Clear Tinnitus®, Middle-Ear Pressure, and Tinnitus Relief:
A Prospective Trial *
Barbara Goldstein,1,3 Abraham Shulman,1,3 and Matthew J. Avitable2
1Department of Otolaryngology, Health Science Center at Brooklyn, and 2Scientific Computing Center, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, and 3Martha Entenmann Tinnitus Research Center, Inc.,
Forest Hills, NY
Goal. Our goal was to establish the efficacy, in a 12-week period, of Clear Tinnitus® for tinnitus relief in patients with tinnitus of the severe, disabling type.
Hypothesis. We hypothesized that tinnitus relief with Clear Tinnitus® reflects improvement in the sensory component of the tinnitus complaint by controlling the factor of aeration of the middle ears and improving eustachian tube function.
Method. In a prospective clinical trial of a homeopathic/herbal preparation—Clear Tinnitus®—we attempted to identify in 15 tinnitus patients (14 male, 1 female; mean age, 47.6 years) its clinical efficacy for establishing tinnitus relief for a 3-month period. We employed a descriptive data analysis method across dimensions of risk to evaluate a base of multidimensional evidence and establish support for our hypothesis. A medical-audiological tinnitus patient protocol completed by each patient identified the clinical type of tinnitus as predominantly cochlear, with a central and middle-ear component bilaterally. We identified fluctuation in middle-ear pressure (MEP) via patients’ clinical history, supported by physical examination and established with tympanometry, as a factor influencing the clinical course of the tinnitus in each patient.
Results. Eleven of 15 patients completed the study. Seven responders reported tinnitus relief; four did not respond. Descriptive data analysis failed to detect any trends in a change in response with audiometric tests across the hearing spectrum; thus, we could derive no coefficients of hearing change. Evaluation revealed high-frequency tinnitus in 11 patients. The Feldmann masking curve comparison at the start and end of the study showed no significant change in the 11 patients. There was no significant alteration in the minimum masking levels or loudness discomfort levels before and after the study. Tympanometry and MEP measurement indicated a significant difference in MEP with an improvement on average of -58.18 in the right ear and -40.90 in the left ear for the 11 patients. Quantitative electroencephalography analysis revealed a marked difference in the number of significant abnormal recordings between the different frequency bands, with the delta band significantly higher than the theta, alpha, and beta bands for both the overall cohort of patients (n = 11) and those reporting tinnitus relief (n = 7). The tinnitus outcome questionnaires—the tinnitus intensity index, the tinnitus annoyance index, and the tinnitus reaction questionnaire—revealed a significant difference for the patients (7 of 11) obtaining tinnitus relief. Results of the tinnitus stress test, the tinnitus handicap index, and the measurement of depression scale before and after the study were not statistically significant.
Conclusions: Patients who completed the study demonstrated with tympanometry a statistical and clinical significance in MEP improvement or maintenance of MEP (or both). Patients with tinnitus of the severe disabling type selected for this study and responding to Clear Tinnitus® reported tinnitus relief accompanied by improvement in or maintenance of MEP of the middle ears. The statistical and clinical significance of Clear Tinnitus® for establishing tinnitus relief remains to be established with a larger cohort of tinnitus patients.
Clear Tinnitus®; dimension of risk; medical-audiological tinnitus patient protocol; tinnitus relief; univariate
* Barbara Goldstein, Abraham Shulman and Matthew J. Avitable, The International Tinnitus Journal Online, Volume 13, No.1, 2007, http://www.tinnitusjournal.com/volume13/abstract029.html