Results of a new study in the US could bring hope to the millions of tinnitus suffers in the UK.
A trial conducted by the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR) in the US used iPod technology to help participants ignore the hissing or buzzing sound associated with tinnitus.
The researchers used the Levo System to deliver a personalised tinnitus sound straight to participants’ brains while they slept. The researchers believe that the brain learns to ignore the sound over time and the patient notices the tinnitus less during the day.
60 participants were asked to grade the loudness of their tinnitus using a sensitive numerical rating scale. The emotional of the tinnitus on the patient was also assessed using a questionnaire.
Conducted over 12 weeks, the trial resulted in participants experiencing a reduction in perceived tinnitus loudness of more than 20%, and a drop in tinnitus distress by more than a third when compared to the standard treatment and a placebo.
Tinnitus affects around 10% of the UK and can cause sleep loss, anxiety, depression and a reduction in quality of life.
The Levo System, which has been used in the US since 2014, is now available in the UK at the Tinnitus Clinic.
Mark Williams, chief audiologist at the Tinnitus Clinic in Harley Street, commented: “This important piece of work demonstrates the effectiveness of the Levo Sound System in treating bothersome tinnitus in adults.
“The study, because it is independently executed, provides a higher grade of evidence to support the use of this product in clinical practice.
“The prospect of being able to treat a patient with tinnitus while they sleep is a new and exciting proposition which will hopefully improve the patient usability of the device.”