/blog/a-new-bimodal-neuromodulation-device-that-stimulates-both-the-ear-and-tongue-reduces-the-severity-of-tinnitus-in-patients-for-up-to-a-yearA device that stimulates the ears and tongue substantially to reduce the severity of tinnitus symptoms in 326 patients for as long as 1 year, while achieving high patient satisfaction and adherence is currently undergoing clinical trial to be adopted as a neuromodulation device to stimulate both the ear and tongue of tinnitus patients.
This development is one of the largest clinical trials of a tinnitus treatment to date. The process study indicates the bimodal technique could potentially provide the first effective, clinically viable device for tinnitus, which affects up to 15% of the population.
This irritating auditory disorder manifests when patients perceive phantom noises such as ringing without any external input. Despite its high prevalence and potentially debilitating nature, there are no approved medical devices or drug treatments that can provide relief to patients.
However, recent research in animals has shown that stimulating the auditory nervous system through sounds and electricity improved symptoms.
Based on the research results, Brendan Conlon who pioneered this research used a non-invasive stimulating device, which delivers sound to the ears through headphones and stimulates the tongue with low amounts of electricity. In a randomized trial of 326 patients with different types of tinnitus, the patients were instructed to use the device for 60 minutes daily for 12 weeks.