Cochlear Implants as a Treatment of Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Research News' started by rogi, Feb 5, 2013.

    1. Cochlear implants are not the cure for tinnitus - at least not one that I would want. Besides being extremely expensive, they are invasive and basically destroy your entire cochlea (hair cells and all). The electrodes directly stimulate your cochlear nerve, but do it within a very narrow range of frequencies. They are only for the most profoundly deaf patients, who really have nothing to lose. Worst of all, once they are installed you cannot upgrade the electrode array, so some people only get one done in hopes that better technology will come out later. My collaborator at Northwestern University, Claus Richter, is developing laser technology that stimulates the cochlear nerve with laser light, thereby eliminating the electrical cross-talk between traditional electrode channels. This allows more channels (i.e. a higher range of frequencies) and higher fidelity for each channel. Still working out the kinks and years away from FDA approval. Even so unless you're super deaf, you really shouldn't consider a cochlear implant. Just be patient - the drugs will be here in five years or less.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    2. Champ
      Woot

      Champ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Boston, MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma from headphones
      That's pretty much my take. These cochlear devices seem a little bit different from normal ones and have some sort of tinnitus cancelling capabilities.

      Definitely going to wait it out for the treatments though. My hearing is quite good and I just wanna get rid of the damn BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. Meestijn
      Balanced

      Meestijn Member Benefactor

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      ResonanceCEO,

      First of all, I dunno what it is but your present and answers brings me some much needed belief & relief!
      But still, what does convince you that there will be a drug in 5 years or less?

      If that drugs becomes available we have to wait another 5 year, because the waiting line is tooooo long ;)
       
    4. Look at Auris Medical. AM-101 is in stage 3 clinical trials, which means they're going to market in the next few years unless something goes horribly wrong. Also keep your eyes on Otonomy (very strong team which is going to move along very quickly) and Sound Pharmaceuticals (which has been around since 2001 and has 2 drug in clinical trials). Hearing therapy is finally starting to mature. There has been so much innovation in the 6 years that I've been working on the problem, that there is no way that a solution isn't just around the corner. Its the drug regulation approval that is going to be the most difficult.
       
      • Like Like x 6
    5. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Chris -
      This is major news! Have you contacted the Veterans Administration? I had read that they are developing ways to administer a drug through the cochlea.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    6. Yes have connections in the US armed forces. They are interested in local drug delivery.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    7. Owch

      Owch Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Please, please let this be true!
       
    8. Bhavin

      Bhavin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6 weeks
      Is T cause of stress or anxiety can be cure by ginkgo biloba ?
       
    9. t-man
      Suicidal

      t-man Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      You can try it.
       
    10. Ginko probably isn't bad for you, but its not a cure by any stretch of the imagination. Eat right, lower your stress levels, work up regularly, cut down on caffeine and alcohol, and do not smoke. It takes discipline to beat this. There is no magic cure. If you do things that are good for you your tinnitus and HL will progress more slowly and might even start to get better.
       
    11. Erlend
      Question it

      Erlend Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Scandinavia
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2013
      I developed hyperacusis after three months or so of tinnitus, and intense focus on my ears.
      This can get better right? I think my ears are just very tense and my whole nervous system very on "alert" if that makes sense. Do you know anything about that? I also have middle ear myoclonus and TTTS
       
    12. Yes that does make sense. I want to ask you some questions about this. I'll message you directly.
       
    13. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Chris, I have a question. How do you know that your technology will be useful. I mean what if the cure is in a pill form. Also, do you really feel so strongly that there will be a good treatment in the near future that you are already developing a delivery system? I mean what if no drug gets approved...
      There is an old Russian proverb: Don't make plans to skin the bear before you kill it.
       
    14. Champ
      Woot

      Champ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Boston, MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma from headphones
      I'm sure he will have a more detailed answer than me, but my take on it is this:

      The dude is an entrepreneur and a good entrepreneur is going to know his market before he releases his product. Based on the volumes of valid information he's displaying, he obviously has done his research. Based on what I have read, many of the up-and-coming treatments are targeting the inner ear, but lack a safe and financially viable way of administering the drugs. We can't expect doctors to all get that syringe directly in the ear safely...
       
    15. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Aha! I understand. Thanks for the explanation.
      I was just being curious and of course I am overjoyed that an entrepreneur is developing this - a very good sign of good things to come.

