The Tinnitus Specialist Blog

Thoughts and information on the latest in evidence-based tinnitus treatment.

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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in tinnitus
Posted by on in General
Autifony QUIET-1 Phase II Tinnitus Trial Terminated


Autifony have announced (pdf only) that their AUT00063 Phase II trial for tinnitus has been terminated due to lack of efficacy.

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Posted by on in General
Tinnitus Awareness Week 2014 Savings!

Tinnitus Awareness

To help raise awareness for the British Tinnitus Association's Tinnitus Awareness Week 2014 and raise funds for the charity, we are giving great discounts on tinnitus treatment devices. Tinnitus Awareness week runs between 3rd and 9th February.

Book Today!

Providing we receive your tinnitus assessment booking at our 10 Harley Street clinic on or before 9th February for any date during February, we will give the following discounts off tinnitus treatment devices:

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Posted by on in General
Making SoundCure Serenade tinnitus treatment more affordable

"Peace on earth, and tinnitus relief to all men (and women)"

At The London Tinnitus Treatment Clinic, we want to treat as many people as possible this holiday season - both by treating their tinnitus, and by treating them to a whopping £400 off the price of the SoundCure Serenade: Giving The Gift of Peace - £400 off Soundcure Serenade

The Serenade, normally £2395, is already around half the price of other leading neuromodulation tinnitus treatments out there, but now with the £400 discount it is considerably more affordable, bringing this kind of treatment below the £2,000 mark for the first time on Harley Street.

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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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Posted by on in General
How tinnitus can feel - thought of the week

A big thank you to Anne Palmer from the London Tinnitus Treatment Clinic Facebook page, who wrote a poem when she was having a bad day with her tinnitus. It really illustrates how desperate and isolated tinnitus can make a person feel.

So, as you prepare yourself for the coming week, spare a thought for your friends and loved ones with tinnitus, and give some consideration as to how you can help them - even just asking them how they are coping may lift their spirits. This poem may give you an idea how they feel inside...

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Posted by on in General
More tinnitus drug research news... now with added spin!

I regularly research the latest devices for treating tinnitus as well as what is going on in the drug research world so that I can keep up to date with the latest treatments and give the best advice to my patients. After all, when you are looking for a tinnitus consultant you want to know that the advice they give you is based on current knowledge, not what they learned 20 or 30 years ago. One added benefit is that it can also help predict what treatments may be coming in the next five to ten years. Knowing that pharmaceutical companies are searching for a medical treatment for tinnitus gives hope to many sufferers that one day they'll be able to just take a pill every morning and evening and never again be troubled by distressing noises in their head. The trouble is, many drug trials end up going nowhere because it turns out the side effects are too severe and they can't find a way round them.

I'll give you an example: it has long been known that lidocaine, the same anaesthetic that dentists use to numb your teeth before drilling them, can switch tinnitus off when it is injected intravenously. Now don't go rushing round to your dentist to ask for a shot of lidocaine in your arm. "Why?", I hear you ask. Well, lidocaine has the very serious side effect that it prolongs the heart's QT interval. You may think a prolonged QT interval would be worth it to get even five minutes of relief from your tinnitus, but you'd be wrong. Listen to this description of the QT interval:

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The challenge of coping with hearing impairment at work - a cautionary but uplifting story

This article from the Guardian last year is thought provoking on so many levels...

It is a reminder to everyone to protect what hearing they have, as hearing loss can be career changing to say the least;

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Amazing new technology in the Siemens Micon range to combat tinnitus

My colleagues and I have been having some fantastic results with the new Siemens Micon range of combination devices.

Technology keeps moving forward

I'm just writing up a full product page on it, but the leap forward they have made reminds me of when Siemens first introduced their e2e (ear to ear) wireless technology back around 2005 and their SoundSmoothing technology not long afterwards. Although e2e initially only synchronised volume control and program changes as well as noise reduction levels between left and right instruments, these technologies were revolutionary at the time, and I remember thinking to myself that there couldn't possibly be a better hearing aid ever, but of course now most manufacturers have some form of wireless communication between the left and right hearing aids and/or mobile phones and televisions, and some form of reducing sudden rattling or clattering noises in their products.

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Posted by on in General
A kind thought to start the week

Mindfulness, one of the treatments offered by The London Tinnitus Treatment Clinic, can be an effective tool to reduce tinnitus distress. It can reduce anxiety, improve mental focus, reduce unwanted thoughts, and over time it can give you a sense of control over your tinnitus as well as other areas of your life. So, what then is this "mindfulness"?

Focussed thought

In common with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness believes that emotions are driven by thoughts. Whereas CBT has only been around since the 1950s, Mindfulness has been around much longer in one form or another. One of the main principles of Mindfulness is focused thinking, with a focus on the present, rather than worrying about the past or anticipating what may or may not happen in the future. This is taught by sitting quietly and focusing on something like the feeling of your breath as you breathe in and out, or repeatedly counting in your head from one to ten each time you breathe out. As someone with tinnitus, you'll probably find it easier to visualise the numbers in your head, but some people focus on the sound of the number being spoken in their head, and some people focus on both the picture of the number as well as the sound it makes.

