By Andrew Liszewski
As far as I know there’s no real cure for Tinnitus, but a company called Neuromonics claims to have created an effective treatment that will reduce the symptoms almost immediately and provide some level of long-term relief. At the core of the treatment is the Oasis audio device which plays specifically designed music that’s embedded with a “pleasant acoustic neural stimulus.” These sounds, which are customized for every patient based on their audiological profile, stimulate the auditory pathway to promote neural plastic changes. And over time it’s these new connections that help the brain filter out the tinnitus disturbance. So as far as I can tell the process doesn’t cure the problem, it just trains your brain to ignore it.
The treatments usually last for 6 months, and during the first 2 months you’ll need to listen to the device for about 2 hours or longer every day. During the last 4 months that duration will gradually decrease, and once the treatment is over you may never need to use it again depending on your results. The Oasis device isn’t FDA approved since it’s basically just an audio player, but you will need to be referred by your doctor in order to receive the treatments. And if it’s not covered by your health insurance you’ll need to fork out between $3,500 to $6,000 for the treatments.
If you’re curious what Tinnitus sounds like you can actually listen to some samples on the Neuromonics website. However I recommend turning down your speakers or headphones, as I’m sure listening to the samples at full volume didn’t help my hearing at all.