Sound Therapy Research: Tinnitus

While over 20 years of clinical evidence of the efficacy of Sound Therapy for tinnitus has been collated through case studies, only one large-scale research study has been conducted specifically using the Sound Therapy International program to date (Jordan 1989). Other studies have documented the effect of ultra high frequencies with alleviating tinnitus, including a study published in 2014 (Stillitano et al) that specifically used the Tomatis method.

While the potential for neural plasticity and its role in alleviating tinnitus is well documented (Goldstein 2005; Hanley et al 2008) less is known about the potential for rehabilitation of the middle ear musculature and the cilia. The calming impact of high frequency sound on tinnitus suggests that hair cell regeneration or reactivation could possibly play a role in tinnitus changes observed during sound therapy. (Jastreboff 1993; Goldstein 2005).

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References

Goldstein, B. A., Lenhardt, M.L., Shulman, A. (2005). "Tinnitus Improvement with Ultra-High-Frequency Vibration Therapy." International Tinnitus Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1, 14–22 View online

Sasaki et al., 1980: Gerken et al, 1986: Salvi et al., 1992. cited in Jastreboff, P.J., Hazel, W.P. (1993) "A Neurophysiological approach to Tinnitus: Clinical Implications”. British Journal of Audiology, 27, 7-17.

Jordan

Eric Jordan, Chief Audiometrician at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan, England, undertook a clinical study of the effect of Joudry Sound Therapy tapes on tinnitus sufferers between 1987 and 1989. He conducted double blind tests with 200-300 people who had all been seen by an ENT specialist and told that nothing could be done for their tinnitus.

Jordan reported that 90% of the tinnitus sufferers found that Sound Therapy alleviated their tinnitus to the point that they were able to enjoy life a lot more.

Though not a formal study, this nevertheless constitutes objective, clinical observation of patients using the Sound Therapy International program in their day to day lives by a practitioner interested and experienced in the tinnitus field.

Eric Jordan writes, "what happens with Sound Therapy and tinnitus as far as I can surmise, is that it re-vitalises the brain cells which have been the cause of brain cell hyperactivity. Such hyperactivity is caused by stress, anxiety and depression. Sound Therapy has succeeded where Tinnitus Maskers have failed because it has a soothing effect on the body as a whole, calms the mind and revitalizes the rundown brain cells."

Stillitano et al

A study was conducted at the Tinnitus Center in the European Hospital in Rome, Italy to investigate the effectiveness of the Tomatis method in patients with tinnitus. A young male with chronic tinnitus (but no hearing loss) was selected as the patient.

Prior to the start of the study, the patient, who had had tinnitus for 6 years, had a Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) score of 34 (Grade 2) and the loudness of his tinnitus was 30dB HL.

After 70 hours of listening, his THI decreased to 6 (Grade 1) and the loudness of his tinnitus decreased to 18dB HL.

After 105 hours of listening, his THI had decreased to 2 (Grade 1) and the loudness decreased to 13dB HL.

References

Stillitano, C., Fioretti, A., Cantagallo, M., Eibenstein, A. (2014). "The Effects of the Tomatis Method on Tinnitus." International Journal of Research in Medical and Health Sciences, Vol. 4, No. 2, 24–29
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Recommended Reading

Triumph Over Tinnitus book Triumph Over Tinnitus details natural tinnitus treatments that work, from Sound Therapy and body work through to chemicals to avoid - a must have for every tinnitus sufferer.

Recommended Program

Listening Foundation Program The Listening Foundation Program is the entry-level program all tinnitus sufferers start with. For most, this program is all they need to successfully treat tinnitus.