There are some effective treatments coming on the market using sound devices to manage tinnitus, but new breakthroughs might also lead to medications that could control or even eliminate it.
I dream of one day being able to enjoy silence again!
Drug treatment is now a possibility thanks to researchers at the University of Leicester.
Noise triggers uncontrolled activity in the neurons of the dorsal cochlear in the stem of the brain.
They found malfunctions in potassium channels that help regulate the nerve cell’s electrical activity are thought to stop the neurons from returning to a resting state.
It creates the sensation of constant noise when none exists. It is the first time the activity has been characterised and linked to potassium channels.
Study leader Dr Martine Hamann and her team are investigating drugs that could control damaged cells. They are still in the preliminary stages and any drug treatment could still be years away.
About 5million people suffer from ringing and buzzing in their ears but there are no treatments available.
Famous sufferers include Coldplay’s Chris Martin and guitar legend Eric Clapton and it seems to be caused by exposure to prolonged loud noise.