Dr. La Torre's New Approach for Tinnitus — Scam? Reviews?

Discussion in 'Alternative Treatments and Research' started by gaia lorenz, Nov 23, 2012.

    1. gaia lorenz

      gaia lorenz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008-2009 then October 2012
      I have come across Dr. La Torre's website:

      https://www.drlatorre.info/

      The Italian version is complete. I hope the English version is too.

      Please have a look, tell me your impression. I am tempted to go with it.

      Thank you,
      Gaia
       
    2. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, Gaia,

      I'd be very careful about this, if I were you! He doesn't sound like he has any real credentials. I sense "snake oil".

      I'd like to hear what others think. Anyone else want to chime in?
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. click
      Blah

      click Member Benefactor

      Location:
      West Cornwall, England, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      I went there and clicked on an ad on the page - because it mentioned Gosport (where I am at the moment)... Mum facelift - when you see the before and after photos the cream has even managed to change the colour of her eyes! Wow :)

      Didn't believe a word 'Dr' La Torre wrote either.
       
    4. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Yes, and it sounds like Dr. La Torre attributes all of our conditions to the same thing: hydrops (too much fluid in the ear), if I understand him correctly. Pretty simplistic, if you ask me. It would be much easier to cure tinnitus, Meniere's, etc., if it could be attributed to one single thing. Too bad it's not!
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      gaia lorenz

      gaia lorenz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008-2009 then October 2012
      Hi Karen,

      Thank you for your reply.

      I got in contact with Dr. La Torre out of curiosity. What it does is not so crazy, I think.

      The therapy
      My treatment against hydrops, the only one that I propose with few variants to every patient affected by tinnitus, dizziness, vertigo, subjective lack of balance, ear fullness, sensorineural hearing loss or a full Meniere's Disease, comes from the synergistic association of different pharmacological and non pharmacological components. The therapy is frequently updated. I have treated, since 1998, several thousand patients. The treatment lasts generally 3-4 months. It can't cure the patient in a definitive way, because relapses are in any case possible, but they can easily be treated at the moment of the recurrence without the need for a life-lasting treatment.

      The treatment is effective only against hydrops. Nothing can be done, of course, to restore real (but never proved in advance) permanent damages, that remain untreatable.

      There are no side effects and treatment is easy to perform for everybody, not requiring a real medical assistance, but few contraindications to some of the components must be previously excluded.

      In a first initial period the treatment includes only an overload of water and special drugs active on neurotransmitters to create a barrier between the stress and the release of ADH.

      Often this phase is already enough to improve the situation in an evident way, allowing to avoid further treatments. In case of failure or partial success of this easy first phase there will be the need to add other components, a special diet for 10-15 days, a therapy with steroids, able to act on the interaction between the inner ear and the ADH, a local treatment with self-inflated air using a simple device (Otovent). This second level-therapy is anyway repeated for 10 days each month for 3 months, even in case of early success to prevent short term recurrences.

      Further levels of treatment are sometimes needed.

      I don't know but somehow it doesn't look completely fake. Maybe I am just fooling myself? :)
       
    6. click
      Blah

      click Member Benefactor

      Location:
      West Cornwall, England, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      I don't suppose any of us can be sure Gaia - sometimes it's almost impossible to work out who is genuine and who isn't.
       
    7. FrankN

      FrankN Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      I spoke with Dr. La Torre via Skype twice. The fee for the first conversation was €60 EUR and for the second one €30 EUR. Dr. La Torre is giving directions about therapy via Skype. He will send you written instructions by email and you will have to ask your local general practitioner for help with recommended prescriptions.

      I explained him my symptoms: I do have either tinnitus or pressure in both of my ears, but never both symptoms at the same time. Also, I have no hearing loss, dizziness, vertigo or nausea. My symptomatic problems started when one of my teeth became infected and released pus into my mouth.

      Dr. La Torre told me he was confident that I had hydrops of the inner ear. I did my own research later and found out the following:

      1) Hydrops of the inner ear is frequently under-diagnosed if not accompanied with classical symptoms of Meniere's disease, such as dizziness, vertigo and nausea. This is the main message of Dr. La Torre, but also the opinion of other ENT specialists, such as Dr. Paparella whose wife has hydrops.

      tinnitus-early-endolymphatic-hydrops.png

      In addition, the inner ear fluid pressure measured clinically does not have a reliable correlation with symptoms. Many healthy people have increased, and many patients with hydrops have normal inner ear pressure!

      2) Official medicine treats hydrops with diuretics. Dr. La Torre, however, claims that his therapy with abundant water, inexpensive central neural system medications in low doses and diet is superior. Unfortunately, Dr. La Torre sends you his instructions only in Italian, not in English and his approach has not yet been tested clinically. Dr. La Torre claims that the clinics he contacted showed no interest to conduct testing.

      3) Information regarding Dr. La Torre does not show adequate proof that he is a legitimate ENT doctor and when I contacted the Medical Association in Italy I received no answers concerning my inquiry (which is a common practice in Italy). However, when talking to him personally and when discussing this issue with other physicians, I believe he is indeed a physician trained in ENT.

