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Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tinnitus Cure Sought: News and Links

profile of human face in stars with the world occupying part of the brain.

The idea that tinnitus is actually the result of hearing less not more and that this hearing loss affects how neurons in the brain fire, causing tinnitus, is becoming widely accepted as research pours in that supports this conclusion. A recent article posted in the UK's Guardian put a spotlight on doctor's trying to cure tinnitus by basing their treatment on this research.

American doctors are trying to cure tinnitus by using new research that suggest the condition doesn't originate in the ears, but is the result of the brain trying to compensate for hearing loss.

According to this Roland Schette video filmed at UCL Ear Institute, 800 people in Oregon took part in the biggest study ever involving tinnitus sufferers. This study showed that though not everyone with hearing loss has tinnitus, people with tinnitus are more likely to have hearing loss. More significantly, the pitch of the hearing loss of these tinnitus sufferers corresponded with the pitch of their tinnitus, demonstrating that the two things are related. It was further shown that the origins of tinnitus are not in the ear, but in the central auditory system in the brain. Tinnitus may be the brains way of trying to compensate for the hearing loss.

Recently American researchers tested stimulating the vagus nerve and pairing it with a high pitched sound in rats specifically trained to respond to noise--showing the presence or absence of tinnitus. Their findings indicate they have cured tinnitus in rats. This is an exciting new option for curing tinnitus, but may take some time to be available to the general public. In the meantime, replacing the phantom noises of tinnitus with actual sounds from hearing aids has also been shown to help alleviate, though not cure, the condition. Hearing aids are a current treatment that can compensate for the hearing loss responsible for tinnitus, diminishing awareness of the annoying sounds. Many of today's hearing aids also come with advanced settings like Widex's ZEN program that helps make tinnitus less noticeable.

Below you’ll find links to sources of interest, resources for coping with tinnitus, information, support, and some of the newer information on this condition. All of these links and articles are meant to give a broad example of research that may one day lead to a cure for tinnitus and to offer information for current treatments without causing stress. Remember, as challenging as tinnitus is there are experts who deal with this every day, and they are only a phone call away!

INFORMATIVE ARTICLES AND LINKS

"American scientists claim to have developed a cure for tinnitus, a condition that causes incessant ringing in the ears. Researchers have found that by stimulating the part of the brain that causes the disorder they were able to make the ringing go away – at least for, er, rats." Read more: Retuning the Brain May Cure Tinnitus

"ScienceDaily (Jan. 4, 2008) — Phantom noises, that mimic ringing in the ears associated with tinnitus, can be experienced by people with normal hearing in quiet situations, according to new research." Read More: Silence May Lead To Phantom Noises Misinterpreted As Tinnitus

"Tinnitus, that phantom ringing in the ears that affects millions of people, is generated not by the ear, but by neurons firing in the brain, according to a North American research team." Read More: Tinnitus May Be Neurons Talking to Each Other

"ATA understands how tinnitus can impact your life - you are not alone. We can connect you with tinnitus health professionals in your area, provide you with helpful tinnitus tips and what treatment options currently exist." Learn More: American Tinnitus Association

"Free, anonymous support from people just like you." Learn More: Support Group for Tinnitus Sufferers

The American Speech Hearing Language Association (ASHA) is a fantastic source for all things hearing loss related. Here is a link to the valuable information they've compiled on TINNITUS

Five Top Noise Canceling Headphones

The Zen program by Widex plays random relaxing tones that can help make tinnitus less noticeable.

Imaging the Brain to Show Tinnitus

If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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