Evidence for tinnitus treatment using sound therapy via sound generating devices, hearing aids and cochlear implants
Keywords:tinnitus, sound therapy, sound generating devices, hearing aids, cochlear implants
Tinnitus is one of the common otologic symptoms and is frequently found in individuals with hearing loss. Although tinnitus is not a life-threatening condition, it affects mental health and quality of life. Besides, there is no treatment that completely resolves this condition. Several studies showed the benefits of using sound therapy via sound generating devices, hearing aids, and cochlear implants for tinnitus treatment. This article aims to explain the pathophysiology of tinnitus and a review of previous studies that use sound therapy as tinnitus treatment strategies, by describing the mechanism of tinnitus. Most of the research assessed the effectiveness of tinnitus treatment by using subjective evaluation, for example, tinnitus questionnaires. Only a few studies objectively assessed functional changes after applied interventions, for example, functional magnetic resonance imaging. Most of the studies also recruited a small sample size and there was no consensus on the technique of sound therapy for standard tinnitus treatment (e.g., characteristics, loudness, or duration of the sound used in sound therapy). Therefore, further studies in these missing gaps of knowledge, including a systematic review, may provide more evidence in order to apply sound therapy in clinical practice for tinnitus treatment.
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