Lasers Can Fix Your Banged Up Eardrums

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), at least 37 million adult Americans have tinnitus. This condition pertains to ‘ringing in the ears’ in the form of hissing, roaring or whistling sounds. Due to elaborate innermost anatomy of the ears and complex nerve pathways, there is no known cause of tinnitus yet. That being said, muscular tension, damage in the cochlea, and brain injury are claimed to be the source of this condition. Nevertheless, one thing is certain: tinnitus is not imaginary.

 Treatment of Tinnitus

 Out of the three proposed sources of tinnitus, treatment for brain injury-induced tinnitus is still non-existent. Be that as it may, low-level laser therapy for tinnitus caused by muscular tension and cochlean damage are yielding good outcome. But what is low-level laser therapy (LLLT)?

 LLLT started through the efforts of Dr. Uwe Mitt of Hamburg in Germany. The therapy was then developed by Dr. Lutz Wilden of the Center for Low-Level Laser Therapy. LLLT is based on the premise that “laser energy in the red and near infrared light spectrum can penetrate tissues.” It is also said that LLLT is capable of restoring damaged tissues and reversing various degenerative conditions. Even if this approach is relatively new, it is said that LLLT is an effective method in treating peripheral and central nervous system injuries and disorders. However, its therapeutic morality in cochlear dysfunction, such as chronic cochlear tinnitus or sensorineural hearing loss, is still controversial.

 Based from published journal articles, the results of LLLT in treating tinnitus showed promising effects. In fact, 88 percent of the subjects from an LLLT experiment illustrated that there is a significant reduction in the intensity of tinnitus. There were also reported studies that produced negative results when they tried to mimic the original soft laser therapy administered by Dr. Wilden in varying intensities and sessions. Records show that those who had unsuccessful outcomes treated their subjects for 6 to 10 minutes per sessions, while some went through the therapy once or twice a week. But health professionals who offer LLLT argued that those experiments radiated their test subjects for no more than 100 minutes for several months. This is in contrast with Dr. Wilden’s original test where patients were treated with LLLT for 600 minutes in a span of 2 weeks.