Treatment of tinnitus with electrical stimulation

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1999 Nov;121(5):511-3. doi: 10.1016/S0194-5998(99)70048-3.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the treatment of tinnitus with electrical stimulation. Five hundred patients with tinnitus were treated with probe electrical stimulation. Causes of tinnitus were sensorineural hearing loss (303 patients), Meniere's disease (88), infection (25), head trauma (39), acoustic trauma (25), ototoxicity (4), and chemotherapy (2). Treatment involved 6 to 10 transcutaneous treatment electrical stimulation sessions biweekly. Fifty-three percent of patients showed decreases in their tinnitus as measured by a subjective rating scale. With a 3-month follow-up, 72% had no loss of benefit. Thirteen patients had temporary increases in their tinnitus. Two patients had permanent increases. Probe electrical stimulation seems to offer some benefit in about half the patients treated for annoying tinnitus.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tinnitus / etiology
  • Tinnitus / therapy*
  • Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation*
  • Treatment Outcome