Significant Breakthrough in Search for Tinnitus Cure

Tinnitus Concept

A new study finds clinically significant improvements in tinnitus from a mobile-phone-based therapy.

Scientists are excited by the results from a trial of a new treatment for tinnitus.

After 20 years of searching for a cure for tinnitus, researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand are excited by ‘encouraging results’ from a clinical trial of a mobile-phone-based therapy.

For the study, 61 patients were randomly assigned to one of two treatments. Half (31 people) were given the prototype of the new ‘digital polytherapeutic.’ The other half (30 people) used a popular self-help app producing white noise.

On average, the group with the polytherapeutic showed clinically significant improvements at 12 weeks, while the other group did not. The results were published on August 5, 2022, in the journal Frontiers in Neurology.

“This is more significant than some of our earlier work and is likely to have a direct impact on future treatment of tinnitus,” Associate Professor in Audiology Grant Searchfield says.

Key to the new treatment is an initial assessment by an audiologist who develops the personalized treatment plan. It combines a range of digital tools, based on the individual’s experience of tinnitus.

Grant Searchfield

Associate Professor Grant Searchfield says this is a treatment made possible by recent technology developments. Credit: University of Auckland

“Earlier trials have found white noise, goal-based counseling, goal-oriented games, and other technology-based therapies are effective for some people some of the time,” says Dr. Searchfield.

“This is quicker and more effective, taking 12 weeks rather than 12 months for more individuals to gain some control.”

There is no pill or medication that can cure tinnitus.

“What this therapy does is essentially rewire the brain in a way that de-emphasizes the sound of the tinnitus to a background noise that has no meaning or relevance to the listener,” Dr. Searchfield says.

Dr. Phil Sanders, an audiology research fellow, says the results are exciting and he found running the trial personally rewarding.

“Sixty-five percent of participants reported an improvement. For some people, it was life-changing — where tinnitus was taking over their lives and attention.”

Although some people didn’t notice an improvement, their feedback will inform further personalization, Dr. Sanders says.

Tinnitus is a phantom noise and its underlying causes are complex. Thus far, it has defied successful treatment.

Most people experience tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, occasionally. However, around five percent or people experience it to a distressing degree. Impacts can include trouble sleeping, difficulty carrying out daily tasks, and even depression.

Dr. Searchfield says his research was inspired by seeing his patients’ distress and having no effective treatment to offer. “I wanted to make a difference.”

The next step will be to refine the prototype and proceed to larger local and international trials with a view to United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

The scientists hope the app will be clinically available in around six months.

Reference: “A randomized single-blind controlled trial of a prototype digital polytherapeutic for tinnitus” by Grant D. Searchfield and Philip J. Sanders, 5 August 2022, Frontiers in Neurology.
DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2022.958730

71 Comments on "Significant Breakthrough in Search for Tinnitus Cure"

  1. A rain app works for me to fall asleep w/o tinnitus bothering me. That or a fan running constantly in the background.
    White noise is just too white-noisy to be pleasant.

    • Did you try other noises like brown noise, or pink? Yes these are real things. Personally I prefer brown. But I’ve thought myself to ignore the ringing, so I rarely need it.

  2. Robert Christian | August 16, 2022 at 12:24 pm | Reply

    I “play” some of my favorite classical music in my head almost constantly . That gives me a focus other than the buzzing .

  3. Will it be affordable? It’s a phone app after all. Will this be a windfall for audiologists to charge $500 hearing tests?

    • Probably depends on where you live. If you’re in Canada or the UK, your govt. will likely pick up the tab. If you’re American, you’re likely boned unless on the Oregon Health Plan or something.

  4. Early in the text you state digital polytherapeutic works and phone app did not. End of article states working on app for fda approval. Please explain difference between “digital polytherapeutic” and “phone app”

  5. I’ve had tinnitus in 1 ear for nearly 20 years from Bells Palsy, as well as overall noise sensitivity from ME/CFS. Loud noises, ongoing noise & certain (usually high) pitches trigger it. I can’t imagine any “noise” improving it.

  6. What Corp or billionaire will.benifit as t the cost of poor people…?

  7. Tinnitus makes it difficult to hear low voiced people . I have been dealing with it since 2002 after an assault being punched in both sides of my head.

  8. The rise in tinnitus was after microwaves/radio waves/cell phones came into existence- why be stupid & add more with a cell?

