Bethlehem, PA (PRWEB) May 18, 2011
For anyone who hasn’t heard, it’s Tinnitus Awareness Week – and with the observance come results of the first meta-analysis of available tinnitus treatments showing truly effective results for sufferers of the condition.
More than 50 million people in the United States alone suffer from tinnitus, the condition described as a ringing in the ears, or experience of hearing sounds when no external sounds exist. Often brought on by exposure to loud noise, the problem is especially significant in the military, with more than 34 percent of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from the condition.
As the demand for a consensus on tinnitus treatments increases, confusion in the efficacy of available treatments abounds, says Rick Giancola, CEO of Neuromonics, Inc. “The market is full of treatment alternatives and claims, but with little real evidence of results,” he explains. “In addition, many studies of tinnitus treatments have been of poor quality, making it hard for tinnitus sufferers as well as audiology professionals to determine the best course of action.”
First “big-picture” view on tinnitus treatments
Now, the meta-analysis provides the first “big-picture perspective” on tinnitus treatments, says Giancola. A meta-analysis, he explains, combines the results of several studies that address a set of related research hypotheses. By evaluating the relative effectiveness of different treatment options by using means and pooled standard deviations, the analysis can determine how significant results of each could be for the patient.
Because many studies fail to produce statistically significant results – especially those with small sample sizes – major clinical results are often overlooked. Conversely, some larger studies have statistically significant results, but they may not be noticeable enough to a patient to be classified as a clinically significant change. A meta-analysis compensates for these limitations, and provides objective comparison between individual studies and treatments.
Most effective treatments
Conducted by Shinelle Moruf, B.S., at the University of Colorado, and Paul B. Davis, Ph.D., serving as associate professor of audiology at Nova Southeastern University (Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Fla.), the tinnitus meta-analysis shows that treatments simultaneously addressing the audiological, psychological, and neurological components of the condition produce the greatest results.
In particular, two treatments – the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment (NTT) and Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) – produced the most robust results. TRT’s duration of treatment is notably longer than NTT’s, however. Results of recent studies by Neuromonics show that patients using the NTT respond within two months, and improve at all time periods over the first 12 months.
The analysis also shows that pharmaceutical treatments yielded low effect sizes, and combination device hearing aids yielded only mild or moderate results. Davis, who recently presented results of the meta-analysis at the International Tinnitus Seminar in Florianopolis, Brazil, comments that despite the prolific recommendations and fitting of hearing aids to tinnitus sufferers, the aids are not nearly as consistently effective as either NTT or TRT.
“We are pleased to see that this groundbreaking meta-analysis confirms just how effective the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment is,” says Giancola. “With meta-analysis results in hand, Tinnitus Awareness Week really is a time to celebrate this year. Tinnitus sufferers can feel true confidence in the availability of treatments to manage and treat their condition.”
Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment (NTT)
The NTT works with a non-invasive, compact, lightweight device that uses music – programmed for each patient’s individual audiological profile – to deliver a neural stimulus that targets the brain’s auditory pathways. Clinically administered and monitored, the treatment targets the neurological processes of tinnitus – specifically its audiological, attention-based and emotional aspects.
The NTT is believed to aid in neuroplasticity, the process of neuronal change. The treatment delivers a customized neural stimulus that targets the brain’s auditory pathways, and is believed to result in neuroplastic changes that dramatically mitigate patient’s disturbance from their tinnitus.
The NTT typically occurs over an approximately six-month period, with daily use recommended for two or more hours per day. Research published in the April 2007 issue of Ear & Hearing demonstrates that the treatment yields clinically significant reduction in tinnitus disturbance for more than 90 percent of suitable patients in a formal clinical trial setting.
Neuromonics, Inc. (http://www.neuromonics.com)
Neuromonics, Inc., manufactures and distributes the only FDA-cleared, patented and clinically proven medical device designed for long-term significant relief of tinnitus. With research and development beginning in the early 1990s, the Neuromonics tinnitus treatment has helped thousands of tinnitus sufferers improve their quality of life and overcome the daily life challenges associated with tinnitus. Neuromonics is based in Bethlehem, Pa.