Tinnitus is a sensation or ringing in the ears. It’s a common problem to all and it affects 1 in every 5 people. Tinnitus is not a disorder itself, but a symptom of a more serious health condition like ear injury, circulatory system disorder or hearing loss.
Symptoms of tinnitus are often associated with ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking or hissing. For many suffering from this condition, it makes their lives bothersome. Treatment methods for tinnitus often mask the noise or lessen the sensation to make it less noticeable.
TMS as a Possible Way to Cure Tinnitus
Transcranial magnetic stimulation proved as a potential alternative treatment for tinnitus. It induces electrical stimulation of cortical neutrons and it focused magnetic field over the surface of the brain. The magnetic pulses are delivered repeated and a process called repetitive TMS. The low frequency of r TMS shown to alleviate tinnitus perception and it will inhibit the cortical activity in the tinnitus. Its effectiveness of neuro navigated and its effects on the patients with chronic tinnitus using this method of treatment employing an optimization technique in the laboratory.
How TMS Can Help
One particular placebo-controlled study shows how TMS can effectively treat tinnitus. The magnetic field as in microseconds relatively weak and diminishes with distance from the coil. The pulse waves can be delivered at low frequencies that tend to decrease or increase neural activity under the coil. This aim the direct the stimulation of the superficial cortex in a deeper brain structure and its structure in the opposite cerebral hemisphere may be affected by TMS through connecting neural pathways.
Several studies also show how TMS can treat tinnitus patients using low-frequency magnetic pulses applied in the temporal lobe. The session usually lasts for about 30 minutes once a day for 3 to 10 consecutive days.
Some use functional imaging with neuronavigation for choosing the place of treatment based on asymmetrical cortical activation. It targets the left superior temporal lobe in all cases or the other side for the tinnitus. The targeting technique is beneficial for the results that obtained 50% of patients who receive this cure. The effects have been reported to persist 6 months in some other cases and most treatments have demonstrated tinnitus suppression effects last only a few days to a few weeks depending on the response of the patients.
There are several studies showing that tinnitus disorder may have been proposed in a spontaneous otoacoustic emission, thalamocortical dysthymia and maladaptive cortical reorganization due to peripheral injury.
How TMS Works
The repetitive TMS induces electrical stimulation of cortical neurons facing the magnetic pulses in the surface of the brain through a stimulating coil. The usefulness of TMS treatment depends on the materials, physiologic and anatomic variables and stimulating parameters. Health care professionals meticulously calculate the intensity, frequency, duration and time in each session to efficiently directing the excitation of the inhibitory neuron.
Immediate results of TMS treatments depend on the frequency and inhibitory effects on the cortex. The motor cortex shows low-frequency stimulation to gives excitement intermediate effects, and its long duration did monthly. The less duration of the neurobiological mechanisms is involved the low frequency is given in the temporal cortex commonly treat the tinnitus.
This low frequency is applied over the parts to reduce tinnitus by inhibiting activity under the stimulating coil. The imaging techniques will navigate the stimulating coil over the parts within the temporal cortex that will increase metabolic activity. The rational give rise to empirical observations. The treatment of tinnitus used in the combinations of increase and decrease frequency stimulation that goes in the frontal and temporal cortex. The burst frequency will be applied to the cured of tinnitus patients and the burst frequency also applied in the tinnitus patients that may activate brain cell neurons more actively.
A single treatment of this procedure tends to reduce tinnitus disorder for a short period of time. However, treatment efficiency also improves the more a patient undergoes TMS treatment. All the tinnitus patients who undergo TMS treatment show an improved response in the 3 days session of therapy. TMS may provide an effective treatment in normalizing the oscillatory activity or altering the balance activity in brain system that is connected to auditory areas.
A good number of people in the world hear sounds they shouldn’t be hearing. No, it’s nothing close to the supernatural. These people hear ringing or random sounds when there’s nothing that’s causing the noise around them.
This condition is called “Tinnitus” and it has a lot of causes. It could be due to serious issues such as brain damage and infection in the ear or could be as simple as a piece of dirt or ear wax lodged in your eardrum.
Though the causes can be identified, the mechanics behind Tinnitus is yet to be fully understood. There are cases where even if they managed to deal with the cause, the patient still hears random noises. This makes Tinnitus a symptom, rather than a condition on its own. Like a fever, you can treat it, but if you don’t deal with the actual problem, it will just keep coming back.
