Non-Invasive Do-It-Yourself Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Discussion in 'Alternative Treatments and Research' started by thesaint, Feb 12, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. thesaint
      Confused

      thesaint Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      high pitched fans
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    2. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      Thanks @thesaint, it is indeed interesting. There are simpler ways to make the tone though, eg. via this page or similar ones:

      http://www.audionotch.com/app/tune/

      Just set the frequency on the slider and play / stop as needed. No need to download Reaper and mess around with synths (although that might be fun!)

      I was a little unsure about the method of vagus nerve stimulation - will have to look into this a bit further and have a try when the house is quiet.

      Cheers!
       
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    3. labrat10687

      labrat10687 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      thesaint, Very interesting! Many thanks for posting this.
       
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    4. Janet Dalton

      Janet Dalton Member

      Location:
      Tellico Plains, TN
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      who knows
      am I alone or is this audionotch expensive?
       
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    5. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      depends on what you consider "expensive"; if you get a $40 trial subscription then you can have 2 months to make and download as many notched tracks as you want. $40 does not seem that expensive to me, as far as software-as-a-web-service goes. Yes you can do the same thing with Audacity for free, but it's significantly more effort...
       
    6. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      You do not have to buy it though if you want to just use the tone generator for this VNS experiment.
       
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    7. Rube
      Fine

      Rube Member Benefactor

      Location:
      U.S.A
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      This is also an iPad / iPhone app which can help you identify your t frequency and also notch your music, it's called
      tinnitus pro : music therapy. $10 from the App Store
       
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    8. NiNyu

      NiNyu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma? stress?
      Snake oil. What sense does it make to match your T frequence if you can't hear it with your injured ear anyway? Moreover, what if you have lost several frequencies?
       
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    9. Christian78
      Alone

      Christian78 Member

      Location:
      Gothenburg
      Tinnitus Since:
      (Sep 2013)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      progressive tinnitus, time of expiring in next 3-6 months
      other ear function too! you dont have to hear it on demaged ear
       
    10. NiNyu

      NiNyu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma? stress?
      @Christian78 fair so I hear it on my healthy ear, which spikes my T due to H. Bottom line, I can just shower and have the very same effect.
       
    11. Christian78
      Alone

      Christian78 Member

      Location:
      Gothenburg
      Tinnitus Since:
      (Sep 2013)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      progressive tinnitus, time of expiring in next 3-6 months

      maybe you will have to use keppra/keppla for H, and aparatus for tinnitus.... dear, i really dont know why do we live with so many deaseases and why god is doing this to us
       
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    12. Silvio Sabo
      Pooptoast

      Silvio Sabo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Gothenburg, Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise - I think
      This is bogus. The guy on the video has clearly misunderstood the VNS studies. You are not supposed to listen to the sound with the frequency corresponding to the sound of your tinnitus. You are supposed to listen to sounds with frequencies NOT matching your tinnitus at the same time as your Vagus Nerve is being stimulated.

      I posted an explanation of this in the comments of the video.
       
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    13. SteveO

      SteveO Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2004
      Correct silvio. Fyi from vagus nerve patent details:

      The pairing as it relates to tinnitus is notably unique. We are not pairing just random sounds. We are not doing some kind of auditory training or improving perception of one sound over another. The key is that we are deliberately pairing the non-tinnitus frequency. The reason is that pairing the non-tinnitus frequency results in a decrease in the area of the brain responding to the tinnitus frequency and decrease the synchronous firing of neurons. By reducing the response to the tinnitus frequency and decreasing synchrony, we are able to reduce tinnitus symptoms. No one has before shown that the symptoms of tinnitus can be improved by excluding specific sounds and including specific sounds. A drug cannot work selectively in this way, nor can cortical stimulation. VNS has the specificity to do this.
       
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    14. SteveO

      SteveO Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2004
      US20150051659 Methods, systems, and devices for treating tinnitus with vns pairing
      02/19/2015 US20150051658 Methods, systems, and devices for treating tinnitus with vns pairing
      02/19/2015 US20150051657 Methods, systems, and devices for treating tinnitus with vns pairing
      02/19/2015 US20150051656 Methods, systems, and devices for treating tinnitus with vns pairing
      02/19/2015 US20150051655 Methods, systems, and devices for treating tinnitus with vns pairing

      Recent Feburary patents with some good details. Inc the ranges needed. Then we just need voltage into nerves or magic mushrooms / lsd. Something to trigger brain wiring.
       
