Tinnitus Reduced Or Even Eliminated By Device That Resets Brain Activity
Its just a simple pair of earbuds and some stick-on electrodes, but this device could be what millions of people worldwide have been waiting for an effective treatment for tinnitus. Human trials have shown precisely timed sounds and weak electrical pulses delivered by the device can reduce or even eliminate that ringing in your ears.
Tinnitus, as vast numbers of people will attest, sucks. Its a ringing or rushing sound in ones ears when no sound is present and can be caused or exacerbated by exposure to loud noise. In a silent moment, itll drive you nuts with its incessant ringing. In a noisy restaurant, itll make it harder for you to hear a conversation. Just writing about it is making me notice my own tinnitus, and I bet a bunch of you guys reading this are cursing my name for reminding you about yours.
But theres good news. University of Michigan researchers believe they may have worked out the first non-invasive treatment that can reduce tinnitus symptoms, and it uses a pretty fascinating mechanism that slowly trains the ringing out of your ears. The technique doesnt concentrate on any physical damage or deep brain activity that may be associated with tinnitus, but rather, it looks to train out errant nerve activity.
Fusiform cells perform several valuable functions under normal conditions. They help us locate where sounds are coming from, and help us tune out noises and sensations related to our own head and neck movements.
Is There A Treatment For Tinnitus
There are several features of a symptom or illness that make it a convenient target for proponents of unconventional therapies. Subjective symptoms are more likely to be targeted than objective conditions you dont see many so-called alternative birth control treatments. Symptoms for which placebo effects alone are likely to produce the illusion of effectiveness are good targets for ineffective treatments. Symptoms that vary naturally over time also are good targets patients are likely to seek treatment when their symptoms are maximal, which means spontaneous regression to the mean will provide an effective illusion of efficacy for any intervention. Illnesses with a substantial psychological component are likely to benefit from non-specific effects of the therapeutic interaction, rendering the treatment itself irrelevant.
Finally, any condition or symptom for which there is currently no effective treatment provides a market ripe for exploitation.
Finally, there is no proven effective treatment for tinnitus, which means that those who suffer from tinnitus may be desperate for a treatment. Desperation is a commodity highly prized by snake-oil salesmen.
There is also preliminary evidence that the drug clonazepam may be effective for tinnitus. This drug, however, also has anti-anxiety effects and the study was open-label, so it is too soon to make any definitive conclusions.
The evidence, however, is not with Weil the best study to date shows no effect from Ginkgo:
Pharmacology: Reviews Of Evidence
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Right Drug Wrong Time
It has long been suggested that tinnitus pathogenesis is a two-stage process: an initial ignition which can be anywhere in the auditory system including the cochlea, followed by a secondary process of promotion which occurs in the central auditory system and maintains the prominence of the percept . Inherent in this hypothesis is the suggestion that there may be different therapeutic targets, depending on the stage of the tinnitus. Thus, cases of tinnitus ignited by damage to the peripheral auditory system, may benefit from drugs aimed at the cochlea, given at or soon after onset of the symptom, whereas established tinnitus may need centrally acting drugs. What is not clear, is the time frame for the change from peripheral to central targets. Guitton et al. demonstrated in a rat model that an NMDA antagonist, gacyclidine, administered to the cochlea prevented salicylate induced tinnitus when given simultaneously. As discussed above, Bing et al. produced data in an animal model suggesting that an NMDA antagonist might benefit noise induced tinnitus. In this trial, the drug was administered 2 days after noise trauma. Subsequent human trials such as TACTT3 failed to demonstrate efficacy but included subjects who had developed their tinnitus up to 3 months previously. This topic regarding potential optimal therapeutic windows needs further exploration.
What Treatment Do Tinnitus Patients Want
One key question is whether patients with tinnitus would be willing to accept novel treatment modalities for their tinnitus, such as drug treatments or surgery. A study undertaken by Tyler investigated patient preferences and their willingness to accept and pay for various forms of treatment. The potential treatment modalities comprised external devices, a pill, a cochlear implant, devices surgically implanted onto the surface of the brain or devices surgically implanted into the substance of the brain. This study demonstrated that the most commonly desired treatment modality for tinnitus was an effective drug: 52% would be very likely to try medication if it offered tinnitus loudness and annoyance reduction of a half, rising to 62% if it offered the chance of complete elimination of the percept.
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Diagnosis And Tests For Tinnitus
If youre constantly hearing sounds in your ears that dont go away, you should contact your doctor. They can check your inner ear for damage or blockage, or see if you have an ear infection. Your doctor can also perform a hearing test or refer you to a specialist.
If you have pulsatile tinnitus, your doctor may run some imaging tests to get a better look. Tests like a magnetic resonance imaging scan or computerized tomography scan can check for problems like tumors or blood vessel abnormalities.
