Tinnitus (TIN-i-tus) is noise or ringing in the ears. A common problem, tinnitus impacts about 1 in 5 people. Tinnitus isn’t a condition itself – it’s a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder. Men have problems with tinnitus more often than women. You may hear a sound, such as a ringing or roaring, that does not come from your surroundings and nobody else can hear it. Although tinnitus can worsen with age, for many people, this annoying persistent sound can improve with treatment. Treatments may reduce or mask the noise, making the tinnitus less noticeable.
There have been some new developments in the world of tinnitus. In late March of last year, SoundCure came out with a new product named the Serenade. This device is designed to produce “S-Tones” which have been effective in suppressing tinnitus in some patients. The Serenade device may be customized to the specific pitch and loudness of each individual’s unique tinnitus. It then utilizes this information to produce two different “S-Tones.” These tones, along with a broadband white noise and a frequency-weighted pink noise are available in the Serenade device. The Serenade device is small enough to easily fit in the hand, and comes with a carrying case that may be worn at the waist.
Widex, an industry leader in the hearing aid market, has had its own “Zen” feature available for a few years in some of their hearing aids. More recently, they have made it available in every one of their product lines. Furthermore, a new protocol for the use of this “Zen” feature for tinnitus management has been developed by Widex with the help of leading tinnitus experts, and it has been found to be effective for patients.
General Hearing Instruments (GHI) has recently released their second generation of over-the-ear “OTE” device, known as the Tranquil Simplicity II. This device offers two different broad band noises, giving patients an option of switching between both bands to determine the most effective sound to treat their tinnitus. GHI has also made improvements to the volume control of this device, making it easier to operate.
The manufacturers GN Resound and Starkey also offer combination tinnitus products that can be effective for treating patients with hearing loss and tinnitus. Additional manufacturers are currently developing products to manage hearing loss and tinnitus.
Neuromonics continues to offer a good option for treating tinnitus. They are continuing to work on developing more products to add to their existing Oasis device. They already offer multiple styles of headphones which give more flexibility to the wearer.
Additionally, here, at ACA, we have had success with the extended wear Lyric hearing aid, distributed by Phonak. The unique benefit of an extended wear hearing aid is 24 hour stimulation to the auditory cortex which appears to help in minimizing their tinnitus at night. This constant stimulation seems to have helped a number of our patients.
More and more companies are seeing the need for helping those who suffer from tinnitus. Please be sure to stay tuned in right here, and ACA will keep you informed about what is coming next!