Breakthrough in search for tinnitus cure

After 20 years searching for a cure for tinnitus, researchers at the University of Auckland are excited by ‘encouraging results’ from a clinical trial of a mobile-phone-based therapy.

The study randomized 61 patients to one of two treatments, the prototype of the new ‘digital polytherapeutic’ or a popular self-help app producing white noise.

On average, the group with the polytherapeutic (31 people) showed clinically significant improvements at 12 weeks, while the other group (30 people) did not. The results have just been published in Frontiers in Neurology.

“This is more significant than some of our earlier work and is likely to have a direct impact on future treatment of tinnitus,” Associate Professor in Audiology Grant Searchfield says.

Key to the new treatment is an initial assessment by an audiologist who develops the personalized treatment plan, combining a range of digital tools, based on the individual’s experience of tinnitus.

“Earlier trials have found white noise, goal-based counseling, goal-oriented games and other technology-based therapies are effective for some people some of the time,” says Dr. Searchfield.

“This is quicker and more effective, taking 12 weeks rather than 12 months for more individuals to gain some control.”

There is no pill that can cure tinnitus.

“What this therapy does is essentially rewire the brain in a way that de-emphasizes the sound of the tinnitus to a background noise that has no meaning or relevance to the listener,” Dr. Searchfield says.

Audiology research fellow Dr. Phil Sanders says the results are exciting and he found running the trial personally rewarding.

“Sixty-five percent of participants reported an improvement. For some people, it was life-changing—where tinnitus was taking over their lives and attention.”

Some people didn’t notice an improvement and their feedback will inform further personalisation, Dr. Sanders says.

Tinnitus is a phantom noise and its causes are complex. It has so far defied successful treatment.

While most people experience tinnitus, or ringing in the ears at least on occasions, around five percent experience it to a distressing degree. Impacts can include trouble sleeping, difficulty carrying out daily tasks and depression.

Dr. Searchfield says seeing his patients’ distress and having no effective treatment to offer inspired his research. “I wanted to make a difference.”

The next step will be to refine the prototype and proceed to larger local and international trials with a view to FDA approval.

The researchers hope the app will be clinically available in around six months.


In my opinion, unless I am reading this totally wrong (tis possible with my dyslexia) there doesn’t appear to be any breakthrough! Tis the same old theory, using white noise, and targeting tinnitus to help elevate the symptoms, so, what’s new about this trial? They are saying they had improved outcomes for 31 out of 61 patients, but nothing on the level of improvement? Was it a massive improvement, or a marginal one? Cheers Kev :wink:


@kevels55: Giv’er, Kev … Och, Mon! Giv’er!


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For me my so called cure is my hearing aids and sound machine


I had a Navy doctor tell me that my ringing in my ears, tinnitus, was for the majority the first signs of hearing loss. I was then given a hearing test that didn’t prove one way or the other whether I had hearing loss or not. That was a good 3 years before I was given my physical when getting out of he Navy and was told I had a little bit of hearing loss but at the time not enough to be concerned about. My mistake was not going and getting signed up with the VA as soon as possible after leaving the Navy. I didn’t bother to until it was almost too late.
I have accepted my tinnitus seeing I have had it since Thanksgiving 1975 and have learned to not pay attention to it. It is called nowadays compartmentalizing it. I put it to the far back of my mind and slam the door shut and lock the door, it only shows it’s ugly head when I allow it to.


I guess I’m kinda lucky, cuz my tinnitus is MOSTLY just a single tone, non-stop in both ears. Pretty much white noise of my own making, I guess?

The rest of the therapy: goal-minded activities and taking one’s mind off the tinnitus is the mental part. Ah, sometimes I almost wonder if I’d miss my ringing ears if they stopped that single note tune?

On the other hand, if I sing “Yellow Submarine” LOUDLY in my mind, I don’t even notice the tinnitus. And so … “We all live in a YELLOW submarine, a YELLOW submarine, a YELLOW submarine…”


My tinnitus is white noise, and pretty much across the spectrum. Every now and then one side or the other will blast out a single tone or a range of tones that sounds like a whistle or bird call. But it doesn’t happen when I have my aids on. I sleep with a white noise machine at night, my wife got me to doing t because she grew up in Chicago and it was the only way to drowned out the city noises.

My cinderblock ears wouldn’t hear a FIRE alarm going off, so good thing I have built-in white noise … called tinnitus. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

The white noise machine is tuned to silence my tinnitus so I can sleep. Believe it or not I can hear quite will without my aids I just can’t understand what anyone is saying. Sure there are lots of sounds I can’t hear but I hear well enough to hear a fire alarm and most sirens. It isn’t near as loud as with my aids but I can survive as long as I don’t have to answer someone’s questions or answer a phone.

Interesting. Watching this.

there might have been an update on my signia Ax aids. suddenly I have a therapy program available. I never saw that before. Or it could be that I jsut stumbled on it by accident. I haven’t used it yet. will try it later. Seems likely to add one more layer of sound when I play my guitar and I doubt that I want that. and anyway I forget my tinnitus most of the time.

I forgot that my Tinnitus had eased a bit when I first got my new HA’s, it didn’t last long. I also use relaxation music night, its a nice distraction for a while and does help me sleep.


Was this mentioned anywhere on this forum

Breakthrough Tinitus cure. 85% effective says Dr Cliff Aud.
Saw this today. Cliff is really flipping out


Interesting video @mstrmac… Thank you for sharing :wink:

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Bunch of information


Reports from users…I’m not feeling as hopeful as before.

The procedure at the clinics etc.