Ear, tongue stimulated simultaneously to treat tinnitus

October 13, 2020

A new device by Dublin, Ireland-based Neuromod Devices simultaneously zaps a patient’s tongue and delivers sound to their ears to treat tinnitus. A group of patients who used the “Lenire” system for a time reported “a statistically significant reduction in tinnitus symptom severity.”

According to the Korean Neurological Association, tinnitus is defined as a phantom auditory perception – the perception of sound in the absence of an actual external sound. Sufferers have to endure a constant ringing in their ears, often to much somatic and psychological distress that interferes with quality of life. There is no known cure for the condition.

Lenire consists of a handheld control unit, a set of Bluetooth headphones, and a Tonguetip device that is placed in the mouth. While sounds emitted by the headphones stimulate the wearer’s auditory nerve, electrodes on the Tonguetip stimulate the trigeminal nerve in the tip of their tongue. The process is claimed to retrain the misfiring neurons in the patient’s auditory system as it stimulates two different types of sensory nerves at once.

Neuromod Devices staff recently conducted a clinical trial with colleagues from Germany’s University of Regensburg, Britain’s University of Nottingham, US University of Texas, and Trinity College Dublin. In the trial, more than 325 tinnitus patients were instructed to use the Lenire system for 60 minutes a day over the course of 12 weeks.

After the treatment period was over, 86.2% of the patients who successfully followed the routine were found to have achieved a reduction in their tinnitus symptoms. The reduction persisted even one year later, and no unwanted side effects were reported.

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Category: Features, Technology & Devices

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