Several remedial modalities for the treatment of tinnitus have been proposed, but an effective standard treatment is still to be confirmed. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of low-level laser therapy on tinnitus accompanied by noise-induced hearing loss. Methods. This was a double-blind randomized clinical trial on subjects suffering from tinnitus accompanied by noise-induced hearing loss. The study intervention was 20 sessions of low-level laser therapy every other day, 20 minutes each session. Tinnitus was assessed by three methods (visual analog scale,tinnitus handicap inventory, and tinnitus loudness) at baseline, immediately and 3 months after the intervention. Results. All subjects were male workers with age range of 30-51 years. The mean tinnitus duration was 1.85 ± 0.78 years. All three measurement methods have shown improved values after laser therapy compared with the placebo both immediately and 3 months after treatment. Laser therapy revealed a U-shaped efficacy throughout the course of follow-up. Nonresponse rate of the intervention was 57% and 70% in the two assessment time points, respectively. Conclusion. This study found low-level laser therapy to be effective in alleviating tinnitus in patients with noise-induced hearing loss, although this effect has faded after 3 months of follow-up.