A Possible Cure For Tinnitus? New Study Reveals The Root Cause
Do you hear a constant ringing or buzzing sound with no external source? If so, you may be one of the millions of people worldwide experiencing tinnitus. Recent groundbreaking research has shed light on a potential hidden culprit behind this condition — offering a possible cure rather than mere symptom management.
Explaining the research
A new study published in Scientific Reports has unveiled a connection between tinnitus and damage to specific fibres within the auditory nerve. This damage goes unnoticed in standard hearing tests and challenges the current understanding of tinnitus, offering hope for more targeted treatments.
Approximately one in 10 adults have experienced tinnitus, triggered by various factors such as exposure to loud noises or ear infections. Tinnitus can be fleeting, or it can become a chronic condition lasting for years. The groundbreaking study focused on 201 participants who had never experienced tinnitus, 64 who had encountered it at some point and 29 with chronic symptoms lasting at least six months.
Traditional hearing tests showed that all participants had “normal hearing” as they could detect tones at the specified threshold. However, a hidden culprit emerged when researchers delved deeper, using electrodes to measure the electrical activity of the auditory nerve and brainstem.
The root cause of some tinnitus emerging
The study revealed that individuals with tinnitus exhibited damage to a specific type of fibre within the auditory nerve that responds to loud sounds. These fibres are crucial for processing sounds in noisy environments. Regular hearing tests may miss this damage, as they primarily focus on the ability to hear quiet sounds. This research could explain why some people struggle to hear in noisy environments despite having normal hearing.
Potential new direction for some tinnitus management
Understanding the link between nerve damage and tinnitus opens new possibilities for developing targeted interventions. Conventional treatments for tinnitus often focus on managing symptoms rather than addressing the root cause.
This newfound knowledge hints at the future possibility of treating tinnitus by repairing the damaged auditory nerve fibres using growth factors called neurotrophins. If successful, this approach could eliminate the need for the brain to compensate for hearing loss, offering relief for those grappling with the persistent sounds of tinnitus.
While the study brings optimism, it’s crucial to note that this research is still in its earliest stages. Potential treatments likely won’t be available to the public for many years. However, the Soundwave Hearing Care team continues to provide proven and effective tinnitus management strategies for our clients, including Tinnitus Retraining Therapy.
Hearing Tests And Hearing Protection In Calgary
At Soundwave Hearing Care, your hearing health is our top priority. We offer tinnitus retaining therapy as well as hearing tests for adults and children and carry a range of hearing protection products to prevent hearing loss. Contact us today to learn more and request an appointment with an audiologist. We serve customers in Lethbridge, High River and Grand Prairie.
All the blogs are reviewed and edited by our clinic's lead audiologist, Dr. Anne Wooliams. Dr. Woolliams is an experienced audiologist specialized in pediatric audiology, auditory processing, and tinnitus/sound sensitivity therapy. She is dedicated to providing top-notch hearing care and helping her clients improve their language and communication abilities. Dr. Woolliams' expertise in literature and linguistics, combined with her passion for helping people improve their language and communication, make her an incredibly valuable asset in the field of audiology. Learn more about Dr. Woolliams.