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Posted by on in General
A very positive tinnitus patient testimonial

This article was recently published in WA Magazine. A tinnitus patient describes how the device turns the volume of her tinnitus down to a 2 on a scale of 1-10. Now, instead of having to leave the TV on all night to drown out her tinnitus, the device helps her get to sleep within ten minutes without the use of any medication. To see whether you can experience the same relief, call us on 0207 467 8473.

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Nightclubs high risk for recreational hearing damage and tinnitus

Following on from my recent post about research into a drug that could one day prevent noise-induced tinnitus, I was reminded of an article that I read earlier this year in the International Journal of Audiology supplement "The cultures of hearing loss prevention".

Elizabeth Beach, Megan Gilliver and Warwick Williams at the National Acoustic Laboratories in Australia analysed the results of a survey on 1,000 18-35 year-old Australian adults. They estimated that around one in seven Australian young adults are at risk of noise-induced hearing loss from noisy leisure activities, such as going to a pub, a fitness class,  a concert or live music venue, a sporting event or a nightclub. The figures are roughly the same for the USA and the UK and are in line with those found in studies in the UK and the US.

They found that with the high noise levels and an average stay of 3.3 hours, just one visit to a nightclub was worse than a whole week's exposure to workplace noise at the maximum legal limit.

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Posted by on in Research
Promising Drug Research To Prevent Noise-Induced Tinnitus

Scientists over at the University of Pittsbburgh (Pitt) School of Medicine have made a breakthrough in the search for a drug to prevent tinnitus after exposure to loud noise.

Thanos Tzounopoulos, Ph.D., associate professor and member of the auditory research group in the Department of Otolaryngology, Pitt School of Medicine says "There is no cure for it, and current therapies such as hearing aids don’t provide relief for many patients,” he said. “We hope that by identifying the underlying cause, we can develop effective interventions".

The team focused on the Dorsal Cochlear Nucleus (DCN), an area of the brain that is an important auditory centre. The DCN has been found in previous tinnitus research on mice to become hyperactive after exposure to loud noise, and fire off random signals even when no sound is present. The new research looked at a particular kind of potassium ion channel, called the KCNQ channel through which potassium ions travel into and out of cells. It turns out that the mice have hyperactive DCN cells because of a reduction in KCNQ potassium channel activity. Normally, these KCNQ channels would act to dampen down the excitability of DCN cells.

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Bank Holiday Treasure Hunt £100 Saving - over 50% off tinnitus assessment!

At The London Tinnitus Treatment Clinic, we want to make the SoundCure Serenade® tinnitus suppressor available to as many people as possible. With 35% of patients getting 70% or better suppression of their tinnitus, and 35% getting between 30%-50% suppression in the short term, and possibly better in the long term, we don't know how much benefit you'll get until you try the device. The likelihood is that it is going to help you as most people get a good to excellent amount of improvement, and nobody gets any worsening of their tinnitus. If you rate your tinnitus on a scale of 1 - 10, and you rate it at 5 or more, you will probably be a good candidate for treatment with the SoundCure Serenade. Whether you go on to buy the SoundCure Serenade or not, we feel that knowing that there is an effective treatment that will help you is enough to make you feel more hopeful about the future and less distressed by your tinnitus.

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Posted by on in General
Inspiring Tinnitus Poetry

Our thanks go out to Anne Palmer over at the London Tinnitus Treatment Clinic Facebook page, who wrote the following poem back in July 2008, and who recently gave us permission to publish this inspiring poem. If you are a tinnitus sufferer, you will probably have felt the feelings that she expresses so eloquently. If you know someone who has tinnitus, or if you have never experienced tinnitus, this will give you an insight into the inner life of a person with a condition that is always there but which no-one else can see and few can understand.

Dying for Silence

I scream in silence so that
no one else can hear,
Yet it is not because of those passing
strangers, that I constantly fear,
I fear that they too can hear the noises
buzzing round and round my head,
So loud that all must surely hear it,
And not the casual words I’ve said.
Oh, how I long for silence,
The silence of the night,
For my world is now a battle,
And to win it, is one long hard fight. 
A loud continual hissing
Like under a waterfall I stand,
With a top “E” note screaming out at me
Doesn’t anyone understand?

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Posted by on in Comment
Can't Hear After A Hard Night Clubbing? This Could Be Why

Over at Science Alert, there's an article on how our understanding of temporary hearing loss following noise exposure is changing. Basically, it's just a natural effect of the ear adapting to the higher noise level, and it takes a while for it to reset itself.

However, don't relax just yet - this effect will reverse itself for moderate levels of noise, and you can't stay in the noise for too long, otherwise it could become permanent. My take-home message for clubbers, music lovers, and people who like to play music on mp3 players at high levels is to get some musicians' earplugs and/or ETY-Kids noise isolating earphones. You can see a review of of ETY-Kids here.

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