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Sounds suppress tinnitus at the neuronal level
Tinnitus has many faces. Sometimes he whistles, beeps or rings, sometimes he hisses, hums or hisses in his ear. Sometimes it is a continuous tone, sometimes a temporary one. Common to all forms: They hardly give those affected a moment of rest and relaxation. Tinnitus has so far been considered incurable. There is now a new therapy for all patients with tonal tinnitus, i.e. an ear noise that does not change their frequency or only slightly. With the help of a special sound mix, tinnitus is reduced at the neuronal level. In some cases it even falls silent.
Chronic tinnitus has long been a common disease. It is estimated that one in four Germans suffers from noise in the ear. Research has shown that tinnitus arises not only in the ear, but also in the brain. Many thousands of nerve cells in the listening center of our brain pick up the smallest sounds from the ear and convert them into sensory impressions. Only because of them can we interpret sounds correctly and distinguish a passing car from a twittering bird. In tinnitus, the sensory or nerve cells produce sounds independently. The more cells involved, the louder and more intense the tinnitus. The fatal thing about it: if left untreated, the tinnitus becomes more and more fixed.
"The principle of action of the new Mynoise therapy is based on reprogramming the nerve cells that transmit the tinnitus," explains Dr. Uso Walter, ENT specialist from Duisburg and chairman of the ENT-NRW. “This is achieved through a sound file that is individually tailored to the tinnitus frequency, in which the tinnitus tones are cut out and the neighboring frequencies are amplified. This deactivates the affected nerve cells and the tinnitus becomes quieter over time. ”Since this is a learning process, regular listening to the file is important. "Ideally, patients listen to their therapy signal for two hours a day using headphones," Dr. Walter. One advantage: The therapy based on neutral noise leads to suppression of tinnitus even when listening. “In the medium term, central hearing processing then learns to suppress tinnitus without suppressing the noise. In addition, nerve fibers that transmit tinnitus are relieved and inhibited in the transmission of tinnitus to neighboring cells. ”Another effect: the admixture of certain sounds leads to vegetative relaxation in the brain, which has a positive effect on tinnitus processing and the general condition.
“Basically, Mynoise therapy is a building block in a holistic treatment concept. At best, this is made up of psychological and behavioral therapy aspects, hearing-improving measures, special hearing training, and relaxation and movement therapy, as required, ”explains Dr. Mynoise therapy is not suitable for people with severe hearing loss. However, it does not replace a visit to the otolaryngologist, who is strongly recommended for any long-term tinnitus. (pm)