  9. I start suffering with Tinnitus after I bought a cell phone with G5 reception. Perhaps a coincidence but maybe some research should be done in that direction. Another thing that I notice is that driving and changing altitude (atmosferic pressure) suddenly the Tinnitus was stronger. Is pressure a factor? Up to you to investigate, good luck.

  10. I have had tinnitus for 40+ years. It might impair hearing, but does not bother me, I just accept it as normal.
    Smoking a cig will increase the intensity very much – that has to be a clue. But don’t assume that tobacco causes tinnitus, I just know it triggers an increase in intensity.

    Now you know.

  11. Please email me in regards to my inclusion in the next study. Tinnitus is unbearable for me.

  12. Larry is the idiot in comments

    • I think what Larry said holds some value. Capitalism is ruining the world we live in. They exploit us every way they can.

      • Capitalism is what creates innovation like this device. Just follow the money. If not Capitalism, What are you going to do when you run out of other peoples money?

  13. Adebayo Adewusi | August 18, 2022 at 11:18 pm | Reply

    I have been experiencing some unpleasant sound in my right ear since 1995. A cure for this will be highly welcome.

  14. I have suffered with bilateral ringing for over 20yrs. I would give anything to taking this noise out of my head. I believe my ringing is rooted in my Menieres Disease.

  15. Tired of the constant noise.. It never goes away!!

  16. I’ve been dealing with ringing none stop for over 20yrs. It bugs the piss out of me and makes daily life a challenge. I’ve slowly over the years tried to mute it but nothing help. Just wish I could get some peace for once in my life.

  17. I have it in both ears and it drives me nuts, its always there and loud. It also changes tones from a high pitched feedback whine, to a buzzing to a low rumble, some times I go deaf in an ear for a few min then when sound comes back its a new sound. I cant sleep without a loud fan going and even then you still hear the whine along with the fan noise.

  18. Where do I sign up! The last 15+ years have been a challenge w these cicada (sounds) in my ears.

  19. I have had this noise going on for 44yrs! It started after I was on a plane that decompressed suddenly in the air. I have got kinda used to it but it’s annoying and changes pitch often. Sign me up for a trial, lol.

  20. Suffered from it in my left ear for 33yrs and counting, my ability to concentrate has been virtually non-existent but as with anything else, life goes on. I can’t even remember life without it.

  21. This is exciting news. Please include me in your next trial.

  22. You’d have better luck listening to farts than you would with this gizmo !

  23. My tinnitus came on like a light switch in the middle of the night 1 year and 4 months ago. I hear mine over everything and I don’t have hearing loss. I never sleep more than a couple hours a night, it has been rough but I push through because I am a dad and husband and have to. I run a rain app on my phone constantly, 24 hrs a day and have found that it helps me deal with it. So I can see how this may work. I pray that it does. Money is no factor, I would pay anything if it worked.

    • I can relate on every point above Mike. Trying my hardest to be there for my wife and kids as an active, happy and positive cornerstone in their life. It’s so hard. My goodness it never goes away and I also hear it over everything. I also never sleep more than a couple of hours. It would mean the world to me to get some permanent relief. Heck, even if it just helps reduce the symptoms by 50% I’d so gladly take it.

  24. I have crickets chirping in my ears for over 50 years, ever since my 1969 combat tour in Vietnam. I wear hearing aids from the VA to help with my hearing loss from Vietnam, but always need a radio or TV on to help block out crickets.

  25. Exhausted ANNA Mahon | August 19, 2022 at 3:24 pm | Reply

    Has anyone ever taken their life as a result of CONSTANT CONTINUOUS tinnitus ?? I’ve tried every thing else, to no avail !! That seems like a serious solution… stress free at LAST !!

  26. So, not a cure to tinnitus, but another coping tool.

  27. Why not work on a cure for nerve deafness.

  28. Could tinnitus have anything to do with the lymphatic system and the overloading or the unstablizing of the body’s lymphatic system? I have 2 separate lymphatic adipose diseases (lipoedema and lymphedema).When my natural (body) lymphatic port in my neck and other lymphatic ports get clogged up I get a rumbling sound in my eardrum area like rattling tin or far off thunder. When those same ports get clogged up and I’m feeling dehydrated, I will notice that the tinnitus in my ears always gets louder for a few days until I get enough water or fruit with water in it into my system. Due to many support groups dealing with these diseases seem to share these same findings I have a question/a theory. Just wondering if anyone with a medical or scientific based background would be able to tell me if there is a correlation between these factors?

