Device Found To Reduce Ear Ringing By 60% Gives New Hope For Tinnitus Sufferers
Tinnitus is a condition that involves the occasional perception of ringing within the ear, stemming from auditory system disturbances. It affects around 15% of adults in the United States. Thankfully, there may soon be easy and simple at-home options on the market for people to use just around the corner.
Susan Shore, Ph.D. from the Medicine Department of Otolaryngology in Michigan, conducted a trial with 99 patients in order to figure out how the brain processes bi-sensory information. Moreover, the study looked at the potential for tailored or personalized stimulation to treat tinnitus.
This research centered on the fusion of auditory cues with “somatosensory” stimuli, encompassing bodily sensations like warmth or discomfort. The inspiration for this unique pairing as a potential treatment route stemmed from prior studies conducted on mice.
Dr. Shore said, “After enrollment, participants received a portable device developed and manufactured by in2being, LLC, for in-home use.”
“The devices were programmed to present each participant’s personal tinnitus spectrum, which was combined with electrical stimulation to form a bi-sensory stimulus while maintaining participant and study team blinding.”
Of those grappling with tinnitus, a staggering 80% contend with a variant termed “somatic tinnitus.” This particular manifestation permits individuals to modulate the ringing pitch in their ears by manipulating the jaw’s position or applying pressure to the forehead.
The key lies in the varied spectrum of pitches, which were meticulously incorporated into the treatment devices.
What the team discovered was that when participants underwent the bi-sensory treatment, a consistent pattern emerged, which showed an augmented quality of life and notable reductions in tinnitus intensity were consistently reported. However, the same effects weren’t mirrored when participants received auditory-only stimulation.
Remarkably, over 60% of those partaking in the study reported significant alleviation of tinnitus symptoms following a six-week span of active treatment. Notably, this was a stark contrast to the control treatment group.
“This study paves the way for the use of personalized, bi-sensory stimulation as an effective treatment for tinnitus, providing hope for millions of tinnitus sufferers,” said Dr. Shore.
As these pioneering efforts unfold, the potential for an innovative and effective at-home solution for tinnitus sufferers inches closer to reality. With each stride in understanding the complex interplay between sensory experiences and neural processing, the prospects for a future where tinnitus is no longer an inescapable burden become increasingly promising.