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Tinnitus News

Brain-Training May Help Ease Ringing in the Ears

Posted 20 Jan 2017 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 19, 2017 – An online program that "trains" the brain may help people cope with the constant ringing in the ears called tinnitus, a small study suggests. People with tinnitus can have poorer working memory, deficiencies in attention, and slower mental processing speeds and reaction times. However, an internet-based program to improve mental acuity appeared to help them deal with the bothersome ear noise, researchers said. "Fifty percent of the patients in the study reported improvements in memory, attention and ability to deal with tinnitus," said study co-author Dr. Jay Piccirillo. He's a professor of otolaryngology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Tinnitus is the perception of sound when no actual external noise is present, according to the American Tinnitus Association. While it's referred to as "ringing in the ears," tinnitus can cause many ... Read more

Related support groups: Tinnitus, Hearing Loss, Diagnosis and Investigation

The 'Love Hormone' May Quiet Tinnitus

Posted 23 Sep 2016 by

THURSDAY, Sept. 22, 2016 – People suffering from chronic ringing in the ears – called tinnitus – may find some relief by spraying the hormone oxytocin in their nose, a small initial study by Brazilian researchers suggests. Oxytocin – dubbed the "love hormone" because it promotes social connections – might also help relieve the annoying and sometimes disturbing noises of tinnitus. "Oxytocin has actions in the brain and the ear that may help in tinnitus treatment and provide immediate relief," said lead researcher Dr. Andreia Azevedo. She is with the department of otolaryngology at the Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo. But, at least one hearing specialist was unconvinced that oxytocin would help. And, even Azevedo said it isn't clear how oxytocin might work to relieve tinnitus. She speculated that it may have an effect in the ear, probably related to fluid regulation in the inner ... Read more

Related support groups: Tinnitus, Oxytocin, Hearing Loss, Pitocin, Syntocinon

1 in 10 Americans Has Experienced Ringing in the Ears

Posted 21 Jul 2016 by

THURSDAY, July 21, 2016 – One in 10 Americans has experienced ringing in the ears, a condition called tinnitus, and that is likely the result of prolonged exposure to loud noises, new research suggests. Of those who were struck by tinnitus, only 36 percent said they had it constantly, however. Tinnitus is characterized by hearing sounds when there are none. The sounds can be perceived as ringing, buzzing, crickets or hissing. For those who struggle with it on a daily basis, the noise is so bothersome that it interferes with thinking, emotions, hearing, sleep and concentration, the researchers said. In the study, "durations of occupational and leisure-time noise exposures correlated with rates of tinnitus and, accordingly, there are likely correctable risk factors that can be addressed in the workplace and at home," said lead researcher Dr. Harrison Lin. He is an assistant professor in ... Read more

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Magnetic Pulses to Brain May Ease Ringing in the Ears

Posted 17 Jul 2015 by

FRIDAY, July 17, 2015 – Magnetic pulses to the brain may provide lasting relief to many people with tinnitus, new research suggests. The nearly 45 million Americans with tinnitus hear a persistent ringing, buzzing, hissing or other sound even when there is no external sound source. Tinnitus can interfere with people's ability to sleep or concentrate, and it is sometimes disabling, the study authors explained. Currently, there are no proven treatments for tinnitus, the researchers said. The new study included dozens of patients who'd had tinnitus for at least a year and underwent "transcranial magnetic stimulation" sessions on 10 consecutive workdays, receiving 2,000 magnetic pulses per session. Tinnitus symptoms were eased for at least six months in half of the patients who received the active treatment versus a "sham" treatment, according to the study published July 16 in the journal ... Read more

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Why Ringing in the Ears May Be Hard to Treat

