Web 'cure' for temporary tinnitus
Published: 14th Dec 2009 11:23:19
Two teenage students and their teacher say they have a web-based cure for the ringing in the ears experienced after exposure to high volumes.
Their website, Restored Hearing, sells 60 minute-long therapeutic "hums", which they say have a 99% success rate.
The concept won the runners-up prize at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition - but some audiologists are calling for a cautious response.
Temporary tinnitus, as the condition is known, lasts for up to 24 hours.
Of 1,000 people surveyed, 92% had suffered from temporary tinnitus, Eimear O'Carroll, 19, said.
Tests on 250 sufferers had "a 99% success rate", she said.
"After coming out of discos or listening to MP3 players they found they had ringing in their ears. Our therapy... stimulated and soothed the ear."
The website was now creating "phenomenal levels of interest," Ms O'Carroll added.
Fellow student Rhona Togher said: "We're on to a winner."
But Marcus Choo, a consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon at Sligo General Hospital, is calling for stringent clinical tests.
"The device works by introducing a low frequency noise to the affected ear, which helps straighten nerve endings... distorted by loud noise.
"These distorted nerve endings are possibly responsible for the tinnitus associated with loud noise exposure.
"It is an innovative approach... and full credit to the girls responsible for the idea.
"As for its potential for a permanent cure for the common form of tinnitus... it is very early days yet.
"The girls need to undertake further rigorous scientific research such as a randomised-control trial to establish the true efficacy of their device.
"The problem with tinnitus is... there are multiple proposed mechanisms for its cause, and thus a single treatment, or cure, will be difficult to find."
David Baguley, head of audiology at Cambridge University Hospitals and adviser to the British Tinnitus Association, agreed caution was vital.
"Innovative approaches to tinnitus treatment are generally to be encouraged, but they must be subjected to scientific and clinical scrutiny before they can be deemed safe and effective."
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2009. Web 'cure' for temporary tinnitus. [Online] (Updated 14 Dec 2009)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news.php/5590-Web-cure-for-temporary-tinnitus [Accessed 21st May 2013]
At 23:50:28 in HeadlinesA gigantic tornado has ripped through a suburb of Oklahoma City, destroying a school, sparking fires and flattening homes across whole neigh...
At 23:49:26 in BusinessApple has been accused of being "among America's largest tax avoiders" by a Senate committee....
At 22:53:32 in ScotlandA small cruise liner with 112 people on board has run aground in the waters of Oban Bay on the west coast of Scotland....
At 22:33:28 in HeadlinesThe FTSE 100 has closed at its highest level for nearly 13 years, finishing 32 points up on the day at 6,756....
At 22:27:43 in EnglandA council has apologised over its handling of a decision to remove three Eastern European children from foster parents who were members of U...
At 22:25:28 in BusinessRany Moran is the kind of high-spending customer that Europe's luxury fashion brands are looking to court. ...
At 22:16:24 in Northern IrelandMore than 200 acres of grass at Dublin Airport is being cut and given to Irish farmers to help tackle the Republic's severe shortage of...
At 21:53:47 in Northern IrelandThe SDLP is to try to block a bill that prevents former prisoners guilty of serious offences from holding posts as Stormont special advisers...
At 21:53:18 in HeadlinesUS President Barack Obama will visit Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania in June, the White House has said....
At 21:24:13 in WalesA man has been airlifted to safety from a cliff in Pembrokeshire after being spotted by a lifeboat crew on exercise....
News In Other Categories
A gigantic tornado has ripped through a suburb of Oklahoma City, destroying a school, sparking fires and flattening homes across whole neigh...
Thousands of fans are expected to line the streets later as Wigan Athletic celebrate the club's first FA Cup title with an open top bus...
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol ba...
The Conservative Party Board has rejected the idea of an investigation into alleged comments about activists by party chairman Lord Feldman....
A council has apologised over its handling of a decision to remove three Eastern European children from foster parents who were members of U...
It takes the "right stuff" to withstand cosmic bursts of camera light and meteoric bombardments of questions, but Tim Peake is orb...