Now Hear This®: A Quick Summary of Futuristic Tinnitus Treatments

Scientists are hard at work every day trying to come up with new ways to reduce or completely eliminate tinnitus. Here are a few tinnitus treatments that our Raleigh audiologists look forward to telling you more about in the near future:

  • Hair cell regeneration. The “hair cells” of the inner ear are the gateway to the hearing system; they “catch” the sound waves coming into the inner ear and send them up into the brain where sound can be consciously perceived. In the vast majority of cases, tinnitus arises from damage to these hair cells, and it is perpetuated and sustained at higher levels in the auditory system. Once the cells are damaged, they cannot regenerate or repair themselves. Research is currently underway to try and find a way to make the hair cells regenerate themselves, solving the problem of hearing loss, and hopefully tinnitus.
  • Genetic therapy. Tinnitus is thought to ultimately result from damage to the hair cells of the cochlea, which then causes nerve cells in the brain to become overactive. The idea with genetic therapy is to use proven methods to carry a gene or gene fragment that “turns off” various nerve cells in the brain in a very precise way. With more research, scientists hope to put an end to tinnitus by “turning off” the overactive brain cells that sustain the tinnitus.
  • Optogenetics. It turns out that there is a way to control nerve cells with light pulses, once a special light-sensitive gene is embedded in it. With optogenetics, these genes are carried into nerve cells using a unique transport mechanism. Exposing the altered nerve cells to light can cause them to become active, or reduce their activity, thereby powerfully controlling them. The idea is to reduce the activity of the over-active brain cells that are thought to sustain tinnitus.

Reach Out to Our Audiologists for More Information on Tinnitus Treatments in Raleigh

Although there are tinnitus treatments out there that are proven to work, scientists are still constantly engaged in new research, trying to come up with new ways to treat this audiological disease. If you are interested in learning more about both proven and futuristic treatments that treat your tinnitus in Raleigh, reach out to the audiologists at Now Hear This®.