Tinnitus

Tinnitus can be triggered by many different events

Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing a sound when no external sound is present. People often describe it as a “ringing in the ear” but it varies considerably so others may perceive humming, hissing, clicking or buzzing noises in one or both ears. Tinnitus can also be triggered by a variety of events. While the most common of these are other hearing disorders such as noise-induced hearing loss and age-related hearing loss many people report normal hearing. Instead, their tinnitus may be a result of ear infections, Ménière’s disease, changes to blood vessels, inflammation or even emotional stress.

Tinnitus is one of the most common disorders of the ear

The incidence rate of tinnitus increases with age, over 25% in those over 651. Tinnitus is estimated to affect between 10–15% of adults with an annual cost of over $2 billion in the U.S. alone2. As such, it is one of the most common and distressing otic problems, severely affecting quality of life and even leading to depression.

A growing body of evidence suggests that acute damage to the ear leads to unwanted, compensatory changes in the brain which result in tinnitus. However, the manifold mechanisms which cause tinnitus are still not fully understood and this is one of the main reasons why no treatment has been approved for such a common and debilitating condition. At AudioCure, we are working hard to address this high, unmet clinical need.

References

  1. Kochkin S, Tyler R, Born J. (2011) MarkeTrak VIII: The Prevalence of Tinnitus in the United States and the Self-Reported Efficacy of Various Treatments. Hearing Review, 18 (12):10-26.
  2. Holmes S and Padgham, N (2011) ”Ringing in the ears”: narrative review of tinnitus and its impact. Biological Research for Nursing, 13 (1): 97-108