Acoustic Co-ordinated RESET Neuromodulation To Treat Tinnitus
A technique called Acoustic Coordinated RESEt Neuromodulation to treat tinnitus has been developed in Germany, and some patients are finding that it brings relief from the constant ringing in the ears that accompanies tinnitus symptoms. This technique works by finding the pitch of the patients tinnitus. Once the pitch is determined, the patient will then wear a portable neuomodulation device to listen to a series of chimes just above and below their tinnitus or ringing ears frequency. They will listen to these frequencies between four and six hours per day. The theory is that listening to these frequencies will retrain the brain to stop firing these sounds, thus eliminating their ringing ears.
It’s not cheap and it takes several weeks before benefits are realized, but when 7 of 10 patients are reporting significant benefits, it’s worth considering if your tinnitus is affecting the overall quality of your life. This treatment has been scientifically validated and there are several other similar studies being funded for researchers here in the US today. The main point we would like to clarify is that while this sounds much like “masking,” it is very different. The idea is not to mask the noise, but rather to retrain the brain not to make the perceived noise at all.
Here is what Carol Davis had to say about this technique in a recent article posted at www.dailymail.co.uk.
Once diagnosed, Jane was seen by a specialist who recommended relaxation exercises and music.
She tried distraction techniques, too, such as opening a window at work so gentle background sounds would take her mind off the sound.
Jane also bought special speakers to put in her pillow that played white noise to override the screaming noise in her head.
‘But nothing stopped it completely,’ she says.
‘And as I became more sleep deprived, I’d get irritable with my three children and with Fintan, my husband.
‘And I worried that the quality of my work was suffering.’
Researchers have previously tried treating tinnitus using electrodes implanted in the brain.
These emit an electrical impulse to stimulate the nerve cells and break up the abnormal firing pattern, but results have been mixed.
Jane did some research of her own, and last summer read about a new treatment, Acoustic Co-ordinated RESET neuromodulation, which had been developed in Germany.
After a hearing test to establish the pitch of the patient’s tinnitus, they then wear a portable neuromodulation device (a bit like an MP3 player) to listen to a series of chimes just above and below their tinnitus frequency for between four and six hours a day.
The theory is that this retrains nerve cells in the brain so they stop firing.
At £4,500 for a six-month treatment, it is by no means cheap — but in the study Jane found, published in the journal Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, it benefited seven in ten patients, who reported a ‘significant and clinically relevant decrease’ in tinnitus loudness and annoyance within 12 weeks, compared with patients who received a placebo.
‘Yes, it is a lot of money, but I was desperate for some sort of relief,’ says Jane.
‘There is a lot of quackery surrounding a condition such as tinnitus, but this treatment is scientifically validated and it was this that attracted me to it.’
Studies by the maker found an average 50 per cent reduction in their tinnitus, which continues after treatment ends.
First, Jane underwent a 90-minute assessment where she was played a series of sounds until she could identify the exact pitch of her tinnitus. You can read the entire original article here.
According to Jane, the therapy has worked for her and she has actually seen a marked improvement in her tinnitus symptoms. Her hope is that the continued use of the device will eventually fade away her ringing ears for good. Doctors say more research and larger studies are needed before it will be evident if this technique is a long term fix for tinnitus sufferers.
If you would like to learn more about the research being done here in the US, you can read more about this technique in some of the articles we have posted earlier here on our website. While masking helps bring relief, it is only temporary, while the goal of neuromodulation is to actually retrain the brain or reprogram it so that the sound is completely eliminated.
Until a real cure for tinnitus comes in a pill form or some type of easy treatment process, then we can only continue to treat the symptoms and hope. If you are suffering from tinnitus symptoms and you have been unable to find help, then you have come to the right place. While not everyone’s tinnitus will respond equally, there are ways to help reduce the ringing in the ears that many people suffer from, so don’t give up just yet unless you already know that your type of tinnitus will not respond.