A wearable device for transcutaneous electrical tinnitus suppression (ETS) has recently been reported to be effective for relief of tinnitus. Twenty patients with sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus participated in a double-blind crossover study. Both active devices and internally disconnected placebo devices, supplied by the manufacturer, were used. Reduction in severity of tinnitus was reported by 2 of 20 patients (10%) with the active device and by 4 of 20 (20%) with the placebo device. Fifteen of 20 (75%) had no relief with either device. Those who preferred the placebo device, however, reported only minimal relief, while one of the 2 who preferred the active device stated it had reduced tinnitus severity by 70% to 80%. This patient was recalled for a series of one-hour test sessions, during which either an active or placebo device was used, according to a random schedule. On each of 4 on trials, the score for severity of tinnitus for each ear decreased by at least 50% (median = 70%), while in 3 off trials, the severity of tinnitus was unchanged or decreased by up to 30% (median = 16%). We conclude that the Theraband headset is effective for a small proportion of patients with sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus.
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