The Effect of Low-Level Laser Therapy on Hearing

Shawn S. Goodman, Ruth A. Bentler, Andrew Dittberner, Ian Benjamin Mertes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One purported use of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is to promote healing in damaged cells. The effects of LLLT on hearing loss and tinnitus have received some study, but results have been equivocal. The purpose of this study was to determine if LLLT improved hearing, speech understanding, and/or cochlear function in adults with hearing loss. Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, subjects were assigned to a treatment, placebo, or control group. The treatment group was given LLLT, which consisted of shining low-level lasers onto the outer ear, head, and neck. Each laser treatment lasted approximately five minutes. Three treatments were applied within the course of one week. A battery of auditory tests was administered immediately before the first treatment and immediately after the third treatment. The battery consisted of pure-tone audiometry, the Connected Speech Test, and transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions. Data were analyzed by comparing pre- and posttest results. No statistically significant differences were found between groups for any of the auditory tests. Additionally, no clinically significant differences were found in any individual subjects. This trial is registered with (NCT01820416).
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalISRN Otolaryngology
StatePublished - 2013


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