The claim that transdermal electrostimulation therapy (as provided by a commercially available instrument) is effective in improving the word discrimination scores of persons with sensorineural hearing loss is evaluated. Sixteen volunteer subjects with sensorineural hearing losses were randomly assigned to treated and placebo groups in a double-blind experiment. The groups received extensive audiometric testing before and after the 30 sessions of treatment (transdermal therapy) or simulated treatment.
No change in word discrimination scores was observed that could be attributed to the treatment. Transdermal therapy is inappropriate for the treatment of sensorineural hearing loss.
Gerken GM, Glorig A, Roeser RJ. Transdermal Electrostimulation TherapyLack of Therapeutic Effect. Arch Otolaryngol. 1974;100(2):96–99. doi:10.1001/archotol.1974.00780040102003