What is the role of acupuncture in the treatment of tinnitus?

Updated: Feb 27, 2020
  • Author: Aaron G Benson, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

Acupuncture sites for treating tinnitus and other ear disorders abound near the ear (and elsewhere). Anecdotal patient accounts indicate that treatment of tinnitus by acupuncture is very effective. Data are accumulating about the success of acupuncture, but controlled studies suggest a strong component of faith in either the examiner or the treatment. Six studies were reviewed that were randomized and controlled; no significant difference was found between the treated and the controlled groups when the patients were blinded as to form of therapy. When the patients were not blinded, beneficial effect seemed to occur. This suggests, of course, that a strong placebo effect is present in acupuncture. As in most areas of alternative therapy, the belief of the patient and the treating individual in this form of care is a very strong component of the therapy.


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