      4) I sent him multiple emails where I used different names and described symptoms differently. Dr. La Torre did not give me the same diagnosis in all cases. Therefore, I do not believe he is scammer.

      5) I tried diuretics, and my symptoms indeed improved, but they did not disappear.

      6) I have not yet tried his therapy and therefore cannot make comment. I showed his instructions to a friend of mine who is an Italian doctor, and he replied that Dr. La Torre's suggestive protocol makes some sense, however, it needs clinical testing.

      This is how much I know.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    8. Codaz

      Codaz Member

      Sulpiride was also suggested by my Belgian ENT who says it calms down the auditory nerve. In the same dose as Dr. La Torre, 50mg a day.

      The updated protocol by Dr. La Torre in 2017 still remains questionable but my local ENT does nothing to relieve the hydrops which is the root of all evil and the attacks. Getting the drugs he advises is a problem. Getting the Otovent isn't, but the steroid injections is.
       
    9. Lukee

      Lukee Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador

      Location:
      Toronto, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Wim Hof Breathing Exercises
      I wanted to revive this thread. I know there is a lot of snake oil out there but I feel like 150 euros for a diagnosis and treatment plan isn’t extensive or predatory.

      I saw this post a while back and looked into Dr. La Torre and read about his protocol. The reviews online are mixed but without a doubt he has helped some patients achieve remission of Hydrops. It seems like he attributes many vestibular and auditory disorders to Hydrops and that bothers a lot of naysayers. I feel like maybe he isn’t so far out about it true, maybe many of these common disorders can be attributed back to Hydrops.

      The reason why I wanted to revive this thread is I came across some interesting information. I was telling a doctor I have been seeing about the the hell I have been going through with my symptoms. She told me she didn’t have the slightest clue on how to help me but a patient of hers had gone through something similar and managed to get some relief. She called her patient and asked her if she would mind sharing what worked for her and the patient said: “Water, lots of it. 3 liters a day if not more.”

      I didn’t think much about it initially, I thought maybe the patient was just dehydrated or had some other stuff going on. Then I remembered that Dr. La Torre’s protocol includes ample amounts of water (which seems contradictory for Hydrops).

      I decided to do quick search and came across this paper:

      Water May Cure Patients With Meniere Disease

      It’s a very small study and I don’t know how reliable it is but it lends credibility to what Dr. La Torre is suggesting. I find that anyone who goes against the grain in these types of chronic disease forums by offering unorthodox treatment is typically ousted and shunned so maybe Dr. La Torre hasn’t received a fair shake at things.

      Looking to hear any comments or recommendations. I have reached out Dr. La Torre and he has asked for a summary of my symptoms and test results so I will have to deliver those before I can move forward. He has not asked for any compensation until he has a diagnosis and believes he can offer a viable treatment.
       
    10. Backpacker

      Backpacker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL
      This is not contradictory. I am not saying anything about the whole protocol or the other things he is suggesting. I am just saying people with inner ear injuries often get told they should avoid salt and drink at least 2 liters of water per day (like 9 glasses slowly spread throughout the day, not like 1 liter in the morning and the other 1 liter in the evening). I don't know anything about 3 liters or about the other stuff he suggested. I just know Dandelion Root tea is a good herbal diuretic.

      And maybe you should not use Otovent again if you used it and did not have good experience.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    11. Chinmoku

      Chinmoku Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Started with a cold, possibly worsened by medication/noise
      Dr. La Torre is a legitimate Italian ENT doctor.

      He recommends a hydrops diet as a first step and yes, this includes three liters of water a day. I did that.

      He then recommends a steroid injection (systemic, not intratympanic) and three medications: Levosulpiride, Paroxetine and Clonazepam. Note that the medications alone can make a big difference in some people.

      Then, if things don't work, he has further suggestions like HBOT, Mannitol, fluids etc.

      He is competent and well-meaning and he saved some people, there are many video testimonials in Italian on YouTube, and some newspaper articles. He thinks hydrops are one of the few tractable causes and so it's worth trying them as a hypothesis. He is skeptical about what most traditional ENTs do, as he believes the diagnostics of ECoG for example are not that informative.

      He is worth a shot in my view, good man if a little idiosyncratic, reasonable fees, some clear hypothesis and protocol. It may or may not work but worth a shot in my view.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    12. Gee82

      Gee82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Dr. La Torre is considered a scam artist among most of Italian tinnitus sufferers.
       
    13. Lukee

      Lukee Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador

      Location:
      Toronto, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Wim Hof Breathing Exercises
      Thanks for the insight. Do you believe that he helped you at all? Did you have any positive results?
       
    14. Chinmoku

      Chinmoku Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Started with a cold, possibly worsened by medication/noise
      He is very assertive but also generous with his fees, I couldn't implement his therapy as is because I couldn't get his recommended medications in London (for example Levosulpiride doesn't exist in London, steroid injections were hard to do). The diet didn't help me. So no, I haven't benefited from his approach but I couldn't fully follow the rules so I can't really say it failed.

