New Treatment Offering Relief From Tinnitus

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Some are calling it an epidemic as more and more people seek help for an annoying ringing noise in their ears.

For some, finding relief is difficult; however, there’s a new treatment being done in our area that’s helping people who haven’t been able to find relief any other way.

For most of you, if you sit in a totally quiet room, you’ll notice some kind of ringing in your ears. But for some people, that annoying buzzing or ringing is just unbearable. It can lead to depression and anxiety.

There’s no cure for it, but a new way to manage it is offering hope.

If you’ve never had Tinnitus, you can just imagine how terrible it is.

Tinnitus can be debilitating for people who have it.

The American Tinnitus Association says there are now people as young as 12 complaining of the condition, which never used to happen.

“It’s a buzzing – kind of static,” said one person who suffers from it.

For others it sounds like a high-pitched tone. It can be ringing, buzzing, humming – it’s different for different people.

In most cases, Tinnitus and hearing loss go hand in hand, and the number of people listening to music too loudly and too often with MP3 players or iPods has doctors concerned.

Maybe not now, but decades from now, those young people are going to have enough hearing loss that they’ll be more susceptible to getting Tinnitus.

To tell if you’re listening to music too loudly through your ear buds, experts say you should have a friend stand next to you. If that person can hear the music, it needs to be turned down.

Doctors say people should consider wearing ear plugs when they hunt, go to loud concerts or even sporting events.

Tinnitus, it turns out, is also affecting thousands of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Experts say Tinnitus and hearing loss are the number one and two disabilities for returning veterans.

Noreen Kapp is director of the Tinnitus program at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

“People who have been exposed to trauma like a blast will come back, and they’ll have the Tinnitus then,” she said.

So what can be done to help patients?

Both the VA and Pittsburgh Ear Associates are using a device called Neuromonics and it uses classical or new age music as part of the therapy.

Dr. Todd Hillman says he’s seen impressive results with patients where nothing else worked.

For some patients, hearing aids work by restoring sound so people don’t notice the ringing. Devices that mask the ringing can also be used.

But Dr. Hillman tells says Neuronmics is different than those treatments.

“Neuromonics actually is a higher order of sound that will actually reorder the part of the brain that’s making the Tinnitus,” he said.

Patricia Creek, of Cranberry, says Neuronomics has helped her tremendously.

Patients listen to the device a few hours a day for as long as a year.

Also, it’s not just music, Dr. Hillman says it’s customized to patients and there’s actually a low level background sound buried in there that’s aimed at keeping all parts of your ear busy.

American Tinnitus Association
Pittsburgh Ear Associates
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
More Health News
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  • JB Tait

    The constant drone of traffic, lawnmowers, chainsaws, weed trimmers, backing up alarms, and the like may be doing more harm than we realize, too.

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  • toni davis

    I would love to chat with the lady in this video that used this device. I am in the area and we do not have any type of support group here.

    • Scott

      The treatment is NOT new. Neuromonics has been around a while. This article is a shamless plug for a treatment that will MOST LIKELY DO NOTHING TO IMPROVE your situation. I have been through the 10 month treatment. I recommend reading the discussion panel on the American Tinnitus Association;s Facebook site. As well read the discussion on the same site called “Scott gets new hearing aids”.

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  • peter A

    It cost me 7000 $ and did not work. it Is a scam. /peter[

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    […] New Treatment Offering Relief From Tinnitus Some are calling it an epidemic as more and more people seek help for an annoying ringing noise in their ears. For some, finding relief is difficult; however, there’s a new treatment being done in our area that’s helping people who haven’t been able to find relief any other way. Read more on CBS Pittsburgh […]

  • Matthew Davis

    I used the Neuromonics training system for 2 -4 hours a day, for 6 months. There were no skipped days, and no distractions. Neuromonics became a routinely visitted friend, and not something that I had to do..
    I had been told that Neuromonics was not the absolute answer for everyone, but when all else had failed it was either try to retrain my brain or accept the fact that I would never know silence again.
    The last audiology test I had showed a dimished perception of my tinnitus of almost 45%. I occasionally have flare-ups of more pronounce tinnitus and have found that a couple hours of Neuromonics usually brings things back to normal.

    • Don r.

      What medical institution dd you go to? I need help. My Tt. got worse recenlty due to driving a car with a broken motor mount that made it very loud, now I am stuck. What about alcohol? I read very little that connects booze to T. I have an appt. with Scripps Clinic in San Diego. Mine gets better if I rest and protect with plugs, but my new car, brand new, seems to make it worse. Dam.

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  • Chris Akers

    How much is it

  • Chris Akers

    The damn ringing is really annoying is there any other way i can deal with it what the heck can i do its making my life a whole lotta difficult my ringings sounds like this eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! say that outloud you will know what i mean

  • Chris Akers

    How much does the treatment cost?

    The cost of the treatment is approximately $4,500 including the counseling visits, follow up telephone consults, and the processor. The initial evaluation of an individuals tinnitus problem is not included.

    are you kidding me this should be sent out world wide for free too to people who have tinnitus!

    Stop trying to make money and and cure people for fre thats insane if you dont have the cash

    • Chris Akers

      why would you need counseling h aha that’s dumb I’m sorry that I’m speaking my mind on this now follow up telephone consults we will call you when we need you But wait guys . The initial evaluation of an individuals tinnitus problem is not included.
      this sentence above
      everything else inst free but that that’s really dumb
      please by all means charge me 4.5k oh really the initial evaluation is Free get it…
      guys just send this out to the world why would you dare try to make a profit of it how dare you



      Now i hope you got the big picture now

      To Whom it make concern
      my Name is Christopher akers you have a nice day now

  • Chris Akers

    Reported my comment myself by the way so you actually get it

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