Close to one third of all adult population has experienced at some point during their life a ringing, buzzing, hissing or roaring in their ears without the cause of any external factors. Tinnitus, as this condition is called, is very common yet its cause is not exactly known.
While more than 90% of people can live with their tinnitus without problems (the noise is low or temporary, the brain automatically adjusts to ignore it) there are also cases where the symptoms can be debilitating and negatively affects one’s life to a great extent, inducing depression, anxiety and stress.
One of the new treatments in tinnitus is laser therapy (known also as low-level laser therapy or cold laser therapy). It is a promising, painless method, through which sufferers have obtained relief from their symptoms to different degrees. Even though, the exact mechanism through which the laser treatment works, clinical double blind studies have found that it can completely make tinnitus disappear in 26% of patients, while reducing it to bearable level in the large majority of the rest.
The treatment can be administered in two ways: self-treatment at home or by a professional health care provider (audiologist) in a clinic.
Self-treatment is promoted by a Swiss firm, marketing the TinniTool medical device, a small laser that can be fitted in one’s ear and worn at home or at the office. Several studies are available on the maker’s web site, claiming very good results with this approach. The TinniTool tinnitus treatment sells for some 330 Euro (equivalent to about 460 US dollars).
The alternative is professional help from a specialist in low-level laser therapy. While this is not a standard procedure, certain clinics have perfected methodologies for applying this treatment to tinnitus, sometimes associated with vitamins, food supplements or medication. The opinions regarding the efficiency of this treatment are split and so are the reviews. However, even achieving relief in a percentage of patience can be considered a success.