    15. Champ
      Woot

      Champ Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Boston, MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma from headphones
      I believe the guy in the video is wrong, from my understanding VNS requires you play frequencies above and below the tinnitus frequency (in an attempt to activate healthy hair cells to strengthen neural connections at that frequency cap). Someone in the comments said their tinnitus felt worse after doing his method because they were using the same frequency... hopefully they get better but yeah apparently you're not supposed to do that.
       
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    16. NiNyu

      NiNyu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma? stress?
      Actually certain masking sounds did show exactly this.

      How can they tell that a specific drug cannot work selectively? Proof? Honestly, that all sounds like marketing.
       
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    17. SleeplessSoul
      Insomnious

      SleeplessSoul Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      November 2014
      I am so confused about masking with the same tone as your t.

      I have a low bass tone t, therefore I listen to brown noise which has a lot of bass (for sleep).

      Is this wrong and am I making myself worse?????
       
    18. ChrisJ

      ChrisJ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      PT since 1988. T with H since June 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      In short: not unless it makes your Tinnitus louder after 24hours or more. Do not try therapy without consulting a doctor first and if in doubt turn the volume down so that it is just below your T volume. Disclaimer I am just a fellow suffer and not an expert so the following is just based on personal research...

      It sounds like you are using Masking which is just a different technique to Notched Sound Therapy and Suppression. From what I have read (and remember I am not an expert) you are only making yourself worse if your Tinnitus is louder 24 hours or more after the sound therapy; the baseline of the noise has to have increased. Sometimes these treatments can leave you with an after image where you can still hear the sound after it is turned off. Most of the literature I have read strongly recommends you do not treat yourself without professional supervision.

      Here is a quote from informative paper: Patterned sound therapy for the treatment of tinnitus

      It is important to draw distinctions between masking and suppression, as the two are often used interchangeably in the literature. Masking can be divided into two types, total and partial, both of which use a broad-band noise as the external stimulus. With total masking, the external sound is played loudly enough that the tinnitus can no longer be heard. However, some patients are unable to mask their tinnitus totally or can do so only at intolerable sound levels. In such cases, partial masking is employed.

      ...

      With partial masking, the external stimulus is played at nearly equal levels to the perceived tinnitus or at a tolerable level softer than the tinnitus. Some approaches, such as Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, combine partial masking with intensive counseling. Both total and partial masking are psychophysical methods focused on diverting the patient's attention away from their tinnitus, and they are distinct from what we have found in the present suppression study.

      In suppression, a sound is presented that is softer than the level of the tinnitus, which may completely eliminate the perception of the tinnitus. The overall level of the sound environment is less than the tinnitus alone. We have also noted that some subjects experience partial suppression in which the lower-level external stimuli only partially reduce the tinnitus percept.



      What the treatment in this thread seems to be doing is using Notched Sound which only plays frequencies adjacent your tinnitus frequency in an attempt to stimulate the neighbouring neurons in the auditory cortext, am I right?

      It simultaneously stimulates the vegas nerve, which as far as I understand is designed to promote the plasticity of the brain. Again correct me if I am wrong. Though to me this sounds a lot like alchemy and really scientists are just banging rocks together based on hunches but hey if it's low cost and low risk why not try it as long as you check in with a doctor to make sure you're not in danger of making it worse.

      Personally I use Hear and Tinnitus app for iPhone

      cGJI1Wp.png
      That notches out the sound of my Tinnitus which I calibrate when I set it up. I play the sound so that it is less than the sound of my tinnitus so that I don't get the after image. I also use a TENS machine (since I already have one, it's free) and I place it on the back of my neck around the upper cervical nerve C2 which I learned from this paper: Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) of upper cervical nerve (C2) for the treatment of somatic tinnitus

      zN3vkHz.png
      Placement of the TENS electrodes​

      Note though this is for somatic Tinnitus. I have tried putting the pads under the ear and on the side of the neck though important warning is do not place the electrodes near the throat or the front of the neck and turn it off immediately if you feel any pain.

      I find that it is good at distracting me from my T and it does not make it worse, it also makes my hyperacusis a bit better too.

      I also note from the literature that success using suppression rather than masking is achieved only after many months or a year of daily treatment. I am choosing to do it as I find it quite relaxing and since I had a TENS machine anyway it only cost me a small amount for the app. I will post an update if I have any notable results.

