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Current Clinical Studies & Trials

Tympanostomy Tubes Research Study

The most common surgical procedure performed in the United States in children is Tympanostomy tubes or “ear tubes”. Possible indications for surgery include recurrent ear infection, chronic middle ear fluid, eustachian tube dysfunction, and aerotitis. For parents and children the prospect of this surgical procedure is unwelcome due to the need for pediatric sedation. After performing thousands of these procedures at the California Ear Institute our clinical staff has teamed with researchers to provide a means of numbing the ear drum in the office avoiding a trip to the operating room. Our hope is that this study will show outcomes of greater pediatric patient comfort, and safety as well as reduced costs to parents for this surgical procedure.

If you are interested in participating in this research study, please contact our Palo Alto office, (650) 494-1000 or paappointments@calear.com and request a consultation with Dr. Joseph Roberson.

Tympanostomy tubes research study fact sheet



Tympanostomy tubes research study fact sheet





Genetic Testing - Hearing Loss


Hearing loss is the most common birth disorder, affecting about 3 children out of every 1000 births. Genetic factors play a role in over half of these children. In the last 10 years, researchers have discovered that one particular gene, called Connexin 26, accounts for 10% of all congenital hearing loss. It is also estimated that 35-50% of adult-onset hearing loss are caused by genetic factors as well. Sometimes, there is a family history of hearing loss, but most of the time there is no history. The large majority of these genes are recessive which means that they can be silently carried with out any evidence of hearing loss.

Approximately 1% of our entire genetic material is involved in some aspect of hearing. In other words, several hundred of over 30,000 genes contribute to our function to hear. The California Ear Institute and Let Them Hear Foundation have been working with a genetic researcher at Stanford University Medical Center, to investigate the role of genes in both congenital and adult-onset hearing loss. We are hoping to discover how certain genes may effect an adult or child’s hearing over the course of their life, such as the severity of hearing loss and the rate of progression. There is a lot of exciting hearing research going on across the world right now with recent discoveries showing that manipulation of a genes involved in hearing is already possible in some animals. CEI is hoping to contribute to the collectively growing knowledge of hearing science.

If you or someone you know has a nerve hearing loss that has not been explained by any other cause, you may want to consider our study. Also if you have a child with a suspected genetic hearing loss that has not been tested for Connexin 26 or has been tested but was negative, you may also want to participate. With the help of our colleague, Dr. Iris Schrijver, we are able to test over 200 different mutations involved in hearing which is not otherwise available.

For further information on genetic testing, please contact our Palo Alto office at (650) 494-1000 or email us at: trials@calear.com


Past Medical Studies & Trials

Tinnitus Study

TRIAL COMPLETE - we are no longer looking for participants at this time.

Call for Tinnitus Patients

Do your ears ring? Enough to bother you?

Does it keep you from sleeping? From living an active life?

Here is an opportunity for you to receive a new treatment at no cost and to help medical science understand this condition better.

The California Ear Institute is currently accepting a limited number of subjects into a clinical trial investigating a new, non-invasive tinnitus treatment.

Participants must:

  • Be over 18 years of age,
  • Have experienced tinnitus for at least 12 months,
  • Not have severe hearing loss
  • Have current diagnostic audiology information and physician referral.
  • Able to make the time commitment for 40-60-minute sessions 2 times per week for approximately 6 weeks.

Tinnitus - Botox Study

TRIAL COMPLETE - we are no longer looking for participants at this time.

Tinnitus Patients

The California Ear Institute is conducting Investigational Review Board approved research to evaluate the potential benefits of BOTOX® in suppression of tinnitus symptoms. Our initial research has shown significant potential for BOTOX® in effecting relief from tinnitus. We are now evaluating this treatment option further for a larger group of tinnitus sufferers.

If you are a patient suffering from chronic ringing or buzzing in one or both ears, with symptoms that interfere with your enjoyment of daily living you may be a candidate for the study.

For more information about the study, please check out the Tinnitus-BOTOX® FAQ or contact our office.

Do you know someone who stutters? A new technology may help.

TRIAL COMPLETE - we are no longer looking for participants at this time.

Do you know someone who stutters?

A New Technology May Help

California Ear Institute is looking for adult candidates with severe stuttering problems to participate in a clinical study to evaluate a new cutting edge technology to help stutterers.

If you are interested in hearing more about this study, please contact Regina Makeev at our office for more information.

California Ear Institute