New therapies to relieve tinnitus

Modern life can be very noisy. For individuals suffering from tinnitus however, nothing is louder than the phantom noises that can only be heard by them alone. Although still mysterious, a group of researchers maintains they now understand, better than ever, the cascade of physiological and psychological mechanisms that are responsible for tinnitus. Consequently, new treatments are currently under investigation.

Modern life can be very noisy. For individuals suffering from tinnitus however, nothing is louder than the phantom noises that can only be heard by them alone. Although still mysterious, a group of researchers maintains they now understand, better than ever, the cascade of physiological and psychological mechanisms that are responsible for tinnitus. Consequently, new treatments are currently under investigation.

The most promising therapies are based on discoveries regarding the brain activity of individuals suffering from tinnitus. Teams of American and European researchers have in fact discovered that the regions of the brain that are responsible for interpreting sounds and producing fearful emotions are exceptionally active in these individuals. Hence, tinnitus is not so much a buzzing in the ears as it is a buzzing in the brain. This is likely why tinnitus can be extremely intense in people who are suffering from severe hearing problems.

A device that resembles an MP3 player, worn for a minimum of two hours a day for a period of six months, was developed and seems to bring relief to numerous patients by easing their anxiety, as well as the perception of tinnitus.

Other promising treatments include electrodes that are surgically implanted and non-invasive magnetic stimulation. Both are intended to disrupt and possibly reset the faulty nervous signals coming from the brain. However, these two approaches remain controversial and have yet to prove effective.

Moreover, therapeutic trials conducted with medications originally prescribed for the treatment of diseases such as depression, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and alcoholism have provided relief for numerous patients.

Even though there is still no treatment available, a majority of individuals at grips with tinnitus have succeeded in relieving their symptoms by trying various tricks. If you are experiencing persistent tinnitus, accompanied by a loss of hearing and/or dizziness, you should speak with your family physician.

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