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Digital Audio Used for Treatment of Tinnitus

tinnitusA company called Neuromonics believes it has developed an audio device that can treat people suffering from ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus. Using an audio player that over time changes the way it plays music and accompanying sounds, the firm already offers its service in number of clinics, reports today’s Wall Street Journal:

For the first two months, the music mix includes a noise, which some describe as water in a shower, to cover the tinnitus. In the third month, the shower sound is removed and patients are instructed to turn up the music just loud enough so the tinnitus is audible only during the quiet parts. The idea is the brain will be gradually trained to ignore the tinnitus. After six months, patients use the device as needed.Cost, which includes the initial fitting and counseling on tinnitus management, ranges from $3,500 to $6,000 for the six-month treatment. It isn’t generally covered by insurance.

The FDA approved the use of the device in 2005, and the company published its own study findings as to the effectiveness, but there is yet to be an independent assessment from a third party.

The Neuronomic’s product page. Seen on MedGadget.