Almost a quarter of the French suffer from tinnitus, to a greater or lesser extent. Also called Tinnitus, tinnitus is the perception of sound or noise without external acoustic stimulation. It is not a disease, but a symptom.
But despite the number of people who suffer from tinnitus, permanently or occasionally, this symptom remains unknown. While it was thought until recently that it was related to blood supply, scientists now place its origin directly in the brain. It is linked to an injury to the components of the auditory nerve, which itself can have various origins (acoustic trauma, stress, tumor, age, diabetes …).
In a study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, a scientific team set up by the medical instrument maker Neuromod Devices shows that the use of sound and electrical stimulation can significantly reduce tinnitus, for a period of at least 12 months after treatment.
To reach their conclusions, the scientists carried out tests on 326 volunteers. 86% of them reported an improvement in their condition within 12 weeks of treatment.
The latter was based on the use of a device developed for the occasion, called Lenire. These are Bluetooth headphones that broadcast sequences of broadband audio frequencies and noise, combined with electrical stimulation delivered via 32 electrodes on the tip of the tongue.
Participants, who could control the process, were instructed to use the device 60 minutes a day for 12 weeks.
With success, therefore, which may give hope for an effective treatment accessible to all, while people suffering from tinnitus had no means of improving their condition for the moment.