      Having said that, I did have oral Prednisolone and even intratympanic steroid injections later, and I took Clonazepam, which is in his medication cocktail, so I kind of followed at least part of his therapy and it didn't help me.

      As I said, he helped a few people, but I'm sure there are others he didn't help. However, how effective is the generic ENT for people with tinnitus? Italian friends told me that tinnitus is called in Italy "the tomb of the ENT doctors", "la tomba degli otorini", because ENTs are totally helpless for most patients.

      Clearly video testimonials (they are authentic) and a newspaper article don't prove his therapy works in general, but given the performance of the average ENT he is worth a shot in my view, and I do know a person in real life who has been cured by him after three years of going crazy and looking for a cure around the world in Italy, France, Belgium. Again, this is anecdotal but what would the average ENT do for you and how much would he charge?

      Finally, to avoid any misunderstanding, Dr. La Torre is a real ENT doctor with a degree and a license.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    15. convolution

      convolution Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden - Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      26/11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      White Noise from Headphones (likely)
      Just chiming in to confirm this. You can search for him in the FNOMCeO portal. It turns out that he graduated in 1989 in General Medicine & Surgery at Rome University and he afterwards specialized in Otorhinolaryngology at Parma University (1993).
       
      • Informative Informative x 2
    16. Lukee

      Lukee Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador

      Location:
      Toronto, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Wim Hof Breathing Exercises
      That’s a pretty harsh post. Do you have anything to back it up with? Are you Italian?
      Thank you for your frank and honest conversation.

      I hate when people are getting bad-mouthed or downplayed just because they go against the grain. I have looked at the message boards, testimonials and forums and what I see about Dr. La Torre is the people who oppose him are anonymous and those that sing his praises are using their names in plain sight.

      I'm not saying that his methods work or don't work but I now realize that maybe Jastreboff isn't entirely off-base when he says many people don't want to get better. I'm not trying to oversimplify things but I constantly see people bashing treatments and anecdotal stories because they believe we are eternally damned and no one can get better.

      I hope that someone with hydrops can see this thread and maybe they can also get relief of their symptoms.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    17. Chinmoku

      Chinmoku Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Started with a cold, possibly worsened by medication/noise
      I agree with what you say. London ENTs were not sure about hydrops, one ECoG I did pointed to borderline hydrops but the tinnitus frequency and pattern was not consistent with hydrops so they dropped that assumption. This is consistent with one month of hydrops diet with 3 liters of water per day being ineffective for me.

      Dr. La Torre thinks the role of hydrops is much more extensive than recognised by other ENTs and he thinks hydrops cause many cases of tinnitus. It's true that other ENTs typically disagree with this, but this does not make him a quack. He is a real doctor with an unconventional approach that can be discussed but should not be dismissed a priori, given all the people he helped, including a personal friend of mine who was desperate. All testimonials are named and even provided their mobile number if someone wants to contact them. Also, for people with economic difficulties, Dr. La Torre's approach is very generous. As I said he is a little idiosyncratic but I would consider him as an option.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    18. Gee82

      Gee82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Yes I am Italian. My post didn’t mean to be harsh and I have nothing personally against this doctor. I am just reporting what is said across Italian forums - they are all online and public in case you want to research and translate.
       
    19. Lukee

      Lukee Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador

      Location:
      Toronto, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Wim Hof Breathing Exercises
      Thanks for the reply. I read a lot of the responses online but like I said there is a fair bit of skepticism as to the veracity of claims. The negative claims always seem to be anonymous, this could possibly be one or two people who have actively tried to derail him. I also speak Italian and have had a quick chat with Dr. La Torre though his English is very good. What I got from him is that he doesn’t charge a dime if he doesn’t think he can’t help. If someone was scamming, I would think they try and get as much as possible up front. Again, I’m not saying his methods work but from what I’ve read and the recent posts here I do believe he is sincere.
       
    20. Gee82

      Gee82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I found it very odd that, according to other people's reviews, he makes a diagnosis of Hydrops just based on a Skype chat, without visiting the patient. I have been to the most reputable ENTs in Italy and Dr. La Torre is not really known within that elite; he just seems to be all over the internet.

      Hydrops is not even my case so I am not going any further with this, but I hope that this doctor can help you. One last thing that may be helpful, there is a very well regarded ENT in Italy that succesfully treats Hydrops and Menière's cases, his name is Prof. Salvinelli. He is quite popular within the ENT world and went on national TV as apparently he has developed an innovative surgical procedure to treat hHydrops and Menière's. I know one person from my hometown who’s been treated by prof. Salvinelli and his syntoms resolved completely. This doctor doesn’t treat tinnitus caused by acoustic trauma, TMJ, etc., only Hydrops and Menière's.
       
    21. Lukee

      Lukee Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador

      Location:
      Toronto, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Wim Hof Breathing Exercises
      Wow. I will look into Prof. Salvinelli. If my case is indeed hydrops (I don’t know if it is), I would be more than willing to make a trip to Italy. I guess there could be worse places to go ;) Where is he located?
       
    22. Gee82

      Gee82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      He’s in Rome. It might be worth giving him a call if you suspect hydrops. Good luck.
       
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