      Danny
       
      • Like Like x 1
    16. Meestijn
      Balanced

      Meestijn Member Benefactor

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
    17. 2014winner
      Inspired

      2014winner Member

      Location:
      upstate New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      otitis media with permanent hearing loss
      There is hope for us.
       
    18. 2014winner
      Inspired

      2014winner Member

      Location:
      upstate New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      otitis media with permanent hearing loss
      Hi Resonance CEO,

      What drug possibilities are out there for us that are going to happen in the next five years?
      I have had Dexmethasone injected intratypmpanically, and whereas this may help, I still have the variouses pitches which affect my ability to concentrate ( as you would know, also).
      I am in my late fifties, and have had tinnitus for years. I have considered studying lipreading and learning sign language.
      Any resonse will be appreciated.

      Thank you
       
    19. RicoS
      Alienated

      RicoS Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress or Acoustic trauma
      This week it is Tinnitus Awareness Week in The Netherlands
      The articles below are in Dutch but perhaps you can translate them with Google translate or something.
      What it also says is that they did a surgery with an implant with 10 deaf peolpe with Tinnitus and the cure rate was 100%. Bad thing is that it costs EUR 50.000,-

      I know a guy in the United States who also had Tinnitus en Meneirre and also had this implant and was also cured of both. His T was very loud and he says he doesn't hear a thing anymore.

      http://www.trouw.nl/tr/nl/4516/Gezo.../01/Waarom-oorsuizen-gekmakend-kan-zijn.dhtml

      http://www.nvvs.nl/Pages/nl-NL/Tinnitus/Week-van-het-Oorsuizen

      Although T doesn't bother me that much anymore so I would not pay 50.000 to cure it , but the article also says that it's hard to get it covered by the insurrance. Why are T masking devices covered and things that can cure it are not? (that is what the article says)

      I know this cure cannot be for all T ....I guess, but it is taken very seriously at the moment because 1 million people in the Netherlands have T out of 16.7 million.

      I think it's a good thing that they do these type of things because like the article says.... doctor don't always know how bad it is if they do not have it so they just say.....you have to live with it.

      Even my own doctor said that he looked more in T after I was with him a number of times. People who do not have it just cannot imagine a sound that is there 24/7

      Hope this give people a bit of hope that there are people who care.

      On friday feb 6th there is a big meeting in Groningen (The Netherlands) people can sign up and go there and ask questions to specialists and they also give speeches to the public.

      Just put it through Google Translate and it is very readable.
      Here is a part of it


      Hearing damage
      is more difficult the diagnosis in relation to anxiety or depression experienced by many patients."Tinnitus is certainly not a case of an ear alone," emphasizes Hollyhock. "It's a problem that you have to approach it from different disciplines, eg GP, ENT specialist, a psychologist and sometimes a psychiatrist." The primary cause of the tinnitus is been quite a ear problem. It could be that someone has ever suffered a hearing loss. In many cases, tinnitus go along with deafness. " For most patients with tinnitus is "learning to live" the best cure. At the same time find Hollyhock that as a scholar a very unsatisfactory solution. "You want to know where it is going wrong and what you can do it. "An important clue was the researcher from the treatment of deaf people using what is called a cochlear implant. It is set a hearing device at the ear, that sounds into an electrical signal, via a wire through the skull directly is transmitted to the auditory nerve to the brains. "Most deaf people who suffer from tinnitus indicate that after placing such implant disappears tinnitus. Then we have in ten subjects severe tinnitus also had placed such an implant. With 100 percent success. But those were only ten patients. For a thorough research you need more patients and thus much more money. "
       
      • Creative Creative x 1
    20. NiNyu

      NiNyu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma? stress?
      Most of you probably know about cochlea implants (CI) and that they can cause T but also cure it. Down side, bad audio quality, expensive and thus only reasonable for deaf people.

      Now my question, could a modified CI that's directly connected to the cochlea nerve mitigate/cure T ?
      I mean, if we electronically stimulated the cochlea nerve would it affect T ?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    21. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Founder Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      • Informative Informative x 1
    22. NiNyu

      NiNyu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma? stress?
      This is from 2013 and they might have results in 2018. :( But I want answers now!
       
