What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus, from the Latin word tinnītus meaning to ring, jingle or clink, is what we call the hearing of generally ringing but possibly clicking, hissing or roaring sounds, when they aren’t in fact there. Additionally, the sound varies in volume, pitch and which ear it can affect (sometimes both).
This can lead to psychological disorders like depression, anxiety, and insomnia because of the disruptive nature of the symptom. Indeed, Tinnitus is not a disease but occurs with several other conditions. These relate to the ears and brain but also the heart.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
Also referred to as Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), it is a noninvasive treatment used to stimulate the brain with a changing magnetic field. More research is necessary before conclusive results but the potential to change the future of Neurology is certainly there.
It is currently being used in treating depression and neuropathic pain.
Hanna Sahlsten and Turku University
Hanna Sahlsten is an ear, nose and throat doctor or Otorhinolaryngologist, who completed her training back in 2008. This article relates to her doctoral thesis published on the 1st of March this year.
Tinnitus for 1-2% of people is severe to the point of drastically affecting their lifestyle and present in 10-15% overall. Unfortunately, no cure exists as of now for chronic tinnitus. Her thesis is on further exploration of rTMS for chronic tinnitus and the first open pilot study showed promising results.
In Finland, about half a million people suffer from tinnitus and the claim is that the result of the studies means TMS should be able to help 40-50% of them significantly. The conclusions in her thesis state rTMS as “Feasible, safe and well tolerated” and that the devices were “easy and practical to use”.
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The writer of the blog post:
Tinnitus voi häiritä normaalia elämää – tuore tutkimus osoittaa, että aivojen stimulointi voi tarjota helpotusta | Yle Uutiset | yle.fi
Tinnitus – Helsinki Ear Insititute
Hanna Sahlsten | Mehiläinen
Tinnitus – psychiatric comorbidity and treatment using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)