Breakthrough Tinnitus Treatment


ATLANTA, GA. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Imagine hearing a ringing in your ears all the time. The noise can be so loud it can be debilitating. It’s called tinnitus and more than 50 million Americans are living with it right now. No one knows why it happens but a new drug-free, FDA approved device is helping to silence the sound.

Everything is checked … and ready to go!

Bert Light has been at the controls for more than 32 years. But he was almost grounded when his ears started to ring. He says, “All of a sudden my hearing or the Tinnitus went from a level four to a level 12 out of 10.”

Worse yet—nothing could stop it.

Bert says, “It’s a really difficult beast to treat because there’s no one size fits all with this. “

Peachtree Hearing Audiologist Melissa Wikoff says nobody knows why it happens.

Wikoff says, “Tinnitus can be inescapable. You can’t shut it off.”

Traditionally treated with cognitive behavioral therapy, sound therapy and retraining therapy, now Tinnitus is being treated with this.

The Lenire device is the first and only FDA approved device to use sound and sensory stimulation to teach the brain to ignore the sounds.

Wikoff says, “It’s stimulating two different pathways. So, what’s happening is there’s feeling on your tongue and then there’s sound in the ears. We’re stimulating your auditory cortex.”

Patients use the device at home for 30 minutes, twice a day for 12 weeks.

Bert says, “It’s not pills you’re taking, it’s not shots.”

It worked for Bert.

“Right now, that I have my hearing aids in, and my tinnitus is zero. I hear nothing.” says Bert.

If left untreated, it can be challenging. In fact, 18 percent of people with Tinnitus say they suffer from depression and 21 percent had suicidal thoughts. In the latest study, 70 percent of patients said they found relief with the Lenire device.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Chuck Bennethum, Editor, Matt Goldschmidt, Videographer.



REPORT #3194

BACKGROUND: Tinnitus is a ringing in one or both ears and affects around 15 to 20 percent of older people. It is typically caused by hearing loss, an injury to the ear, or a circulatory issue. It will usually improve with treatments that help reduce or mask the noise. There are two types. One is subjective, in which only the person experiencing it can hear the sounds. The second type is objective, in which the person experiencing it as well as others can hear the sound. Studies show that males experience it more often than females in the age range of 40 to 80 years old. Sometimes, relief from the internal sensation can be provided with hearing aids.    

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DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT FOR TINNITUS: Tinnitus is diagnosed by an audiologist. They will perform a physical exam and ask about medical history. Depending on the severity, they may refer you to an otolaryngologist. Some of the tests performed may be hearing tests such as pure-tone audiometry, speech understanding, and tympanometry (measuring how the eardrum moves). They may also run blood tests to check for heart disease or other health conditions or have imaging tests done like an MRI or CT scan. Treatment typically depends on whether there is an underlying condition causing it. Some treatments include earwax removal which can help open a blockage and reduce it. If an underlying condition involves the blood vessels, this could require medication or surgery to address it. Hearing aids may improve the symptoms and even changing or reducing your current medications can help.

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NEW EVIDENCE LINKING HEARING LOSS AND TINNITUS: Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear studied 300 people ages 18 to 72 with normal hearing tests who had no, intermittent, or chronic tinnitus. The goal was to measure auditory nerve responses and brainstem activity. They found that tinnitus was associated with a loss of auditory nerve fibers as well as increased brain activity. The new evidence linking hidden hearing loss and tinnitus offers hope. “When you have hidden hearing loss, only a portion of the auditory nerve has degenerated. Another portion remains alive for years or decades. And a number of experiments by others have found that it’s possible to regenerate nerve fibers in animal models,” Stéphane Maison, a tinnitus researcher and associate professor of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at Harvard Medical School, shared. Ongoing research and studies are being performed in hopes of regenerating those fibers to aid in the treatment of tinnitus.


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