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Ringing in your ears? – there may be a cure for tinnitus on the horizon

Tinnitus is awful. The constant ringing of the ears is really enough to drive you mad and as of late, there haven’t really been great solutions for solving this terrible problem. New research thinks it may have found the answer in a two-part process published in the Science Translational Medicine journal.

Even though the problem is our ears, it’s not in our ears. The issue, as it turns out, is in our brain. Thanks to some overactive brains cells in the dorsal cochlear nucleus, a part of the brain, signals are being sent that result in the sound sufferers hear. The new process seeks to shock these cells into a reset. That sounds really intense but it’s not.

The process involves a thirty-minute section were patients are first played a sound through a special earphone. Then they are sent light electrical pulses, the electrodes or on the cheek or neck to zap the cells. These two stimuli alternate over the treatment cycle which is done daily. Although it’s still in the testing phases, patients have reported that the sounds they hear have lessened and in some cases, stopped altogether. What a wonderful thing if this turns out to solve the problem for everyone!

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