Effectiveness of Current Tinnitus Treaments
Floor Location : S 041 H
Tinnitus is a condition where an individual hears a ringing, hissing, or other sounds without an external cause; more specifically, tinnitus is a phantom perception produced by background activity within the brain. Currently, there is no cure for tinnitus; however, many treatments are available for patients to use to cope with this condition. With varying degrees of effectiveness with each treatment, it is difficult to choose what treatment would work well for an individual patient. In this research project, it is a meta-analysis comprising all studies regarding different treatments of tinnitus in patients. There are 3 main sources of treatments that are studied: noise suppression, pharmaceuticals, and alternative medicines (primarily focusing on transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)).
Noise suppression treatments consist of: hearing aids, white noise machines, masking devices, and tinnitus retraining. As the first line of treatment, the purpose of noise suppressors are to suppress the tinnitus frequency, so that the sound becomes less bothersome to the affected patient. Pharmaceutical treatments include: tricyclic antidepressants, and alprazolam. Although drugs cannot cure tinnitus, these drugs have been proven to reduce the severity of the symptoms. Lastly, TMS, an alternative treatment, is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate neurons in the brain.