A device consisting of wireless headphones that emit sounds and a small set of electrodes that stimulate the tongue has shown good results in treating tinnitus.
Tinnitus is a hearing disorder that can be very disabling and is characterized by constant ringing or buzzing in the patient’s ear. It is estimated that one in ten people in the US suffers from tinnitus. Among the solutions available, a recent invention may well offer a new therapeutic option. It is a non-invasive, painless stimulatory tool that was made by researchers from Trinity College, Dublin, with the help of British and American researchers, in the journal Science Translational Medicine in October.
Good results for up to a year
Researchers have developed a system that diverts the brain’s attention away from the ears to reduce the perception of tinnitus. This ultimately reduces and relieves the symptoms. This works through a dual system based on the ears and the tongue. The device is called Lenire and includes Bluetooth headphones that emit sounds designed to reduce the perception of tinnitus and a tongue stimulator that sends a painless peripheral electrical stimulus. It is a non-invasive, bimodal neuromodulation device.
The first clinical studies showed good results. They were conducted in Ireland and Germany on 326 patients suffering from tinnitus. They used the device one hour per day for twelve hours and evaluated their symptoms by means of questionnaires. The results showed that of the 83.7% of volunteers who followed the instructions to the letter, 66.5% reported a decrease in their symptoms one year after the experiment.