[Effectiveness of various non-medicinal therapeutic measures in tinnitus. A long-term study].Laryngorhinootologie. 1989 May; 68(5):259-66.L
To compare the benefits of different therapeutic methods in patients suffering from tinnitus persisting for more than one year, the results of a study with 462 patients are presented. Transtympanal electrical stimulation at the promontory, iontophoresis of lidocaine, EMG biofeedback and masking by hearing aids or tinnitus maskers are compared with regard to their therapeutic efficiency directly after the test period and half a year later. The results indicate the importance of controlling for placebo effect in assessing the therapeutic value of the first three methods (electrical stimulation, iontophoresis and biofeedback). For these therapies an improvement by only less than 10% could be attained compared to success rates of 60% reported in the literature. About 30% of the patients could be successfully equipped with hearing aids or tinnitus maskers, 60% showing a stable benefit over a period of three years. To compare the benefits of the different methods the features of tinnitus (pitch, loudness, type and stability of masking, residual inhibition) and the subjective scaling of the therapeutic efficiency are examined. With regard to other even more recent therapies, the fitting of hearing aids in patients with tinnitus plus hearing loss seems to be of utmost importance in combatting tinnitus.