Table of Contents
ISRN Otolaryngology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 132060, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/132060
Clinical Study

Low-Level Laser Therapy in Patients with Complaints of Tinnitus: A Clinical Study

1ENT and Head and Neck Surgery Department, Audiology and Balance Unit, Rumaillah Hospital and Hamad General Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar
2Department of Medical Statistics & Epidemiology, Hamad General Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar
3Department of Public Health & Medical Education, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA
4Evidence for Population Health Unit, School of Epidemiology and Health Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Received 29 December 2011; Accepted 16 February 2012

Academic Editor: A. Shulman

Copyright © 2012 Ahmed H. Salahaldin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objective. The objective of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in treating patients who were suffering from long-term complaints of tinnitus with well-understood etiology and who were not responding to conventional therapy in Qatar. Design. This is a prospective clinical study conducted during the period from May 2010 and February 2011. Setting. Audiology Clinic, Outpatient Department, Hamad General Hospital. Subjects and Methods. The study included 65 patients aged 15–76 years with chronic unilateral or bilateral tinnitus with a minimum duration of illness of one year. The investigation included 101 ears of 65 patients. A 5 mW laser with a wavelength of 650 nm was applied transmeatally for 20 minutes once daily for 3 months. The study was based on a face-to-face interview with a designed questionnaire that recorded the diagnosis of patients, clinical evaluation and audiometric test results, and side effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and scored their symptoms loudness on five-point scale every two weeks. A decrease of one scale point regarding the loudness duration and degree of annoyance of tinnitus was accepted to represent an improvement; at the same time, a pure tone audiometric test was carried out and the results recorded. In addition, a record of the side effect was taken. Results. Over half of the patients (56.9%) had some form of improvement in their tinnitus symptoms. Mild improvement was reported in 33.8% of patients, moderate improvement was reported in 16.9%, and full improvement was reported in 6.15%. Of the patients who reported dizzy spells as a symptom of their tinnitus condition, 27.7% reported mild improvement and 16.9% reported full improvement. Common side effects of LLLT were noted among 20% of patients; however, all of them were mild and disappeared within a few days. Conclusion. Low-level laser therapy was found to be useful for treatment of chronic tinnitus.