Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

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Lunkhead
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Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by Lunkhead »

All you have to do is electrically shock your tongue while overwhelming your brain with auditory sensations. Seems like a good trade to me.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/10 ... nging-ears
326 people with tinnitus sat for up to 1 hour at a time with a small plastic paddle on their tongue. Tiny electrodes in the paddle delivered an electrical current designed to broadly excite the brain, getting activity going through a number of interconnected regions. The electrical stimulation feels a little like pop rocks candy fizzing in your mouth, Lim says.

Subjects also wore headphones that delivered a more targeted hit to the brain’s auditory system. Each person heard a rapidly changing series of pure tones at different frequencies, against a background noise that sounds “kind of like electronic music,” Lim says. The goal of the two together was to distract the brain by heightening its sensitivity, forcing it to suppress the activity that causes tinnitus. “The brain can only pay attention to so many things,” Lim says.

Over the 12 weeks of treatment, the patients’ tinnitus symptoms improved dramatically.
I've got some tinnitus, it's not terrible but it's definitely present. I shake my head thinking back to my early concert going days when I didn't wear earplugs, as a stupid teen/20-something. Oops! But maybe there will be some reprieve some day.
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Re: Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by crumpart »

I have tinnitus in my left ear almost my whole life (very, very high pitched E) as a result of either having vertigo as a kid, or as part of my genetic essential tremor. It’s not the worst kind of tinnitus to have, which I know because I’ve had other kinds temporarily occasionally when I’ve had bad viral infections, but heck, I would like to get rid of it.
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Re: Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

I have tinnitus and hearing loss, but it's manageable now. I'm susceptible to ear fatigue as well. It doesn't help that I ride a motorcycle nearly every day (although I do wear earplugs.) If they can sign me up for this treatment then I'll book the flight today.
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Re: Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by fluffy »

I've also had tinnitus my whole life and I was pretty interested in this news story. I hope it turns into an actual treatment. If I try to sleep somewhere too quiet the ringing keeps me awake.
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Re: Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by Geech »

No idea if this works, but... https://www.audionotch.com
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Re: Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by fluffy »

Interesting idea. Would be easy enough to build that yourself with any decent audio environment; looks like they're just doing a pink noise generator and a notch EQ with a high Q-factor, at least based on their description. Maybe I'll try setting that up myself in Logic.
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Re: Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Once you have it set up just go ahead and share that with the rest of us, yo? ;)
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Re: Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by fluffy »

It'd need to be modified based on peoples' individual tinnitus frequencies.
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Re: Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Will you please stop introducing facts to ruin my emotional responses? SHEESH!

Yeah, well, at the very least let us know if it does any good before I go to the bother of spending.. what, ten minutes? setting something up.
Last edited by Pigfarmer Jr on Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by fluffy »

Yeah, I haven't been noticing any tinnitus lately just because of the various background noises in my home this time of year, so I haven't gotten around to trying it.

I don't know how the setup would look in other DAWs but in Logic it would be something like

1. Set up a software instrument track, with the "test oscillator" plugin (which lives in the "utility" folder)
2. Set it to sine wave and then adjust the frequency until it matches your tinnitus tone; note this frequency and then mute the track.
3. Repeat, setting up additional tracks if you have multiple tinnitus tones
4. After you know all the tones, make another "test oscillator" instrument track but set it to pink noise
5. For each of the tone frequencies, add a "Single band EQ" plugin (under Equalization) to the pink noise oscillator and set its frequency to the respective tone, the gain to -24dB, and the Q factor to 100

And that should give you a setup that roughly matches Audio Notch.
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Re: Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by fluffy »

Okay I'm having mildly-annoying tinnitus today so I'm trying this out. Logic's tone generator isn't able to get quite the precision to dial in the exact frequency, but nor can its parametric EQ. My tinnitus is also pretty close to the upper end of my headphones' range (like, I think it might even be a bit higher than I can hear naturally? brains are weird) so I'm not sure how much it can even help, aside from there being pink noise.

A -24dB notch also wasn't enough to make a visible difference in the spectrum analyzer, but I suspect that's also just due to imprecision. Just in case I ended up stacking a whole bunch of them, which is probably equivalent to really just turning down the q-factor. And since this is at the upper spectrum range I don't see how this would be any different than just putting on a lowpass, as far as what comes through my headphones anyway. (The spectrum analyzer does show pink noise at 16KHz+, but, come on...)

Some days I do have tinnitus that's quite a bit lower in frequency (around 12KHz I think) so that'll be a different thing to try next time that happens.
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Re: Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by fluffy »

Nope, that only made it worse.
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Re: Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

I think you'll have to try it for a week to see if it'll do any good.. or maybe longer. Also, is it worse or are you more aware of it?
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Re: Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by fluffy »

Technically-speaking, isn't all tinnitus is a matter of being aware of a background noise that you just don't normally notice?
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Re: Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

So most of what I've read has been from years ago.. like over ten years ago. But, it's the little "hairs" (receptors) in your ear canal that have been exposed to loud noises (or old age) that are bent over a little bit and giving off a signal to the brain. The idea is to train your brain to ignore those "false" signals.

I would assume (and maybe assume wrongly) that the first thing that will happen when you try to ignore them is that you'll be more aware of them. At least, that's how meditation works for me. It takes a bit of training to actually stop (or in my case, decrease the amount of) thinking. Or, in this case, hearing.
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Re: Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Of course, you might just be making it worse. In which case you might want to stop.
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Re: Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by fluffy »

So I mean, when I was doing the notched pink noise thing, when I added the notch filter I absolutely heard the tinnitus tone much more clearly, and I had my headphones at a reasonable volume. And 30 minutes later when I stopped it, the tinnitus tone was way more prominent.

But my tinnitus is also congenital, and not due to age or loudness exposure. I've had it for as long as I can remember. Growing up in a quiet suburb was a form of torture most nights. Even now I usually sleep with a fan (quietly) running just to have some background noise.

Apparently it's also linked with TMJ, which I have and it's pretty severe at times.

And as I mentioned in another thread, I've been adjusting my brain meds dose so that might be a factor too.
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Re: Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by crumpart »

TMJ is tooth grinding / jaw clenching, yeah? I too, have that in extremes. Before I realised and started wearing a mouth guard at night, I’d crack the fillings in my teeth regularly. I’m still angry that my dentist at the time, who I subsequently stopped going to, never picked up on it.
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Re: Hope for a possible treatment for tinnitus

Post by fluffy »

TMJ is related to that. The grinding and clenching itself is called bruxism, whereas TMJ is a complex of problems in the temporal-mandibular joint (thus the name) mostly related to constant tension or something. I think one leads to the other but I’m no expert. All I know about it is that my pain doctor and my physical therapist want to blame pretty much everything on it or my fibromyalgia.
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