Less Common Tinnitus Causes
The diseases and conditions listed here are either rare in themselves or less likely causes of tinnitus, but since most of them require medical attention in their own right, its worth considering them as possible causes of tinnitus as a symptom.
Acoustic neuroma. This rare benign tumor grows on one of the cranial nerves and can cause one-sided hearing loss and tinnitus.
Chronic diseases and conditions. Anemia, autoimmune diseases, hypertension, multiple sclerosis and thyroid problems are all associated with tinnitus.
Circulatory abnormalities. Known as objective tinnitus because it can be heard by an outside observer using a stethoscope, this form of tinnitus is very rare, accounting for fewer than 1% of cases. Its caused by hearing your own blood circulating, which is known as pulsatile tinnitus, or by other body sounds. When pulsatile tinnitus is one-sided, it warrants immediate medical attention.
Head and neck trauma. Severe injury to the headincluding traumatic brain injury or neck can cause changes in auditory processing, blood flow, muscles or nerves that can contribute to the perception of tinnitus.
Menieres disease. Tinnitus is just one symptom of this rare inner-ear disorder, which also brings on hearing loss and dizziness or vertigo, and oftentimes, a sensation of fullness in the ears.
Muscle spasms. Spasms in the muscles of the soft palate or middle ear can be responsible for tinnitus.
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How To Cope With Tinnitus
How to live with tinnitus. The answer to this question is very individual. Each person with tinnitus must find his or her way to cope with the tinnitus. But in general, it is a good idea to avoid stress and get rest. It may also be a good idea to avoid noisy situations and loud music. Some may benefit from relaxation exercises.
Many experience that their tinnitus increases or gets worse by drinking coffee or alcohol or by smoking.
Therapies and coping strategies may ease the tinnitus for some. Sound therapy may also help. For others, alternative therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic and hypnosis may ease the effects of tinnitus. But it is important to stress that the effects of these alternative therapies are not scientifically documented.
Why Is There No Cure
It is frustrating that there is no cure for tinnitus. Most people with subjective tinnitus want to reduce the annoyance it causes, even just by half.
There are many reasons why there is no cure. Firstly, it is not financially rewarding for pharmaceuticals to produce a cure. However, this is slowly changing. There is some financial incentive as loud noise increases in occupations like the military and factory work.
The research is also scarce. There are only 200 registered trials on tinnitus in comparison to over 2000 trials for chronic pain. Of the 200 trials, only 55 were studying the effectiveness of a remedy.
The National Institutes of Health received $214 million to study hearing disorders and only $5 million was directed towards tinnitus research. So funding is also limited.
Defining the cure is also part of the problem. Total eradication of tinnitus may also be a bad idea because normal people, when placed in soundproof rooms, tend to hear a phantom ringing sound. The hope should be remission rather than eradication.
Whatever natural medical treatments you choose to try, ensure that you first run it by your doctor for medical advice and proceed with caution.
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What Is The Most Effective Treatment For Tinnitus
The most effective treatment for tinnitus is through the use of a combination of therapies, depending on the cause of the ringing. This may include:
- Removal of earwax
- Lifestyle changes
There is no scientifically proven cure for tinnitus.
However, these treatments can reduce the perceived burden of ringing or buzzing. In turn, this can allow for more comfort as you go about your daily activities.
Can Botox Cure Tinnitus
A research showed that one out of every four tinnitus sufferers improved after receiving Botox therapy. The California Ear Institute in San Ramon, California, conducted a series of studies with Botox therapy for tinnitus sufferers. After four months, seven individuals reported improvements in tinnitus symptoms, 16 reported no change, and three stated their tinnitus had worsened. Botox is a neurotoxin that is often used in cosmetic surgery to treat excessive sweating, spasms, and other problems.
What helps tinnitus go away?
There are many new and advanced treatments for tinnitus. For proper treatment, the cause of tinnitus must first be diagnosed. With the right diagnosis and the right treatment, you can get over tinnitus in a short time.
Can tinnitus be cured naturally?
Tinnitus is a naturally treatable disease. With a natural treatment according to the cause of the disease, tinnitus will pass in a short time.
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Psychological Treatments: Reviews Of Evidence
Psychological treatments for tinnitus seek to address the way in which the person responds to the condition, having no bearing on its presence or absence. A substantial analysis of a range of psychological treatments was undertaken by Andersson and Lyttkens , including cognitive-behavior therapy, relaxation, education-information, hypnosis, biofeedback, and stress management-problem solving. The most extensively studied procedure is cognitive-behavior therapy, and this provided more consistent signs of sustained reduction in degree of annoyance caused by tinnitus than any of the others in Andersson and Lyttkens’s meta-analysis .
