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Latest Research on Ringing In Ear Treatment

Tinnitus or ringing in the ear are categorized into subjective or objective. In this article we will only discuss subjective tinnitus. 

Subjective tinnitus or ringing in ear is the presence of a persistent sound that is heard by the person experiencing it. It is not audible to another person. Extensive research are done to study the phenomenon, and many dollars poured into finding a “cure”. Let’s dive into what the latest research and study says about ringing in ear and available ringing in ear treatment.

What is ringing in ear why does it happen

Ringing in ear comes in different forms. Because it is a subject sound, people have described it as “a high pitch ringing” or “a low humming” or “a rushing water noise”. One in ten adults worldwide experiences this condition. Most people with hearing loss report ringing in ear, which is typically alleviated once they start wearing hearing aids.

It has been a long term belief that ringing in the ear is a byproduct of the brain trying to compensate for the loss of hearing, by increasing its activity, and causing a perception of a sound – in this case tinnitus.

What about those with no detectible hearing loss based on conventional hearing test? A study done in 2023 by the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories (EPL)  found that some “normal hearing” individuals who report ringing in ear are experiencing auditory nerve loss that is not picked up by conventional hearing test. A conventional hearing test measures a person’s hearing threshold at 250Hz up to 8000Hz. However, this person maybe “normal” in these frequencies, but has a hearing loss in the higher frequencies not commonly tested. From 10000Hz up to 16000Hz. Eaton-Peabody Laboratories (EPL) measured the response of participants’ auditory nerve and brainstem, and discovered that persistent ringing in ear was linked to loss of auditory never. Furthermore, there was over activity in the participant’s brainstem.


Treatment for ringing in ear

For those with hearing loss, the most effective treatment is hearing aid and sound therapy such as notch therapies (intended to under stimulate frequencies where the the hearing loss lies). For those with no conventional detected hearing loss, sound therapy may provide relief. There is currently no “cure” for tinnitus. For future treatments, researchers are investigating regeneration of auditory nerve using pharmaceutical means.

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Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. (2023, November 30). Loss of auditory nerve fibers uncovered in individuals with tinnitus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 12, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/11/231130113221.htm