Efficacy of low-level laser therapy in Ménière's disease: a pilot study of 10 patients

Photomed Laser Surg. 2008 Aug;26(4):349-53. doi: 10.1089/pho.2007.2186.


Objective: To assess the efficacy of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) for Ménière's disease (MD).

Materials and methods: Twenty patients with unilateral MD were included in the study; all presented with uncontrolled vertigo. The patients were randomly divided into two groups: group 1 patients received LLLT 20 min a day with a 5-mW soft laser for 6 mo, while group 2 received betahistine 16 mg twice a day for 6 mo. According to American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) guidelines, the main outcome for vertigo control was considered to be the number of spells per month in the 6 mo before treatment compared with the same parameter in the 6 mo of therapy. The duration of spells expressed in minutes was also considered. Moreover, a hearing test was performed before and after therapy and results were reported as the pure tone average of 500-, 1000-, 2000-, and 3000-Hz frequencies. All results were valued at baseline, and after 3 and 6 mo of therapy.

Results: Compared to baseline, the number and duration of spells were significantly reduced in both groups; statistical significance was detected for the 3-mo control in both groups (p 0.05 with the multiple pair comparison test). Betahistine seems to have a faster action in spell reduction (p 0.05 comparing the 3-mo results between the two groups). Audiometric examination did not show a statistically significant difference between the two groups.

Conclusions: In our experience, LLLT seems to prevent vertigo spells in MD, although results indicate that it has a slower action than betahistine. Dose-dependent therapeutic effects could explain the last result. In our opinion, increased blood flow in the inner ear is the main mechanism leading to the therapeutic results.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Meniere Disease / radiotherapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Treatment Outcome