  29. The constant noise in my ears was severe for many years. It stopped after my divorce.

  30. There are many reasons for tinnitus. If you begin your migraine headaches with visual disturbances it will eventually (decades) become audio disturbances. This is treated with infusions of magnesium. A neurologist at the mayo clinic has prescribed this for me and it is working, but it takes many visits and time. But as I said I do not have ear damage, problems from loud noises, or migraines with pain. The brain is the source for my tinnitus, not the ears. Just leaving this here in case anyone can benefit from this horrific condition. Well wishes.

  31. I have tinnitus for the last 12 years, stated very loud one regular afternoon after work, never stop since then, I was under a lot of stress, my mother RIP was dying.
    Well, after many intents to get better, many different treatments, I mean, acupuncture, hypnosis, sleeping pills, antidepressants, antianxiety medications, masking devices, psychology terapia, nothing help, so I decided to stop working, not having sex, I continued with my antidepressants, and antianxiety medications, am feeling much better, the intensity of the sound has changed, Iam not cured, but better quality of life for sure, and I hope to getting better and better with time

  32. Chuck, Larry is a confirmed cynic. He can’t help bring a jerk, I mean cynic. Please include me for the trial. I don’t remember not having it and more than ready to be free.

  33. I am 62 years old and have suffered with tinitus since my teens. Multiple doctors from my teen years to date have all said the same thing. Get used to it, there is no cure. I am very sceptical of these claims ad most end up being a pitch for getting you to drop mega dollars on a unproven treatment. If it sounds too good to be true….well you know the rest!

    Adam Fields DC

    Not a sure fix, but some relief with his ETD exercises. Also, diet, exercise, cut alcohol, cut sugar, etc. It can be very much a multi layered problem.

    Hope the video helps

    I’ve had tinnitus for 12 years and the exercises help reduce symptoms.

  35. I would like to find out more about it. My husband has been suffering from tinnitus for 15-20 years and it makes conversation tough on both sides.

  36. I lost hearing and gained high pitched tinnitus mainly in my left ear after a deployment with the US Marine Corps Infantry in 2006. Hearing aids help some they have a feedback system but as soon as I take them off at night the screech takes over on the left and makes hearing impossible. Any advances in fixing hearing and or it’s deficiencies is welcomed!

  37. Chris Doubleday | August 19, 2022 at 8:11 pm | Reply

    I have have tinnitus so bad I can’t sleep. It loud and drives me nuts. During the day, as lo g as I’m busy, it’s not as bad but still noticeable. As soon as it’s quiet, I can’t stand it

  38. I’ve had it for 26 and 1/2 years. I thought I’d go insane. I hear it now while I’m typing and watching TV. I never sought a cure or a treatment, I just deal with the ringing and I’m fine. Maybe the 20 mg of Prozac helps.

  39. So, nutrition.Extremely important to consider and research. Check from the inside out. Makes sense, right?

  40. I’ve had tinnitus for almost 11 years I could hear the ear ringing in my apartment. As I walked away from the door it went away on 3 different occasions.When I approached my apartment the ear ringing came back and then it became permanent. I was living in federal public housing. I was yelling for someone to turn it off. This happened 1 other time as well in 1997 but it went away. Now it doesn’t and I experience a lot of frequency changes. Sometimes my ear goes deaf and then the hearing gradually begins to return. Personally. I think that it is the government controlling people.

  41. Alejandro Polanco | August 19, 2022 at 11:30 pm | Reply

    I have had tinnitus for over 18 years duo to being to close to gun shot with no ear protection. At first, I would get anxiadity episodes and wanted to die. Fortunately, after all these years my brain has learned to ignore the ringing. It will never go away but it does not bother me anymore. Good luck everyone.

  42. Try green or brown noise, white noise is irritating in my opinion. Youtube has hours of it.

  43. Go to chiropractor, have them pop your works for me. Who would have thought a chiropractor can fix it huh? I’ve had tintinitis for years. They still do come once in a while but not so much to a point where it was unbearable. No dr could fix it before. It happens to mention it to my chiropractor while I was there for a visit and all he did was pop it up. He pulled my ears in an angle and pop both of them.

    I Thank God for this person.

