Tinnitus impacts over 12 million Americans, nearly two million of which classify the phantom whistling, buzzing, or whining sounds as debilitating. No cure exists for tinnitus, but new treatments are being discovered that show huge promise. One of these treatments is vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).
VNS involves sending a mild electrical signal through the vagus nerve and has been used for treating other conditions such as depression and stroke. The amount of electrical stimulation to treat the auditory issues are much lower than those in other conditions. The results of trials on this treatment, according to an article on Science Daily show "Half of the participants demonstrated large decreases in their tinnitus symptoms, with three of them showing a 44-percent reduction in the impact of tinnitus on their daily lives." Vagus nerve stimulation to treat tinnitus is combined with auditory tones in order to be effective.
The positive effects of VNS therapy were shown to still be significant two months after treatment. This is encouraging news for patients who suffer with tinnitus. Below is a video that further explains the use of VNS for treating tinnitus.
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University of Texas, Dallas. "Initial success for new tinnitus treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121091211.htm (accessed July 17, 2014).