- Serenade Treatment
- Neuromonics Treatment
Tinnitus is pronounced either ti-NIGHT-us or TIN-i-tus. The word is of Latin origin, meaning "to tinkle or to ring like a bell." Put simply, tinnitus is the perception of sound in the ears or head where no external source is present.
Tinnitus can be perceived in one or both ears or in the head. It is usually described as a ringing noise, but in some patients it takes the form of a high pitched whining, buzzing, hissing, humming, or whistling sound, or as ticking, clicking, roaring, "crickets" or "tree frogs" or "locusts", tunes, songs, or beeping. It has also been described as a "whooshing" sound, as of wind or waves. The sound can also be a combination of sounds. Tinnitus can be intermittent or it can be continuous.
Pulsatile tinnitus is a form of tinnitus whereby the noise has a pulsing quality. The rhythm of the pulsatile tinnitus may correspond exactly with the person's heartbeat or the rhythm may be much faster than the person's heartbeat.
The exact physiological cause (or causes) of tinnitus is (are) not known. There are, however, several likely sources, all of which are known to trigger or worsen tinnitus. The following is a short list of these sources:
• Noise-induced hearing loss – When someone is exposed to a sudden, loud sound this may cause acoustic trauma. Acoustic trauma may cause destruction of the hair cells, called cilia, in the inner ear. Once damaged, these hair cells cannot be renewed or replaced. Noise-induced hearing loss may also be the result of chronic or repeated noise exposure. Coincidentally, up to 90 percent of all tinnitus patients have some level of hearing loss.
• Wax build-up in the ear canal - The amount of wax ears produce varies by individual. Sometimes, people produce enough wax to completely block the outer ear canal. If so, hearing may be compromised and a person's existing tinnitus may seem louder. Removal of the wax by an ear doctor (otologist or otolaryngologist) may reduce the loudness of the tinnitus.
• Certain medications - Some medications are ototoxic-that is, the medications permanently damage the hearing and/or balance portion of the ear. There are also medications that are not ototoxic, but produce tinnitus as a side effect without damaging the inner ear. Effects, which can depend on the dosage of the medication, can be temporary or permanent.
• Ear or sinus infections - Many people, including children, experience tinnitus along with an ear or sinus infection. Generally, the tinnitus will lessen and gradually go away once the infection is healed.
• Certain types of tumors - Very rarely, people have a benign and slow-growing tumor in the middle ear, or on their auditory, vestibular, or facial nerves. These tumors can cause tinnitus, deafness, facial paralysis, and loss of balance.
• Head and neck trauma - Physical trauma to the head and neck can induce tinnitus. Other symptoms include headaches, vertigo, and memory loss.
Certain disorders, such as hypo- or hyperthroidism, Lyme disease and fibromyalgia may have tinnitus as a symptom. When tinnitus is a symptom of another disorder, treating the disorder may help alleviate the tinnitus.
The Serenade® Tinnitus Treatment
The Serenade® tinnitus treatment by SoundCure is an innovative treatment for sufferers of tinnitus. The Serenade® device incorporates state of the art treatment and proven sound therapies in a customized tinnitus treatment. Multiple user-focused features make Serenade an easy-to-use, yet advanced treatment option. The audiology team at the Ear Institute of Chicago uses proprietary software to program the Serenade device specifically for each person.
SoundCure‘s technology was developed at the University of California, Irvine by leading hearing researchers dedicated to combining advanced engineering with proven clinical expertise, resulting in a unique, advanced treatment.
State of the Art Technology, Proven Sound Therapy
The Serenade® system consists of a handheld patient device to generate sound therapy, earphones, and proprietary acoustic treatment that research has suggested may address the underlying neurological cause of tinnitus.
- Sound therapy customizable to each person’s unique tinnitus.
- Three types of treatment sounds for more options.
- SleepAssist technology (a 60-minute, auto on/off timer), for relief while sleeping.
- Independent left and right volume controls to adjust to a person’s hearing requirements
After an audiologist evaluates the person's tinnitus, the Serenade® device is programmed to play the sounds most likely to be effective for each individual.
The above-mentioned approach was developed by a team with scientific understanding of the neurophysiology of tinnitus and how the brain processes sound. The tinnitus treatment program is designed to give the person with tinnitus immediate relief and to be used as part of a long-term treatment program when appropriate.
S-Tones, A Novel Advance in Sound Therapy
The Serenade® consists of multiple tracks of soft treatment sounds to enable short- and long-term relief as part of a sound therapy program. The three types of sounds are S-Tones, custom narrowband stimuli, and broadband sounds. Of these, the narrowband and broadband stimuli represent traditional, established approaches. S-Tones however, are novel, temporally patterned sounds customized to each individual’s tinnitus.
