[Suppression of tinnitus by electric stimulation in cochlear implant patients].HNO. 1989 Apr; 37(4):148-52.HNO
The use of electrical stimulation for the treatment of tinnitus was evaluated on 38 cochlear implant patients suffering from chronic tinnitus. In answer to a questionnaire 29 (76%) of the subjects reported a reduction of the tinnitus while using their speech processor; 15 even noted complete suppression. Sixteen patients used a processor delivering subthreshold current for 2 weeks. A placebo trial followed. Reduction of tinnitus was found in only 3 (19%) of the patients; however, 13 (81%) mentioned a substantial decrease of tinnitus when using their own device with above-threshold stimulation. The fact that tinnitus was also reduced on the contralateral side suggests that the acoustic masking effect must be the main determining factor rather than electrical stimulation. Therefore, the best therapy for the deaf seems to be the improvement of their hearing ability.