    23. kasart
      No Mood

      kasart Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Specific things.
      I had moderate tinnitus, hyperacusis & head pressure prior a CI & now have lost everything - my hearing, my life with 20x worse 24 hr tinnitus that has me bedridden much of the day, all because an Oto-neuro. told me I had no other option but a CI for my debilitating symptoms. (He wrote to insurance company that it was for "hearing-loss" which was NEVER discussed). Insurance companies will not pay 100k for an invasive CI surgery for tinnitus, why? because there's no true data or FDA approval for it. The exception of a few abstracts from surgeons/researchers using their own few patients for publications, which has the public misinformed thinking it applies to ALL patients who were implanted.
      Cochlear Implants is NOT for tinnitus. Publications/ "Abstracts" are created to get GRANTS for hospitals, and doctors. In return, CI corporations get MORE patients without any regulations to aid in monitoring or help patients who need assistance - it's all left up to the doctors to decide. This is WRONG.
      If you contact ANY cochlear implant corp. and ask for any complete data of ALL patients they sold their devices to, whose tinnitus were suppressed, they will not provide it but throw out a percentage or tell you to look online.
      Good Luck.
      Do you believe every website or sales pitch you read? Even Drs have elaborate websites...this does not mean it's true. It's all a marketing ploy for more money. Children are not able to inform people how they feel or hear, especially with no language except through physical cues. If they don't work - teachers are usually blamed for it. Teachers are NOT speech therapists or do CI rehab. There's no data on this either. There are deaf people with MA-PhD degrees who have requested this information directly from the cochlear implant companies for transparency on all information to educate patients and parents before making this big decision, and there's NONE. Only pamphlets and happy-go lucky videotapes of a few patients. They don't even have prerequisites for "candidacy" requirements as they left it ALL up to the Doctors to decide for the patients/children. Companies/hospitals profit more this way.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 2
      • Agree Agree x 1
    24. NiNyu

      NiNyu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma? stress?
      So then there's all hope lost for electrical stimulation of the cochlea nerve. Last resort, auditory cortex destruction? Lobotomy/HIFU (if that is real)?

      @kasart , would you consider an auditory cortex destruction? (I presume you're having T only on one side like me)
       
    25. Raindance74
      Yeehaw

      Raindance74 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2010
      Why don't they just take a real cochlea from a human donor and install that? They could give you a drug so that your body doesn't try and reject the organ.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Creative Creative x 1
    26. James P

      James P Member

      Location:
      Halifax, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma (Club)
      I thought about that for a while a few weeks ago and realized it just won't work or be worthwhile pursuing.

      First the complexity of the nerve hookups is mind-boggling. I don't think it can ever be connected on such a small scale properly. It isn't done for the same reason amputees aren't getting limb transplants, or people missing eyes eye transplants.

      Also transplants are reserved for life and death situations, the surgery and life-long rejection risks aren't worth it otherwise.

      Would be really nice if it could happen, but I think there's a better chance of using stem cell or drugs to induce inner ear regeneration.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    27. Brianna
      No Mood

      Brianna Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US, NC (the progressive part :) )!
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No clue - too many causes.
      Yes! Thanks for writing this. I looked through the thread to see if the fallacy of the article was addressed. I have a bi-lateral (both ears) profound loss ("super deaf"). Seeing the article (thanks OP for the work you put into translating it) made me a bit fearful that people would think it's the answer to tinnitus relief. That is not why people get implants and ethical doctors would never consider allowing it ... but they aren't all ethical.

      One of the side-effects of the CI can be tinnitus (makes sense because it's killing the celia through surgery that carries sound through fluid to your brain). I had tinnitus and I was deaf. I figured I had little to lose by getting an implant and I met the criteria. It may help deaf people because it allows the processing of sound that "we" can't hear. It's a double-whammy and absolutely no one who can hear should consider it. I understand the purpose of the article but even suggesting an implant is nuts.

      There are devices that look like a hearing aid that have the ability to produce masking noise. Also some digital aids IF you have a hearing loss and need an aid, you could consider trying one with the ability to put it on a masking setting during the trial period.
       