A proprietary set of easy to use algorithms is used to evaluate a person’s tinnitus and create the sounds most likely to be effective. Studies suggest that S-Tones can offer immediate relief. S-Tones can also be used as part of a long-term tinnitus treatment program to provide long-term relief.
The Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment
The Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment is a program to treat moderate-to-severe tinnitus that may be present in either one or both ears. The following is information that summarizes the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment program.
How It Works
A small, lightweight Oasis™ device (shown to the left) with headphones delivers precisely designed music embedded with a pleasant, acoustic neural stimulus. These sounds, customized for each user's tinnitus/hearing profile, stimulate the hearing pathway to promote new, neural connections in the brain. Over time, these new connections help the brain to filter out tinnitus.
Six-Month Treatment Process
The user is asked to listen to the music on the Oasis™ device on a daily basis over approximately 6 months. Many users of the device report some relief in the first few weeks of starting the treatment program. Throughout the treatment process, education and support are provided by audiologists from the Hearing Aid Center of Hinsdale.
Personal Assessment and Fitting
Before any treatment begins, an audiologist from the Hearing Aid Center of Hinsdale will meet with a potential candidate to evaluate the person's tinnitus and hearing. After assessing the candidate's tinnitus/hearing profile, the audiologist will then discuss which treatment options are most appropriate, and whether the Neuromonics treatment can help.
In summary, the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment:
• Is designed for moderate-to-severe tinnitus
• May help unilateral (one-sided) or bilateral (both sides) tinnitus
• Reduces symptoms quickly - Many patients enjoy some relief within the first few weeks of the treatment
• Treats the cause - Addresses underlying neurological causes of tinnitus
• Provides significant long-term relief - Relief lasts, long after the treatment ends
• Convenient and non-invasive - No medication or surgery required. It supports a person's own natural mechanisms to block out tinnitus symptoms.
The following is a list of several studies that support the use of the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment program:
• Davis, Paul B.; Paki, Bardia; Hanley, Peter. Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment: Third Clinical Trial. Research Articles. Ear & Hearing. 28(2):242-259, April 2007.
• Flynn, M.C., Davis, P.B., & Pogash, R. (2004) Multi-channel non linear power hearing instruments for children with a severe hearing impairment: long term follow-up. International Journal of Audiology, 43: 479-485.
• Davis, P. B., & Pogash, R. (2002). Power for Kids. The Hearing Review, Volume 9, Number (3).
• Davis, P. B., Arslan, E., Pogash, R., Engelund, G., Cootzee, O. & Radziszewka, M.. (2001). Repeated Speech Intelligibility Measures in Severely Hearing Children Fitted with Non-linear Hearing Aids. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Audiology, 23(2), 84-85.
• Davis, P. B., Wilde, R.A., & Steed, L. (2001). Relative Effects of Acoustic Stimulation and Counseling in the Tinnitus Rehabilitation Process. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Audiology, 23( 2), 84-85. Published Conference Proceedings.
• Davis, P. B., Wilde, R.A., & Steed, L. (2002). Neurophysiologically-Based Tinnitus Rehabilitation Using Tinnitus Desensitisation Music. In R. Patuzzi (Ed.), Seventh international tinnitus seminar (pp. 188-190). Fremantle, Australia: University of Western Australia.
• Davis, P. B., Wilde, R.A., & Steed, L. (2002). Clinical Trial Findings of a Neurophysiologically-based Tinnitus Rehabilitation Technique using Tinnitus Desensitisation Music. In R. Patuzzi (Ed.), Seventh international tinnitus seminar (pp. 74-77). Fremantle, Australia: University of Western Australia.
• Davis, P.B., Wilde, R.A., and Steed, L. Changes in tinnitus distress over a four month no-treatment period: Effects of audiological variables and litigation status. Proceedings of the Sixth International Tinnitus Seminar, Cambridge, UK. Published by the Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Centre, London. p384-390.
• Davis, P.B. A neurophysiologically based weekend workshop for tinnitus sufferers. Proceedings of the Sixth International Tinnitus Seminar, Cambridge, UK. Published by the Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Centre, London. p465-467.
• Davis, P.B. and Wilde, R.A. Clinical Trial of a New Tinnitus Masking Technique: In JA Vernon and G Reich (Eds), Tinnitus 95. Portland, Oregon: ATA, 1995.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment
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Over the last decade or so, understanding of the various causes and factors that contribute to tinnitus perception and disturbance has improved tremendously. It is now understood that tinnitus is not a hearing problem, but it is a neurologically-based condition. Utilizing neuroplasticity, the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment stimulates the auditory pathway with the intention of promoting new neural connections that allow the brain to help filter out the tinnitus perception, thus reducing the disturbance and impact of tinnitus. Neuroplasticity involves the brain's ability to modify or make new neural connections when necessary.