Hearing loss is very common and economically burdensome. No accepted therapeutic modality for sensorineural hearing loss is yet available; most clinicians emphasize rehabilitation, placing hearing aids and cochlear implants. Photobiomodulation (PBM) employs light energy to enhance or modulate the activities of specific organs, and is a popular non-invasive therapy used to treat skin lesions and neurodegenerative disorders. Efforts to use PBM to improve hearing have been ongoing for several decades. Initial in vitro studies using cell lines and ex vivo culture techniques have now been supplanted by in vivo studies in animals; PBM protects the sensory epithelium and triggers neural regeneration. Many reports have used PBM to treat tinnitus. In this brief review, we introduce PBM applications in hearing research, helpful protocols, and relevant background literature.
Lee, Jae-Hun & Kim, Sehwan & Jung, Jae Yun & Lee, Min. (2019). Applications of photobiomodulation in hearing research: from bench to clinic. Biomedical Engineering Letters. 9. 10.1007/s13534-019-00114-y.