Posted 23 Apr 2015 by

THURSDAY, April 23, 2015 – Tinnitus is associated with surprisingly wide-ranging brain activity, researchers report, and this may be why the hearing disorder is hard to treat. About one in five people have tinnitus, which is the sensation of a steady ringing or buzzing in the ears. The study included a 50-year-old man who suffered tinnitus in both ears, in association with hearing loss. Researchers monitored his brain activity when his tinnitus was stronger and weaker. The results revealed that tinnitus causes markedly different brain activity than normal external sounds picked up by the ears, according to the study published April 23 in the journal Current Biology. "Perhaps the most remarkable finding was that activity directly linked to tinnitus was very extensive, and spanned a large proportion of the part of the brain we measured from," study co-author Will Sedley, of Newcastle ... Read more

Related support groups: Tinnitus, Hearing Loss

Ears May Have Natural Defense Against Loud Noise, Mouse Study Shows

Posted 20 Feb 2015 by

FRIDAY, Feb. 20, 2015 – Ears have a natural mechanism to help protect them against extremely loud and damaging noises, new research suggests. Researchers pinpointed a connection from a part of the ear known as the cochlea to the brain that warns of intense incoming noise. The cochlea is the hearing part of the inner ear. This noise alert system may be the reason you stick your fingers in your ears when there is an extremely loud sound nearby, such as the siren of an emergency vehicle, the research team explained. "It's very important for your system to have protection from damaging sound," study senior author Jaime Garcia-Anoveros, an associate professor of anesthesiology from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, said in a university news release. "When sensory hair cells in the ear die, they are not repopulated. That's why hearing loss is irreversible. You ... Read more

Related support groups: Tinnitus, Hearing Loss

Coffee May Keep Your Ears From Ringing

Posted 8 Aug 2014 by

FRIDAY, Aug. 8, 2014 – Being a coffee lover may be good for your ears, a new study suggests. Researchers found that women who consumed higher amounts of caffeine were less likely to have tinnitus, which is a steady ringing or buzzing in the ear. The study included more than 65,000 American women, aged 30 to 44, who did not have tinnitus in 1991 and were followed for 18 years. During that time, nearly 5,300 cases of tinnitus were reported among the women. Women who consumed less than 150 milligrams (mg) a day of caffeine (found in about one-and-a-half 8-ounce cups of coffee) were 15 percent more likely to develop tinnitus than those who consumed 450 mg to 599 mg a day of caffeine, the investigators found. Most of the caffeine consumed by the women was from coffee, according to the study in the August issue of the American Journal of Medicine. It's unclear why higher caffeine intake may ... Read more

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NIH Launches 'Nerve Stimulation' Trial to Ease Tinnitus

Posted 6 Mar 2014 by

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 – Volunteers are being recruited for a clinical trial to test a new method to treat ringing in the ears, the troubling condition known as tinnitus. The technique being studied uses nervous system stimulation to "rewire" parts of the brain in an attempt to significantly reduce or eliminate tinnitus. If it proves successful, it could offer hope to millions of Americans with the disorder, according to the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), which is funding the study. "Tinnitus affects nearly 24 million adult Americans," NIDCD director Dr. James Battey Jr. said in a government news release. "It is also the number one service-connected disability for returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. The kind of nervous system stimuli used in this study has already been shown to safely and effectively help people with epilepsy ... Read more

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Aspirin Might Help Treat Brain Tumor Tied to Hearing Loss

Posted 30 Jan 2014 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 30, 2014 – Aspirin might slow the growth of a noncancerous type of brain tumor that can lead to hearing loss, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and even death, according to new research. For the study, which was published in the February issue of the journal Otology and Neurotology, researchers examined data from nearly 700 people who were diagnosed with vestibular schwannomas (also called acoustic neuromas). There is no approved medication to treat these tumors, which grow on the nerves that connect the brain to the ears, the researchers said. Current treatment options include surgery or radiation therapy, both of which can cause serious complications, the researchers said. Their analysis revealed that the rate of tumor growth was slower in patients who took aspirin than in those who didn't take the drug. Age and gender did not affect the findings. "Our results suggest a ... Read more

