(upbeat music) – Let's talk about tinnitus cures. Am I aware of any treatment that has been proven to cure tinnitus? If not, what have I
found to be most useful to help my tinnitus patients? And what has research
suggested is the most helpful for tinnitus patients? And then is there anything new or exciting on the treatment front? I recently studied with the founder, the creator of tennis retraining therapy, which is one of the most
comprehensive protocols that has been in existence in the last 20 plus years
for managing tinnitus. It's been adjusted over time. It's been improved over
time using modern technology using research to tweak the protocols.
And that was created in the late 1990s by Dr. Jastreboff, Pawel Jastreboff. Him and his wife now, they
teach a course every year to a handful of audiologists. And I was lucky enough to recently study with the Jastreboff's to
learn the up-to-date protocols of tinnitus retraining therapy. So to me that is the ultimate neuroplasticity program for tinnitus. Neuroplasticity means changing the brain. Changing the relationship
between tinnitus, our brain the hearing system, our
ears, and that takes time. The major downside of
tinnitus retraining therapy as a treatment for tinnitus is
that it takes a lot of time.
I work with patients for six months because it takes that much time before we can consider bringing
back some of the protocols whether that's sound therapy,
using devices on the ears certain counseling techniques,
education techniques. A six month period of committing to that protocol is
what I would recommend. And it's rather effective. The goal is typically
described as habituation which is not an intuitive term. What does habituation mean for tinnitus? Well, I encourage you, maybe
some people in this group and I I know there may be some have habituated to their tinnitus and ask them, what is
it like to habituate? Well, it means that we
may be aware of tinnitus. It may be a background perception and sometimes the volume
itself gets softer but let's talk about, can
we still hear tinnitus but it not be bothersome? Well, yes, that definitely happens. And many people with
tinnitus are hearing it if they stop and listen for it or even if it's loud and
they're living their life they can hear it, but
it doesn't bother them.
So that tinnitus retraining therapy involves counseling, education and then a dedicated sound therapy plan typically between a period
of nine to 12 months. That's all I will say about that now. There's plenty of information to research that more and you can reach out to me if you have those questions. So am I aware of any
proven cure for tinnitus? No, and I don't think that's a surprise to anyone here that there's no proven cure in
terms of a medical sense of eradication of the symptom. Cognitive behavioral
therapy and mindfulness are other approaches that I feel are supplemental to sound therapy, proper education and proper counseling. Other exciting developments, will regeneration of certain
cells in the cochlea, the hearing organ have been studied for a long time and they're
continuing to be studied.
There's two specific projects to pharmaceutical,
bio-pharmaceutical projects that are worth knowing about, but trust me don't try to know them on the ins and outs because they're very complex. And I think there's better
ways to spend your time. regeneration of cells in the cochlea. There's a company called
Frequency Therapeutics and a drug called FX-322. It seemed promising at helping
some forms of hearing loss and tinnitus, but the recent
clinical trials we're not good. It was not a positive result. So that project is unlikely to help people with tinnitus, quite frankly. OTO-313 by a group called Otonomy that is not regenerating
cells in the cochlea. Instead, that's using a more complicated and I won't go into it
right now, approach to help with the brain's reaction
to tinnitus in the cortex.
Don't hold out for either of those. That's my advice. I keep monitoring them. Research developments to help tinnitus are very welcome and encouraged. And we're thankful for the
researchers who are trying it's a hard problem to
fix, as you can imagine as you've probably learned yourself it's a hard problem to fix. So none of those groups, which
typically have been cited as the most promising
in the last few years neither of those seem to be
breakthroughs at this point. And neither of those seem to be worth waiting for quite frankly.
And I say that with a soft heart because of course I want them to work but they haven't worked so far. Some other new developments
bimodal stimulation. There's two specific projects
that I'll mention right now. So bimodal stimulation for tinnitus. It's a newer treatment and
bi-modal means two modes. So typically sound therapy
played through the ears. There's various forms.
There's various protocols to follow but sound therapy would be
one mode of stimulation. We're stimulating the auditory system. As you probably know,
when you have music around when you're by the ocean, when you're by the river or you're playing sound
therapy through an app or from a speaker that it does
help tinnitus significantly. That's considered auditory stimulation. So pairing a second mode of stimulation through
somewhere in our nervous system either the skin, the tongue,
the neck, something like that that is introducing another
mode of stimulation.
And there's neuroscience, brain
science that is suggesting that pairing two modes
together with certain protocols or strategies can change
the brain's tinnitus in a positive way and keeping it simple. I won't go into the details. I have other videos on
YouTube that go deep into the details and
you can check those out if you want to learn more. There's a group called
Neuromod based in Ireland and they have a device
called the Lenire device. And that pairs stimulation on the tongue with stimulation, with
stimulation in the ears. They're showing positive results. It's not ground breakthrough that is going to help
all tinnitus patients from the research. And it's certainly not
going to bring tinnitus to zero to silence, but
it does seem promising. It is available in Europe. I did a full review on this and it's not available in the US yet.
That's all I will say for now. There's a another recent
company that I became close with and they're based out of Stanford. They're not a Stanford backed device. It's a company called Neosensory which was started by a
neuroscientist who is from Stanford developed a company to help all sorts of conditions, health conditions. And it's a device called
the Buzz, Neosensory Buzz. Also, I did a full video review on my YouTube channel about this. And the Neosensory Buzz, it has a wristband and
that's pairing the vibrations in the wrist called our
somatosensory system. It's pairing that vibration and that input through the nervous system, into the brain around at the same time that you're
listening to certain sounds. So you're getting these two inputs, sound and vibration through
the somatosensory system. Research is suggesting that when the brain gets
that kind of information it can make changes to
recognize that the phantom sound of tinnitus is not actually
there, that that phantom sound of tinnitus can be recategorized, restructured in certain ways.
I'm keeping this simple for the
purposes of this discussion. But that's definitely the
update on what's out there in terms of the treatment front and things to look out for. Now, my advice for someone who says I want to try it, I'm ready. Let's go. I say, okay, hold on. There's many different angles
to approach managing tinnitus. And I see bimodal stimulation as a potential supplemental therapy. I don't recommend it to my patients. I don't recommend it to you as the only thing you're trying. The only thing you're doing to make you feel better to help you. There's more traditional protocols like tinnitus retraining
therapy, et cetera that are also in your interest. So don't look that over thinking that some device is
going to fix it for you. It may help and I hope it does.