A recent Cochrane Review confirms that cognitive-behavior therapy applied in tinnitus treatment has positive impact on overall quality of life, making this procedure a suitable candidate for consideration as a management option. Cognitive-behavior therapy forms part of clinical psychology training. Noble and Tyler suggest that flexible coalitions between clinical audiology and clinical psychology may be an optimal model for tinnitus treatment. Some people worried by the onset of tinnitus may need no more than reassurance, following appropriate audiological assessment others may continue to be distressed to a point that calls for psychotherapeutic intervention, such as application of cognitive-behavior therapy.
Lifestyle Modifications And Home Remedies
Tinnitus can’t be completely cured. Hence, certain coping mechanisms and lifestyle modifications can help make the condition more manageable. These include:
- Avoid possible irritants that worsen tinnitus.
- Masking the noise: Tinnitus is usually worse in a quiet setting. Hence, soft music or the sound of a fan can help mask the noise due to tinnitus.
- Manage stress because stress can make tinnitus worse.
- Reduce your alcohol consumption because alcohol increases blood flow, dilating the blood vessels in the inner ear.
- Alternative therapies such as acupuncture or hypnosis may be tried, but there is not sufficient scientific evidence that they work for tinnitus.
- Counseling, education, and emotional support are often required to help the individual cope with the stress, anxiety, or depression associated with the condition. Tinnitus can affect the quality of life, ability to focus, and ability to sleep, which can result in frustration.
New Tinnitus Treatment Alleviates Annoying Ringing In The Ears
A noninvasive device designed to rewire brain circuits reduced symptoms of tinnitus in a large, exploratory clinical trial
Tinnitus, the perception of phantom noises in the absence of actual sound, affects millions of people around the world. According to one recent assessment, approximately one in 10 adults in the U.S. experiences tinnitusand in nearly a quarter of these individuals, symptoms last for more than 15 years. Those with tinnitus can also experience complications such as difficulty focusing, fatigue, anxiety and an overall reduction in the quality of life.
Psychological interventions such as cognitive-behavioral therapy can help lessen the distress, but to date, no drug or medical device has been shown to reliably improve this condition. Now researchers have inched closer to making a treatment for tinnitus a reality. According to a new study, published today in Science Translational Medicine, a noninvasive device that applies a technique known as bimodal neuromodulation, combining sounds with zaps to the tongue, may be an effective way to provide relief to tinnitus patients.
The Reason Why There Is No Cure For Tinnitus
Tinnitus is not a condition but a symptom. Persistent or constant tinnitus usually indicates damage to the peripheral auditory system. The damage can be caused by noise exposure, ototoxic medications, or the existence of other health conditions. The damage results in instability of the sensorineural auditory pathway which produces a phantom signal that the brain interprets as sound. If the underlying medical condition that is causing the tinnitus is treated, such as removal of impacting earwax, the tinnitus could go away completely. But many times, the damage to the auditory system is permanent and irreversible, such as with excessive noise exposure, and therefore the tinnitus persists.
Your audiologist will perform a thorough case history, an audiological exam, and tinnitus assessment to determine the best course of action to help mitigate the effects of the tinnitus.
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What Will My Hearing Test Results Indicate
The results of your hearing test are evaluated using an audiogram. Your responses are graded according to a scale that indicates hearing levels in decibels to determine deviations from normal hearing. These indicate how well you can hear sounds, and the degree of hearing loss for cues your ears cannot detect.
The audiogram evaluation helps hearing healthcare professionals to diagnose the type and degree of hearing loss, as well as the most suitable hearing aid to correct this according to your lifestyle.
Tinnitus Treatments And Relief
There is no cure for tinnitus itself, but if its being caused by an underlying medical problem like an ear infection, treating that may help alleviate it. Likewise, if its being caused by medications, reducing or changing them in consultation with your doctor may help.
For most people, the first six to nine months of tinnitus is the worst, says Dr. Tyler. And thats a reasonable reaction: Tinnitus gets in the way of enjoying life. It can also affect hearing, concentration and sleep. Dr. Tyler says that patients emotional reactions to tinnitus vary greatly depending on their existing challenges in everyday life, from intense distress to mild annoyance. Over time, he says, most people become more accepting of the condition.
If the tinnitus persists, especially if its interfering with your ability to sleep or concentrate, you may want to consider some of the following options:
Acupuncture. Research has found that this holistic health treatment can be effective for neurological tinnitus. However, just as each person responds individually to symptoms, so do peoples experiences with obtaining relief from acupuncture.
Medications. There are no prescription drugs that alleviate tinnitus symptoms, but doctors may prescribe anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants for people who are experiencing intense anxiety or persistent depression due to their intrusive tinnitus symptoms.
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