Don’t believe this trick will ‘cure’ your tinnitus

22 Oct 2018 About

There are different stages of tinnitus. For one it can be a slightly annoying buzz in the background, to others it's pure torture. When you fall in that category you'll desperately try anything to cure your tinnitus.

The bad news is that a treatment or pill to cure tinnitus doesn't exist. There are different ways to relieve the symptoms a bit though.

Tapping

Last year a Reddit-user who claimed to have a 'cure' for tinnitus went viral. According to the initiator tapping your fingers on the back of your skull should cure the ringing. You won't be surprised to hear it doesn't exactly work that way. It's not entirely bullshit 'cause by tapping you mask the noise of the tinnitus. As soon as you stop the ringing will turn back though, what makes the tapping a bit pointless.

Calming soundtrack

A 'masker' certainly can help, though you may want to go for a more consistent one. Usually, a masker is a device that is placed in the ear like a hearing aid that emits sounds. It also can be a type of calming soundtrack you can listen to (like rainfall or a fan). The sound can temporarily suppress the noise of tinnitus. That's also exactly what happened in that viral video that claimed to cure tinnitus, only a more manual version.

Bone vibration

Some individuals with hearing loss have damage to the middle bones of their ear. To these people norming hearing aids won't work. That sound would just go to the middle ear and get lost like everything else. When that's the case you might profit from special devices called bone anchored hearing aids. These kinds of devices transmit sound through bone vibration directly through the inner ear rather than through the outer and middle ears.

Misleading

The people in the animation are tapping the spot on the skull exactly where these bone anchored hearing aids go. With the tapping, you generate a sound vibration to the inner ear that masks the tinnitus in the same way these devices do. It might help some people, but calling it 'a cure' is just misleading.

Conclusion: this specific technique might help in the short term, but you're better of with treatments that have been more rigorously studied. Think of music apps that can help retrain your brain to quiet the tinnitus signals or hearing aids that cancel out the noise.

Still curious about the tapping technique? You can check it out here.

 

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