To treat chronic ear noise, various approaches to acoustic stimulation have been developed. These use sounds and noises in an attempt to restore the normal activity of the hearing system and the brain. In our approach, individual acoustic stimulations are generated after the type and frequency of tinnitus is determined. These stimulations, can lead not only to active suppression of the tinnitus percept but also to beneficial neuroplastic changes in the brain over both the short and long-term. A first study has confirmed that our specific approach with amplitude- and frequency-modulated sounds can lead to an efficient and persistent suppression of ear noise in corresponding tinnitus subtypes. We are now working on adapting these acoustic stimulations for long-term therapy and mobile use, as well as aesthetically optimizing the sounds presented.
Transcranial Electric Stimulation
In addition to acoustic stimulation and neurofeedback, active brain stimulation (neuromodulation) at the scalp surface is proposed as a third, effective method to alleviate chronic ear noise. A considerable number of studies have already been carried out using various approaches to transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial electrical stimulation (using mild, barely perceptible and harmless currents) with varying and sometimes contradictory results. The success of the treatment seems to be strongly dependent on the selected tinnitus subtypes as well as the stimulation protocols and installations. In an ongoing study, we are therefore testing the efficacy of an innovative protocol based on an established tinnitus network model of the brain. Through this, we expect to be able to reduce the progressive chronification of ear noise in people who have not yet been suffering with tinnitus for an extended period.