Teens Develop 60-Second Cure For Noise-Induced Tinnitus
If you hang out in dance clubs, play in a band, listen to music blasting from your car stereo or your audio headphones, or use noisy machinery, you'll be glad to know that there is relief available for the after-effects of those experiences. The "cure" for temporary tinnitus, the bothersome ringing or buzzing in your ears, was developed by two Irish physics students, who probably have experienced some tinnitus of their own.
Tinnitus is a consistent and annoying tone, whir, or buzz that originates in the middle ear and, though it may let up for a few seconds or longer, it is a fairly continuous sound. Tinnitus is a medical condition which can have several causes, but temporary tinnitus generally does't last longer than 24 hours and is caused by a relatively short exposure to noise.
Rhona Togher and Eimear O' Carroll, inventors of sound therapy for temporary tinnitus, were runner-up winners of the the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition this year. Their project for the exhibition was to test their sound therapy (a 60-second low frequency tone administered through head phones) on 250 subjects who were experiencing temporary tinnitus. The therapy had a 99 percent success rate!
"After coming out of discos or listening to MP3 players they [the subjects] found they had ringing in their ears. Our therapy... stimulated and soothed the ear, O' Carroll told BBC News.
O' Carroll and Togher, along with their teacher, Anthony Carolan, have since formed Restored Hearing Ltd., in Sligo County, Ireland to offer their technology to sufferers of tinnitus. You can find out more about it and order the treatment, very affordably, from their website.
The website is now creating "phenomenal levels of interest," said Ms. O' Carroll.
The team, which has been working on tinnitus for a few years, is now researching the effects of its therapy on persons who suffer from long-term tinnitus, a field in which minimal success has been made.