Effects of low-level laser therapy as a therapeutic strategy for patients with tinnitus: A systematic review

Maria Carolina Ferreira, Izabella Lima De Matos, Isabela Porto De Toledo, Heitor Marques Honório, Maria Fernanda Capoani Garcia Mondelli, Frederick Erick Gallun, Daniel Rasetshwane

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This systematic review aimed to analyze the effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on the severity of tinnitus when compared to no therapy or other modalities of therapies. Method: A systematic review protocol was registered at the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) under the Registration Number CRD42019119376. A search was performed in each of the following databases: EMBASE, LILACS, PubMed, Science Direct, Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar, and ProQuest. The inclusion criteria consisted of studies in adults over 16 years of age, randomized clinical trials in which subjects presented chronic (≥ 6 months) and subjective tinnitus (unilateral or bilateral) as well as with or without bilateral sensorineural hearing loss, and studies that used only LLLT for treatment of tinnitus compared to no-therapy group or other modalities of therapy. No language or time restrictions were stipulated. The references were managed by Endnote Web and Rayyan QCRI. Results: After the screening process, seven studies remained that attained the eligibility criteria. Regarding the risk of bias, only one study was categorized as low risk of bias; the six remaining studies were classified as moderate risk of bias. The seven included studies mainly assessed the LLLT effects on tinnitus by Visual Analogue Scale, Tinnitus Handicap Inventory, pitch and loudness matching, minimum masking level, and pure-tone audiometry. All the seven selected studies found different degrees of significant results regarding tinnitus severity; however, there was no consensus among the results. Conclusion: Even though the LLLT showed positive effects in the tinnitus severity in some studies, it is not possible yet to make any recommendation over its uses for the treatment of tinnitus severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-298
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume64
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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