The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of combined hearing and tinnitus masking devices that are appropriately programmed for acoustic stimulations using wide-band noise over the specific frequency range of tinnitus.
A total of 21 patients were randomly divided into 2 groups. Group I (12 patients) was managed with betahistine dihydrochloride (2HCl) and fitted either with a combined hearing aid or a sound generator, and group II (9 patients) was treated with betahistine 2HCl for 3 months. Audiological tests, pitch matching to determine the frequency of tinnitus, an assessment of tinnitus severity, and subjective scores (visual analog scale, VAS; Mini-Tinnitus Questionnaire) were used to assess the patients in both groups, and a loudness scale was also analyzed in group I. The results were evaluated in a double-blinded manner.
Significant decreases in the severity of tinnitus, Mini-Tinnitus Questionnaire score and VAS were observed in both groups. No significant differences were obtained in pitch-matched frequency of tinnitus in the two groups.
The findings obtained using either the combined devices or the masking devices with wide-band masking demonstrate that these devices are an effective tinnitus treatment alternative.