Significant Breakthrough in Search for Tinnitus Cure

Scientists are excited by the results from a trial of a new treatment for tinnitus.

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

For the study, 61 patients were randomly assigned to one of two treatments. Half (31 people) were given the prototype of the new ‘digital polytherapeutic.’ The other half (30 people) used a popular self-help app producing white noise.

On average, the group with the polytherapeutic showed clinically significant improvements at 12 weeks, while the other group did not. The results were published on August 5, 2022, in the journal 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. It combines a range of digital tools, based on the individual’s experience of tinnitus.

Grant Searchfield

Associate Professor Grant Searchfield says this is a treatment made possible by recent technology developments. Credit: University of Auckland

“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.

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Significant Breakthrough in Search for Tinnitus Cure

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