Treatment of tinnitus with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation improves patients’ quality of life
G AYDEMIR, MD, M S TEZER, MD, P BORMAN, MD*, H BODUR, MD*, A UNAL, MD
AbstractObjectives: Tinnitus can adversely affect patients’ quality of life. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may be effective in the management of tinnitus. No study has investigated the efﬁcacy of TENS for the management of tinnitus by means of quality of life measures. In this study, we evaluated the efﬁcacy of TENS for the management of tinnitus symptoms by using the visual analogue scale(VAS), tinnitus handicap inventory test, Nottingham health proﬁle (NHP) and short form-36 (SF-36) questionnaires. Methods: Twenty-two patients were included in this study (male/female, 16/6; mean age, 48.04 + 15.57 years). Nine patients had unilateral and 13 patients had bilateral tinnitus. Results: After TENS, improvement measured by VAS was only marginally signiﬁcant ( p ¼ 0.059). However, afterTENS, there were statistically signiﬁcant improvements regarding tinnitus severity scores, tinnitus handicap inventory scores, NHP fatigue, social isolation and emotional problems scores, and many parameters measured by the SF-36 (physical functioning, general health, vitality, social functioning, role limitations due to emotional problems, and mental health)( p , 0.05). Conclusion: Transcutaneouselectrical nerve stimulation is a useful method to improve the quality of life of patients with tinnitus. Key words: Tinnitus; Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation; Quality of Life
Introduction Management of tinnitus is difﬁcult, and there is currently no well established speciﬁc treatment.1 Electrical current can alter certain physiological nervous responses. Electrical stimulation hasbeen used to treat inﬂammation, pain and spinal disorders.2 – 5 Electrical stimulation was ﬁrst reported to suppress tinnitus more than 25 years ago.2,6,7 Since then, a number of studies have demonstrated the beneﬁcial effects of electrical stimulation in the management of tinnitus.1 – 7 Treatment outcomes for tinnitus are difﬁcult to measure. Previous studies evaluated the efﬁcacy of various scales,including the visual analogue scale (VAS), the tinnitus handicap inventory, the Nottingham health proﬁle, and the short form-36 (SF-36), in measuring the impact of tinnitus on quality of life. Up to 20 per cent of patients suffer tinnitus to a degree that their quality of well-being and life productivity are impaired.8 – 15 To our knowledge, no study has intensively investigated the efﬁcacy oftranscutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) in treating tinnitus, using quality of life measures. In this study, we evaluated the efﬁcacy of
TENS for the management of tinnitus symptoms by using multiple quality of life measurement instruments. Patients and methods Twenty-two consecutive patients who were admitted to our clinic complaining of tinnitus were included in this study(male/female, 16/6; mean age, 48.04 + 15.57 years; age range, 24 –72 years). Nine patients had unilateral tinnitus (40.9 per cent; seven patients in the right ear and two patients in the left) and 13 patients had bilateral tinnitus (59.1 per cent). The average duration of tinnitus was 32.22 + 26.79 months (range, 3 –120 months). Pregnant patients and those with cardiac pacemakers, metal plates, active orchronic infections of the ear, or otosclerosis were excluded from the study. A detailed medical history was taken and complete systemic and ear, nose and throat (ENT) examinations were performed for each patient. The laboratory evaluation for each patient included assessment of complete blood count, serum biochemistry, vitamin B12 levels, thyroid function
From the 1st Otorhinolaryngology...