      Thanks for your time.
       
    19. ChrisJ

      ChrisJ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      PT since 1988. T with H since June 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @SleeplessSoul

      TL;DR

      Masking is setting the sound equal to or more than the perceived tinnitus volume and is designed to cover it up immediately. It is only dangerous if makes your tinnitus worse 24 hours later or more.
      Suppression is setting the sound to less than the tinnitus volume and is aimed at training the brain to direct attention away from tinnitus longer term.
      Notched Sound Therapy is an adjustment in the frequencies of the sound, by removing, or 'notching out' the tinnitus frequencies from the white noise or music it aims to stimulate the adjacent nerves in the cochlea and/or the neurons in the brain's auditory cortex to increase plasticity so you tune out the tinnitus naturally over time. This is also a longer term treatment.

      Suppression, Notched Sound and Vagus Nerve Stimulation are often used in combination and come along with counselling and objective measuring by a audiologist. Subjective measurements by patients are often not accurate at tracking the progress of treatment.

      Source: http://journals.lww.com/thehearingj...ned_sound_therapy_for_the_treatment_of.6.aspx
       
    20. DebInAustralia

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Team Research

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      Chrisj...

      The link to the article re tinnitus and c2..

      States that applying stimulation to c2 activates dcn. Isnt that a concern given that area is already hyperactive?
       
    21. ChrisJ

      ChrisJ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      PT since 1988. T with H since June 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Quoting directly from the paper (emphasis mine):
      Electrical stimulation activates or inhibits cells in the ventral and dorsal division of the cochlear nucleus (Shore 2005; Shore et al. 2003; Young et al. 1995) and can suppress or enhance responses to sound (Shore 2005; Shore et al. 2003).

      It was shown that electrical stimulation in the cat DCN yields strong inhibition and weak excitation of DCN princi- pal cells (Davis et al. 1996; Young et al. 1995).

      Remember this is for Somatic Tinnitus. What I was trying to do is see if I could modulate the sound with it. The first time I tried it I thought I heard it get quieter but I might have been imagining it. Yesterday when I did it I thought I could hear it trill (fluctuate) but then I realised I had heard it do that before after oxygen therapy.

      I think TENS machines are pretty safe if you use them carefully. At the moment I am just experimenting to see if I can change the tinnitus with the TENS unit as it might give clues to causes.
       
    22. ChrisJ

      ChrisJ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      PT since 1988. T with H since June 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hey Deb, I tried it again last night before bed for an hour with notched sound suppression and it did modulate the tinnitus. It actually made it louder for a while up to a central head ringing but it went down after. I had to take sleeping tablet to sleep but in the morning when I woke up it was down to a mild hiss.

      I don't mind temporary spikes like that so I am going to try more. Let me know if it's helpful for me to post updates.
       
    23. DebInAustralia

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Team Research

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      hi Chris,

      I am very interested in your diy approach for somatic tinnitus.

      Would you mind being more specific with regards to the exact placement of the electrode pads for your tens and the settings that you use?

      I have read about hyperbaric o2 but never seriously invested time into looking into it for my t. I figured after nearly 2 years it was too late, but perhaps not?

      please keep us updated if that's ok with you.

      I think what you are doing is fantastic. so pleased to read that you have woken to very quiet t and less H. wonderful news
       
    24. ChrisJ

      ChrisJ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      PT since 1988. T with H since June 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Re O2 treatment if you can afford it and you get signed off by a doctor I would deff recommend you try it, if for no other reason than to see what it does to your T. A few people on here have reported that the T goes down during treatment. It did with me. In the early sessions it came back, sometimes with a vengeance but it was only this week I have started seen longer term results.

      Re placement of pads as above:

      zn3vkhz-png.7730.png

      You want to criss cross the pads so that the negative electrodes are diagonal to one another and the same for the positives like so...

      aBZOBYF.png
      The black is positive, the white is negative. If your T is on the left then put the positive one on that side.​

      The further away the electrodes are from one another the stronger the resistance I think. Some newer machines make you use 4 pads at the same time, it's fine just place the other two on the upper back or shoulders. I find the massage setting works best, it's where it actually feels like there's a mini digger drilling in to you, it's actually quite nice and it makes my ears pop a bit and opens up the eustachian tube.
       
    25. Robert44

      Robert44 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud concert
      Just watched this video. Anybody try this? Interesting......



      Home Tinnitus Cure with Music Software Based...
       

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