  44. I’ve had tinnitus since I was a teen listening to crazy loud music combined with exposure to fireworks as a youth. It’s always been there but as I got older it got louder. At the same time I have a hi frequency hearing loss which made conversations difficult. I went for hearing aids to help with the gi frequency loss which have been a life changer for me. The hearing aids filled in the hi frequency gap and RE-introduced many sounds that I could not previously hear and made conversation much better. What it also did was introduce was background noise that I could not previously hear as well. I worked with my audiologist to identify my frequency of tinnitus (it does change but this is the frequency most often and my tinnitus is almost alway huh frequency). Once we knew this they tweaked my hearing aids so I pick up more sounds in that spectrum. The effect of this is natural environmental sounds that pretty well mask the tinnitus while I’m wearing my hearing aids. A real game changer for me. If that’s not enough there are some apps that can produce various noises which you can play discretely through the hearing aids to mask the sound however I have found that I did not need them. Sleeping can be a challenge at times since I take out the aids at that point. Hope this helps someone.

  45. My mother developed tinnitus in the late 1980s. She took Ginkgo Biloba capsules for a couple of years. It completely resolved. She had to keep a close eye on her blood pressure because Ginkgo can raise it.

  46. I just purchased hearing aids and they help tremendously.

  47. I have tinnitus for more than 40 yrs never let it to take my life away. First time I thought was a sickness or med but did not gone. I hear a tape for meditation long time ago and the sound they said it was the way the universe sound and I thought it was true so I learned to live with it

  48. With I have been suffering with tinnitus for about 15 years besides depression and anxiety I do not get the ringing in my ears I get the constant his semen like a pipe is broken and the steam is letting out I wish there was something that could help get rid of this noise in my head.

  49. To correct the comment above it is a hissing sound not ringing that continually is in my ears and nothing seems to make it go away.

  50. There sure are a lot of whiners and compliances on this forum. Let’s look at it for what it is: a potential solution. If it’s a cellphone app, then probably gonna be cheap.

  51. Ann you wanted to correct your comment above and thats what you corrected. Not his semen pipe

  52. Chuck and Elaine have already both mentioned Larry, e.g. his comment and his cynical attitude in general. I couldn’t agree more with you guys. But come on now guys, someone has to talk about the …”elephant” in the room! Larry’s name is what gives it away and all you have to do is understand how (((these people’s))) mind work. It’s all about money: Screw the others; how can I benefit from it? And of course all under the pretext, I’m fighting for justice and for the benefit of the poor people. It’s so disgusting! A millennia old unchanged behavior which perniciously subverts the goyim and promotes the …”chosen”. Yes, very disgusting indeed and we better start talking openly about it or soon it will be the end of “us”.

  53. I can’t remember not having tinnitus, I’m 67 years old and been living with it all my life I tried hearing aids but I still have the ringing So what miracle do you have to offer that’s going to rip me up there’s terrible curse.

  54. I can only sleep with a fan running.I tried the sound machine but the fan is my tried and true device to help me sleep most nights.Some nights nothing works.

  55. Eunice Nesselrodt | August 21, 2022 at 12:53 pm | Reply

    I have tinnitus. Mostly it is related to my allergies. I have had it so bad that I have to put my hands over hears it sounds so loud.

  56. These technologies are already available in hearing aids…

  57. I have it in both ears for many years. Pitches will change but mostly the constant “pitchfork” sound. Would love to join this study.

  58. This is not tinnitus it’s downloads…

  59. I’ve had tinnitus for 15 years. High pitch in right ear sometimes it’s so loud I feel like harming myself. It’s worse at night. Please help.

  60. I have had tinnitus for 46 years. I have Menniere’s disease. It has gotten to the point that I barely notice it.

  61. I have a really bad case of Tinnitus. I can barely hear other peoples conversations and it has wrecked my ability to concentrate as well as sleep.

    Desperately looking for new treatments. My quality of life is absolutely horrible now and I cannot live with this.

  62. I have had tinnitus for 30 years. I think it may have been caused by the many rock concerts and clubs I frequented as a teenager and young adult. The music was exceedingly loud and I have little confidence the damage can be reversed in my case, although I’m not averse to trying the app. I’ve learned to live with it and use techniques as others have to override it or just try to consider it background noise and not ficus on it or it will drive me crazy.

  63. What nonsense! I’ve yet to speak to an audiologist that understands this problem… People don’t fall for this idea about fooling the brain… The brain is doing exactly what its supposed to do with this problem. Check into this company Frequency Theraputics, their lies the hope for a cure, good luck everybody!

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