For those suffering from tinnitus–the perception of noise or buzzing in the ears–a new form of therapy may offer relief from this annoying phenomena. Signia, a hearing aid manufacturer (formerly known as Siemens), has introduced a feature known as notch therapy. This particular therapy is meant to combat tonal tinnitus, the most common form of tinnitus in which the person hears a pure tone sound such as whistling, ringing or humming.
How Notch Therapy Works
Most other forms of tinnitus therapy rely on the presentation of other noises or sound in order to lessen the effects of the tinnitus. While this is often an effective management solution, it does not generally treat the underlying cause of the tinnitus. The use of spectral notching is able to suppress the tinnitus at its neurological source.
The hearing care professional uses this form of spectral notching by programming the hearing devices to carve out the amplification centered at the pitch of the tinnitus. This way, the hearing aid allows for enhancing environmental and speech sounds while at the same time specifically targeting the tinnitus sound. Over time the notching of this pitch encourages an inhibitory response of the system responsible for creating the tinnitus.
Research has shown that compared to patients that only utilized amplification, the patients treated with Notch therapy reported a clear improvement in their tinnitus in as little as three weeks. The study also noted the benefits of this therapy lasted at least 6 months and beyond.
In combination with other sound therapies including amplification, music and other therapy signals such as ocean sound, white noise or nature sounds programmed in the hearing aid, the patient has an arsenal of effective solutions to lessen the negative effects of the tinnitus.
The audiologists at Michigan Hearing Experts are trained in Notch therapy as well as a variety of other methods to manage tinnitus. Call our office at 616-994-2770 to schedule an appointment to determine the best options for treatment.