Table of Contents
ISRN Otolaryngology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 916370, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/916370
Clinical Study

The Effect of Low-Level Laser Therapy on Hearing

1Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
2GN Resound North America, Chicago, IL 60646, USA

Received 9 February 2013; Accepted 27 March 2013

Academic Editors: C. Y. Chien, K. Ishikawa, K. Parham, and A. D. Rapidis

Copyright © 2013 Shawn S. Goodman 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

One purported use of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is to promote healing in damaged cells. The effects of LLLT on hearing loss and tinnitus have received some study, but results have been equivocal. The purpose of this study was to determine if LLLT improved hearing, speech understanding, and/or cochlear function in adults with hearing loss. Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, subjects were assigned to a treatment, placebo, or control group. The treatment group was given LLLT, which consisted of shining low-level lasers onto the outer ear, head, and neck. Each laser treatment lasted approximately five minutes. Three treatments were applied within the course of one week. A battery of auditory tests was administered immediately before the first treatment and immediately after the third treatment. The battery consisted of pure-tone audiometry, the Connected Speech Test, and transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions. Data were analyzed by comparing pre- and posttest results. No statistically significant differences were found between groups for any of the auditory tests. Additionally, no clinically significant differences were found in any individual subjects. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01820416).