Repository logo

The effect of photobiomodulation on hearing loss: A systematic review.

Published version

Repository DOI

Change log


Davis-Manders, Jennifer 


OBJECTIVES: To assess outcomes associated with photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) for hearing loss in human and animal studies. DESIGN: Systematic review and narrative synthesis in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. SETTING: Data bases searched: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, and Web of Science. No limits were placed on language or year of publication. Review conducted in accordance with the PRISMA 2020 statement. PARTICIPANTS: All human and animal subjects treated with PBMT for hearing loss. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Pre- and post-PBMT audio metric outcomes. RESULTS: Searches identified 122 abstracts and 49 full text articles. Of these, 17 studies met the inclusion criteria, reporting outcomes in 327 animals (11 studies), 30 humans (1 study), and 40 animal specimens (5 studies). PBMT parameters included 6 different wavelengths: 908 nm (1 study), 810 nm (1 study), 532 & 635 nm (1 study), 830 nm (3 studies), 808 nm (11 studies). The duration ranged from 4 to 60 minutes in a session, and the follow-up ranged from 5-28 days. Outcomes improved significantly when wavelengths within the range of 800-830 nm were used, and with greater duration of PBMT exposure. Included studies predominantly consisted of non-randomized controlled trials (10 studies). CONCLUSIONS: Hearing outcomes following PBMT appear to be superior to no PBMT for subjects with hearing loss, although higher level evidence is required to verify this. PBMT enables concentrated, focused delivery of light therapy to the inner ear through a non-invasive manner with minimal side effects. As a result of heterogeneity in reporting PBMT parameters and outcomes across the included studies, direct comparison is challenging.


Publication status: Published


hearing loss, low level light therapy, near infrared light, otoprotection, photobiomodulation, Animals, Humans, Low-Level Light Therapy, Hearing, Hearing Loss

Journal Title

Clin Otolaryngol

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title