The scientists from the California Ear Institute in San Ramon, California, carried out a series of tests with Botox treatment of patients with tinnitus. 26 participants received small Botox injections in their ears. Seven reported improvements in their tinnitus symptoms after four months, 16 reported no change and three said their tinnitus had become worse.
Botox is a nerve agent commonly used in cosmetic surgery and in treatment of excessive perspiration, spasms and other conditions.
Control placebo injections
To support the results of the study the experimental treatment was given twice. The participants were divided into two groups, one of which was injected with a placebo in the first round of treatments, while the other received the placebo in the second treatment. The participants did not know when they were treated one way or the other.
The placebo part of the experiment confirmed the results of the Botox treatments. Some participants reported no change when they received Placebo injections, others said their tinnitus got worse.
More research needed
The scientists stated that more research is needed in order to gain an understanding of the effect of Botox on tinnitus and how it might become part of future tinnitus treatment strategies.
Published on hear-it on October 16, 2008.