You are not alone if you suffer from ringing in the ears, commonly known as tinnitus. Approximately 7.1 million people have tinnitus in the UK.
The good news is that there is hope, but it’s essential to understand that there is no definitive cure for tinnitus. Read on to learn more about the latest research into potential tinnitus treatments and what you can do now to get help for tinnitus.
What is Tinnitus?
Before discussing curing tinnitus, it’s essential to understand what it is and why it occurs. Tinnitus is hearing a buzzing, whooshing, hissing or chirping sound in one or both ears when no noise is present.
Any damage to the inner ear from exposure to loud noises or certain medications may cause tinnitus. It can also be related to stress, neck and jaw problems, hormonal imbalances, or a combination of these factors.
In most cases, tinnitus has no underlying physical cause and can’t be cured by medical treatments; however, treatments can help manage the symptoms associated with tinnitus.
What is the Best Tinnitus Test?
We asked Lee Fletcher (RHAD), (BSHAA) Principle audiologist and company director at Regain Hearing, for advice on how to diagnose tinnitus.
“There isn’t one specific tinnitus test. Regain Hearing clinics use the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) so that our audiologists can grade how severe your tinnitus symptoms are. Your assessment also includes other important tests like pure tone audiometry and tinnitus matching to identify the exact pitch and frequency of your tinnitus noise.”
Help for Tinnitus Devices
Recent research into three devices looks extremely promising, with one device showing remarkable results now available for use.
Electrical and Magnetic Stimulation
The team at a Polish university in June 2022 made a major breakthrough in research into tinnitus treatment with their non-invasive prototype device.
This technology delivered electrical and magnetic stimulation to the ear, helping 79% of patients find relief from symptoms without any adverse side effects.
Positive results with 100 patients were recorded after just 10 sessions. Fifty had decreased or no more persistent ringing, while 34 stated they didn’t have any tinnitus symptoms. Three months later, these numbers still held true!
University of Michigan Electrode Device
Dr. Susan Shore and her team at the University of Michigan created a groundbreaking device to help those suffering from tinnitus.
Through headphones, electrodes stimulate touch-sensitive nerves to reset damage caused by this condition and reduce noise intensity levels.
The results of a clinical study into this tinnitus treatment found some patients experiencing a 12dB reduction in volume. A small percentage of participants reported that their tinnitus completely disappeared after treatment.
The Lenire Device by Neuromod
Lenire is an innovative device that could help tinnitus sufferers find relief from their condition. The science behind it is interesting. It looks like an iPod and comes with over-ear headphones and a small device that crackles when placed on your tongue.
This stimulates the trigeminal nerve, providing numerous sensations for our face and mouth. Recommended usage is 30 to 60 minutes daily for at least 12 weeks.
The product released by Irish company Neuromod has already been available in Europe since March 2022. Recent research into this tinnitus treatment revealed amazing results, 70% of participants said they benefited from using Lenire, while 87% recommended it to those who suffer similarly, plus 50% had clinically significant changes according to measurements taken afterwards.
Six Treatment Options for Tinnitus
There is no cure for tinnitus, but treatments for tinnitus may relieve your symptoms. These include:
- Sound therapy — This is one of the most common treatments for tinnitus. Sound therapy works by masking or reducing the noise related to your tinnitus so that it becomes less noticeable or disappears altogether. Examples of sound therapy include white noise machines and music therapy.
- Acupuncture — This ancient treatment involves placing very fine needles at specific pressure points. Research has shown acupuncture to be effective in treating certain chronic pain types and relieving stress-related conditions such as tinnitus.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) — This form of talking therapy teaches how to better manage thoughts and emotions, which can help reduce the severity of symptoms associated with tinnitus. This reduces feelings of stress and anxiety related to chronic conditions like tinnitus.
- Hearing aids — While hearing aids won’t cure tinnitus, they can help improve your overall hearing ability, which may make the ringing less noticeable and intrusive.
- Medications — Although there are no medications specifically for tinnitus, some are available to help with the psychological burden, such as antidepressants and antianxiety drugs. These medications do not cure the underlying cause of your symptoms but may reduce the intensity of your symptoms.
- Surgery — In rare cases where other treatments have proven unsuccessful, surgery may be recommended for treating severe cases of persistent tinnitus.
Commonly Asked Questions About Tinnitus
Can ear wax cause tinnitus?
Ear wax is unlikely to be the cause of tinnitus. However, the removal of excess ear wax may help to relieve symptoms as well as improve hearing.
Can stress cause tinnitus?
Stress is not a known cause of tinnitus. However, research has shown that stress can make tinnitus symptoms worse.
Does sound therapy for tinnitus work?
Research has found that sound therapy can effectively reduce tinnitus symptoms. This does not mean it will work for everyone and it may work best in conjunction with other treatments.
So is there a cure for tinnitus? Unfortunately, not currently, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything that can help relieve tinnitus symptoms.
Treatment available from specialist audiologists can help you manage your symptoms and relieve the discomfort associated with them.
Inquiring about how much Lenire costs is essential for those considering this tinnitus treatment system, as the price may vary based on factors like location, provider, and any additional services included in the package.
The most recognized include sound therapy, medications, and tinnitus apps. While these treatments won’t cure your condition, they can make living with it much less challenging.
If you think you have tinnitus or if your current treatment isn’t providing enough relief, talk to an audiologist about ways to manage this condition.