The most common cause of tinnitus is constant exposure to loud sound. Examples of these are constant exposure to construction noises or explosions. Construction workers and people who serve the military may be at risk of this. The cure is often to decrease the person’s exposure to loud noises. But, it doesn’t work for some people. Some people live with tinnitus for years. This can cause depression, anxiety, and concentration issues all their life.
Advancement in medical science have found a way to treat patients with long-term tinnitus. This process is through the simple use of electromagnets. The procedure is called “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.”
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treatment for Tinnitus: How does it work?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS, can be described as using a pair of electromagnets to stimulate certain parts of your brain using electromagnetism. It sounds simple, but that’s what makes it amazing. This procedure has little side-effects and shows direct results in treating Tinnitus.
During TMS therapy, the patient is sat comfortably in a chair and an operator will aim a number 8 shaped electromagnet an inch or two above the scalp. A machine connected to the electromagnet will deliver precise amounts of electricity. This causes the magnets to deliver pulses of electromagnetism.
The first step is to get you a physical and psychological exam. This is to ensure that you won’t have complications during the procedure and to understand your depression. When the physical exam checks out and the psychological evaluation is complete, you’ll be taken to the TMS clinic.
During the process, they will first “map out” the areas of your brain by activating the coil on certain areas of your head. You may feel a slight ticking in your scalp and your muscles may flinch, which is perfectly normal. When the doctor or operator has determined the right position, the machine will continue to send pulses to that specific part of the brain. I some cases, you may not feel any tapping or clicking sounds, but rest assured that the machine is doing its job.
After about 30-60 minutes of deep brain stimulation, the procedure ends for the day. Patients are highly encouraged to complete the entire procedure, lasting about 4-6 weeks to ensure that you get the best results.
Tinnitus is a condition where a person hears noises in their ears or in their head without any external sources. Sometimes it’s buzzing sounds, ringing, or in some severe cases, deafening explosions. This is not a disease but a symptom of either ear damage or brain damage. It can be caused by many diseases. This can range from tumors, damage to the delicate bones of the ear, or constant exposure to loud sounds.
Though there are extensive studies about the cause and mechanisms behind tinnitus, the condition is still not fully understood. The sounds tinnitus patients hear is not something their minds made up, but a “mimicry” of signals that make the brain register it as a sound. From here we know that both the ear and the brain are affected when we encounter tinnitus, but how is it treated?
One of the ways it is solved is to treat the source. It could be an injury, an infection, or a tumor that must be removed. In some cases, unfortunately, even if the source of tinnitus is treated, the symptom remains. To treat the symptom, there’s Cognitive Behavior Therapy. This procedure “trains” you to focus your mind away from the noise. Another method is Therapeutic Noise Generation where you’re subjected to a mix of sounds. This is to train your brain into focusing on the external noise rather than the internal sounds.
Advances in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treatment is also showing success in treating Tinnitus. So, what is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
To put simply, an electromagnet is placed on your head. This is connected to a machine that pulses magnetic waves. It also controls the frequency of electromagnetism to pass through your brain with precision. The electromagnetic pulses activate certain brain cells, essentially “massaging” the brain into working in a specific way. In general, the effect focuses on restoring normal brain function, making parts that don’t work right, work properly.
The process is harmless, with most of the side-effects attributed to motion sickness and minor deafness. It has shown remarkable results in treating severe depression, migraines, and shows potential in treating Asperger’s syndrome. So far, the Food and Drug Administration has approved using TMS to treat depression. The successes of clinical trials also suggest that more TMS treatments will be approved soon.
TMS for Tinnitus
According to clinical studies and trials, TMS offers significant relief to people suffering from tinnitus for at least a year. The treatment allowed continuous relief for up to six months. Some of these patients were people who have not found any other treatment that worked for their condition for more than 20 years. With TMS, they suddenly found themselves temporarily free of the noise. There’s not yet conclusive data about permanent treatment, but the fact that it works for patients who have tried all other conventional methods means further development of TMS as a tinnitus treatment is promising.
TMS is not a new. It has been in practice since the early 1990s, but the implications and effects are surprising for conditions beyond only using TMS to treat mental illness. It will only get better and it’s only a matter of time.