The Tinnitus Specialist Blog

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Posted by on in Research
New Tinnitus Treatments 2014

What effective new tinnitus treatments are there in 2014?

Prospective patients and sometimes their loved ones often ask me if there have been any effective new tinnitus treatments discovered in 2013, or even if there is a cure for tinnitus yet.

I have to say that 2013 has been a good year for new developments in tinnitus treatment. We have some good evidence on the effectiveness of existing treatments, and some very exciiting new developments that have emerged out of research within the last few years from the University of California.

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Posted by on in General
A Tinnitus Cure: Is it now a reality?

Tinnitus relief for the majority of people

While we can't promise a tinnitus cure to everyone, it is looking like for the majority of people we can provide significant tinnitus suppression in the short term. Over the long term, we are finding that people need to use the treatment less and less frequency as it seems to retrain their brain to produce less tinnitus with regular use.

SoundCure - A sound cure for tinnitus?

I have had some time now to get to know the SoundCure Serenade and what it can do. After being accredited as an expert provider, I had high hopes with my first two clients. I performed the hearing test that is part of the fitting protocol, then went on to do tinnitus pitch matching, tinnitus loudness matching, then threshold, loudness tolerance and loudness growth at the tinnitus pitch. What is interesting is that with both clients, their tinnitus loudness wasn't greatly above their hearing threshold, and this is a pattern that we see over and over again, even with people who have really severe tinnitus.

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Posted by on in Research
The How and Why of Tinnitus

Why Why Why?

Many people ask themselves "Why have I got tinnitus?", "Why did it have to be me?", "Why don't other people hear these sounds?", "What is making this awful sound in my head?"

Research Getting Close To A Cure

Research into the causes and mechanisms of tinnitus is still ongoing, and we are learning more and more about the hows and whys of tinnitus every day. It is a question that has puzzled philosophers and physicians since the time of Socrates, but we are very close to a cure, at least for some people.

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Effective Invisible Tinnitus Treatment With The Starkey Soundlens

Soundlens Invisible Hearing Aid Banishes Tinnitus

Richard has been a client of mine since May, and we had a follow-up appointment on Friday morning.

Richard's quite young, still working age, but has a mild to moderate hearing loss in both ear. This was making it difficult for Richard to participate socially and at work, and to enjoy music. One other problem that Richard was experiencing as a result of his hearing loss was tinnitus.

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Posted by on in General
SoundCure Serenade Switched Off This Ladys Tinnitus

Yesterday I saw a 24 year old lady, "E",  for the second time regarding her tinnitus. She has been suffering tinnitus for nearly six months since a single visit to a nightclub. In the course of this time, although her hearing was normal, she had become more and more troubled by her tinnitus to the point where she would avoid noisy places, even aerobics classes, so as not to exacerbate her tinnitus. I have already commented on the dangers of the high noise levels in nightclubs - you can see that post here: Nightclubs high risk for recreational hearing damage and tinnitus. Read on to find out how her treatment went...

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Posted by on in General
A Great Response To SoundCure Serenade Treatment

Yesterday, I saw John. He has been suffering extreme insomnia for the last six weeks. He had previously been to another tinnitus clinic in London, but he was told that he was not a suitable candidate for their main treatment. It turns out that their device can only treat tinnitus at up to 10 kHz, and unfortunately for John his tinnitus is over 12 kHz.

After performing a hearing test, loudness tolerance testing, and loudness growth testing, I pitch and volume matched his tinnitus at 12.173 kHz and  16 dB SL respectively.

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Can't get that tune out of your head? You may have Musical Ear Syndrome.

"I just can't get you out of my head" are the lyrics of a Kylie Minogue song, which as it happens some people find very catchy. But if you can't get a song out of your head, you may have something called Musical Ear Syndrome....

I was clearing out some old boxes recently when I came across a 2012 newspaper clipping about this form of tinnitus. Imagine if you had a song going round and round in your head, as real as if the band were right next to you, but something wasn't quite right about it, and you couldn't quite identify which song it was.

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Effective Tinnitus Treatment With The New Phonak Audeo Q90

Flagship Tinnitus Product From Phonak

The Audéo Q90 with Tinnitus Balance is the flagship tinnitus product from Phonak, and I have been getting my feet wet with this impressive piece of kit over the last few weeks. I say impressive, not because of its massive size. On the contrary. The Audeo Q90 is impressive because it fits so much power and technology into such a small, neat and tidy package. But with great power comes great responsibility... and with great technology comes great clarity of speech, even in difficult listening situations! The Swiss design is apparent in how easy the hearing aids are for me as an Audiologist to adjust and fit. My patients keep telling me how clear the sound is, even in extremely noisy places like restaurants or at parties.

Great Technology Means Great Clarity

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How You Can Make A £100 Hearing Aid - Thought Of The Week

An Appropriate Question

Okay, the title should really be "How Can You Make A £100 Hearing Aid?". I guess you could go to Maplins and buy an analogue hearing aid kit (that's if they made one), and put it together yourself. I wouldn't imagine it wouldn't look very pretty, or last particularly long - or even for that matter be correctly calibrated, or with a safely limited output so that it won't damage your hearing, but at least it will be cheap, right?

Hearing Aids (Seemingly) Free Of Charge

Many people ask this question, or something similar along the lines of "Hearing aids are a bit expensive, aren't they?" It's not really surprising, considering that so many things are available seemingly free of charge on the NHS - and people do always have the choice to go down that route. NHS hearing aids are a lot better than they were in the analogue days, but they are still years behind the private market. I think this kind of question is asked innocently, though, and comes out of a lack of understanding of how much actually goes into the hearing aid fitting process.

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Posted by on in General
How Effective Is Hypnosis For Tinnitus?

Hypnosis is often proclaimed to be an effective treatment for tinnitus, as well as many other illnesses. It is particularly useful for conditions involving anxiety and phobias. In fact, NICE, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (shouldn't it be NIHCE?), recommend hypnotherapy for the treatment for intractable Irritable Bowel Syndrome, as IBS is worsened by stress. It seems that more and more evidence is available that supports hypnotherapy as  a valid treatment for all sorts of problems such as:

  • Fears and phobias
  • Physical conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, skin conditions and migraines
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Panic attacks
  • Tinnitus
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