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      • Informative Informative x 1
    28. kasart
      No Mood

      kasart Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Specific things.
      NewsFlash: There is no "Candidacy" requirement by FDA in USA. It's "Up to the Doctor to decide", quotes Cochlear Nucleus company. Therefore, modifications can be done to have one FAIL their audiology "Word Test" to make you a candidate! Ta-dah! Children, if parents are seriously involved, will make sure their child receive a full "work-up", and if fortunate, will also have a "Team" to assist post-op (pay attention)for possible "SOUND" outcome success from 1% to 70%. In a FEW, Drs. realized it -could- suppress tinnitus, but it's not created for it and insurance will NOT insure a 100k CI for -Tinnitus-. Therefore, surgeons (who have "full control") write down reason? Hearing loss.
      Cochlear Implant companies will attempt to remove any negative or questionable info. from patients who had poor outcomes and will only publish positive ones. Example - Moi. OUTCOME: Moderate-severe hearing-loss to NOTHING, but debilitating 24 hr tinnitus. It's so excruciating unbearable - I cannot tell you how many times the wish to return of previous "occasional" softer tinnitus. I put my trust to an Otoneuro's. words, who told me I had no other option. After 4 yrs of pain - I was desperate. As I was an adult, I did not require a "work-up" that children do - regardless that I had no prior tests done to rule out other medical conditions. All it required to meet the criteria was an audiologist to verbally say words fast to fail and put it on paper for insurance. That's IT.
      There are no prerequisites, except to fail the word test and for a surgeon to decide. No monitoring from FDA. "Abstracts" are published by surgeons who receive grants and are often sponsored by Cochlear companies who write only about the patients they had, not data from the general public who were implanted. Babies/children cannot express language to validate this claim. INVALID.
      Guess who owns the "new" tinnitus device(s), they want to market- specifically focused on baby-boomers? $$$$$
      GUESS who implants them? Otoneuro. surgeons who do cochlear implants = Grants, Conferences, Awards $$$$
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    29. kasart
      No Mood

      kasart Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Specific things.
      I need input from others regarding the cochlear implant (CI) I had for my then *whooshing* with heartbeat tinnitus after a head concussion. I am now deafened with much worse tinnitus 24 hrs a day which evolved to vibratory sounds like constant pulsing roar of fluids. Occasional *gloomp/tics* pops now and then if I try to talk or do any walking. Head pressure increases like an inflated balloon. Dizzy with any bone cond. sounds like talking or eating (eyes move).

      Pre-OP diagnosis from a T otoneuro. was "Hyperacusis" & "Migraine associated vertigo". However, I did not have issues with noise and was very involved in music and was only affected by specific tones only. I had migraines but no vertigo - only when I took Imitrex or Relpax medication for it. I also had a series of respiratory viruses and shingles prior to CI. The tinnitus was the most bothersome which was why I went to this "top" T Dr. and was told a CI was my "only option".
      It was later after waking from surgery, in not being able to function. I realized I had no thorough inner-ear images (MRI) or tests done to see what may be causing the T. I had one large scan of -brain- which was "normal" and a basic ear test called "Calorics" that made me very ill (rotating vertigo) for 2 days. I was not familiar with tests that were available back then & learning of them now.

      Cannot use the CI as it further exacerbates the T and triggers neurological symptoms when turned on. The clarity I had with a hearing-aid PRE-op is gone. My pain continues to be T but now includes deafness.
      I had Vemp tests POST-op which were all abnormal atypical to fistulae symptoms. I still had no MRIs done, but a Neuro. suspects now a CSF leak from the head concussion and wants to do a brain CT. She said "I'm not going to fix your hearing" when I asked if she could also assess my inner-ear. I am not asking to FIX my hearing, but at least the attempt to look, which may be the cause to my T and ear pressure all along, if she suspects a CSF.

      After research, I read CSF leaks, when entwined with perilymph fluid within the inner ear can worsen issues = many of the symptoms I have. However, it requires specific imaging of the inner ear/fluids and work up to see this, not a -brain- CT. One Dr. suggest to just take out the whole CI and "plug it up". This can worsen my issues.
      I am not familiar w/ work-up regarding CSF, perilymph fluids and fistulas.
      Anyone knowledgeable in this, to help me with suggestions what to do - PLEASE?
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    30. undecided
      Fine

      undecided Member

      Location:
      Greece
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown.
      Can't you remove the damn thing? Apparently, it has made your quality of life a lot worse.
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1

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