Monday, February 10, 2014

Transcranial magnetic stimulation for tinnitus

I have tinnitus. I have had it for 20 years already, but it really got a lot worse almost exactly six years ago.

Recently my local university hospital contacted me and offered me a possibility to take a part in their new study about using "repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation" (rTMS) for alleviating my tinnitus symptoms.

Sadly, I had to refuse from the offer. I refused because I have found a state of mind where my tinnitus does not bother me too much, or sometimes not at all. During the study I should have kept a diary about my tinnitus sounds and levels, and my fear was that the constant "listening" to my tinnitus, would have made me more aware of my tinnitus and thus completely ruin my progress in my habituation.

I contacted the study assistant and explained my situation to him and he said my choice was probably best for me. Also my current tinnitus intensity level is somewhere around "4", maybe a little less, and the study participants must have the tinnitus intensity level at least 4.

Still, as I was interested in the study, I asked from the assistant that if the treatment really works. His answer really made me happy, he said: "Sure, it works."

The assistant told me, that if I someday feel that my tinnitus is getting too loud and I am not coping with it, I could always come by to take a treatment. Just the thought of having my tinnitus sound diminished even a little bit gives me hope and relief.

You can see more details about this rTMS study from

I have seen the news about rTMS not working on patients or working only as good as placebo treatment, for example

But looking at the results of this prior study, the tinnitus intensity and also the annoyance levels were reduced using rTMS, link to the pdf: link (see page 20 for results, only in Finnish, sorry).

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