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Health Tip: If You Have Tinnitus

Posted 14 Aug 2012 by

-- Tinnitus is the sensation of a ringing, buzzing, clicking, roaring or hissing sound in one or both ears. It's not a disease itself, but a sign that something is wrong with hearing, or the parts of the brain involved in processing sound. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders says possible causes of tinnitus include: Hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noise. Having an sinus or ear infection. Having a cardiovascular problem. Having Menieré's disease. Having an abnormality of the thyroid gland. In women, having had recent hormonal changes. Read more

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Poor Sleep Heightens 'Ringing Ear' Disease Symptoms: Study

Posted 25 Apr 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, April 25 – For people with tinnitus, which features chronic ringing, buzzing, hissing or clicking in the head and ears, poor sleep makes it even more difficult to cope with the condition, researchers have found. The study included 117 tinnitus patients treated at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit between 2009 and 2011. The more severe the patients' insomnia, the greater their complaints about their tinnitus symptoms and the worse their emotional distress, the findings showed. "Tinnitus involves [mental], emotional and psycho-physiological processes, which can result in an increase in a patient's distress," study co-author Dr. Kathleen Yaremchuk, chairwoman of the hospital's ear, nose and throat department, said in a Henry Ford Health System news release. "Sleep complaints, including insomnia, in these patients may result in a decrease in their tolerance to tinnitus." "Treating ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Tinnitus

Animal Study Finds Nerve Stimulation May Thwart Tinnitus

Posted 12 Jan 2011 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 12 – Research in rats suggests that "rebooting" the brain can help stop tinnitus, a condition characterized by persistent ringing or other noises in the ears. There is no cure for tinnitus, which can occur as a result of hearing loss. In this study, U.S. researchers stimulated the vagus nerve while simultaneously playing a variety of sound tones over an extended period of time. The goal was to increase the numbers of neurons tuned to frequencies other than the tinnitus frequency. The vagus nerve is a large nerve that runs from the head and neck to the abdomen. When stimulated, the nerve releases chemicals that help encourage changes in the brain. Vagus nerve stimulation is sometimes used to treat depression and epilepsy. A control group of rats received vagus nerve stimulation with no tones, no therapy or tones with no vagus nerve stimulation. Judging from the resulting ... Read more

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Can Cell Phones Cause Another Kind of Ringing?

Posted 19 Jul 2010 by

MONDAY, July 19 – Regular cell phone use may increase the risk of developing persistent ringing in the ear – a condition known as tinnitus, a small Austrian study suggests. But one U.S. ear specialist called the data used for the study "very weak," adding that the study failed to prove a connection between cell phone use and tinnitus. The study's lead researcher, Dr. Hans-Peter Hutter of the Institute of Environmental Health at the Medical University of Vienna, said "high intensity, long duration of mobile phone use might be associated with occurrence of tinnitus. Therefore, we are recommending a far more conscious and cautious way of using mobile phones." The study authors cited studies showing that tinnitus affects 10 percent to 15 percent of people in the developed world, and they said that number is increasing. The condition can severely affect quality of life for many sufferers, ... Read more

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Tinnitus Not Usually an Inherited Condition

Posted 18 Feb 2010 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 – Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) isn't a highly inherited disorder, Norwegian researchers conclude. While tinnitus has been reported to cluster in families, little is known about the role that genes play in the condition. In the new study, researchers analyzed data gathered from almost 13,000 spouses, more than 27,600 parents and offspring, and close to 11,500 siblings. A subgroup of more than 28,000 people completed a second questionnaire designed to collect more information about tinnitus. About 20.9 percent of the study participants reported definite or probable tinnitus symptoms. The researchers found no indication that tinnitus is passed down through families. "Our results do not necessarily mean that genetic effects are unimportant for all forms of tinnitus, because this symptom can arise from a wide variety of underlying diseases," wrote Dr. Ellen Kvestad, of ... Read more

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