Listen up! Researchers at UC-Irvine have found a means of temporary relief from tinnitus, that chronic, high-pitched ringing in the ears of rock musicians and their loved ones. The key? Looooooooooow, deep tones:
Fan-Gang Zeng and colleagues have identified an effective way to treat the symptoms of tinnitus, a form of hearing damage typically marked by high-pitched ringing that torments more than 60 million Americans. A low-pitched sound, the researchers discovered, applied by a simple MP3 player suppressed and provided temporary relief from the high-pitch ringing tone associated with the disorder.
…After making many adjustments, the researchers created a low-pitched, pulsing sound – described as a “calming, pleasant tone” of 40 to 100 hertz of frequency – which, when applied to the patient through a regular MP3 player, suppressed the high-pitched ringing after about 90 seconds and provided what the patient described as a high-level of continued relief.
It won’t be long before we have a tinnitus podcast, and prescription-strength iPods…
More from Dr. Fan-Gang Zeng’s laboratory page (including online hearing tests…)