OTO App for Managing Tinnitus — Post Your Experience and Review

Discussion in 'Support' started by rhosyn, Jun 28, 2022.

    1. rhosyn
      Batty

      rhosyn Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Unknown
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I've seen a number of references to the OTO app here, and they seemed mostly positive, so I thought I'd give it a try.

      A few relevant factors:
      • I've been through a lot of therapy in my life, and have found very little satisfactory.
      • I'm somewhat familiar with the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and am dubious.
      • I'm stubborn.
      • I have an incredibly hard time relaxing.
      • I'm also near desperate.
      So... the first 15 minute "session" amounted to little more than an advertisement for the app itself, presented as a story from an "actual patient." This does not supply any confidence in the app, as anything but a scam. I now fear that all the introductory sessions will be along this line, leading me further down the garden path, until the free trial period ends, and they take my money.

      Yes, I have a deeply suspicious nature. It's well earned.

      I will report any new impressions or results as they arise.

      But I ask in general: what are other folks' experiences with this thing? Is it legit? Does it improve? Does it _help_?

      I really can't afford formal habituation therapy, nor is there a therapist who offers the service anywhere close to me, and I am a COVID-19 recluse, having remained - and choosing to remain - almost entirely isolated for over two and a half years now. So this is all I've got.
       
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    2. Aussie Lea
      Dramaqueen

      Aussie Lea Member

      Location:
      Melbourne Yarra Valley
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      None of the tinnitus apps help you lower your tinnitus loudness. Who knows if they help with habituation either because habituation could have happened without using any app at all and you would never know.

      OTO is backed by a lot of money though and they certainly want to be the #1 app to line their founders and investors' pockets. Do you think Y Combinator would have invested in this if they had not seen the upside of being involved in this incurable condition? It's legit insofar as not being run by scammers but you could doubt their intentions.

      UK tinnitus health startup scoops £510,000 and joins Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator

      I tried it but I didn't like they way they were grooming me to be a paid customer. I almost fell for it but then said no way.

      I much prefer free options like TinnitusPlay and myNoise for my masking needs but they don't have CBT or mindfulness if you absolutely need that.

      How long have you had tinnitus? It says "Unknown" on your profile?
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      rhosyn
      Batty

      rhosyn Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Unknown
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks for your feedback. Unfortunately it reinforces my suspicions. I'll stick with it just a little bit, and see where it goes.

      I understand that any such therapy or app cannot actually reduce the tinnitus itself. While trying to stay abreast of possible advances in that area (they seem to be few, and inconsistent), I am just making an attempt here to "manage" it better.

      I've made use of the web version of myNoise for a long time now, even before I sought it for tinnitus mitigation. Thanks for the recommendation of TinnitusPlay.

      I wrote "unknown" because I really don't know. As I said in my introduction, I think I had a kind of tinnitus precursor decades ago, but it's been within the past few years that I've become so disturbed by it. I can't narrow it down any further than that, because I have a notoriously weird sense of time (a condition related, I believe, to my ASD).
       
    4. BrOKeN_1

      BrOKeN_1 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      High Frequency Hearing Loss
      I just recently started the OTO trial period. And being a major skeptic myself, it will take some time I'm sure to buy in. I'm trying to remain open minded because this is the first actual therapy I have made an attempt at.

      Having had tinnitus for nearly two years now, I have almost entirely depended upon masking as my primary source of help. But this also led to me putting headphones back on and is possibly what led to my recent spike and first major setback.

      So far my impressions of the OTO app are positive. Although the sessions seem short, they do seem to be helpful. Time of course will tell. It's really easy to be dismissive or pessimistic of treatment because we are repeatedly let down by the medical establishment.

      What I do know is this, if I'm willing to dump thousands into ENTs, GPs, Audiology and prescription/natural medicine, $9.99 a month with open cancellation is not a problem. So I'm willing to give OTO a try.

      We don't know until we try, right? Best of luck to you.
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      rhosyn
      Batty

      rhosyn Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Unknown
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I deleted the app before the free trial expired. As I figured, it didn't really seem to go anywhere too quickly, and I just didn't have the patience and discipline to stick with it.
       
    6. Aussie Lea
      Dramaqueen

      Aussie Lea Member

      Location:
      Melbourne Yarra Valley
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      How did it work out for you?

      OTO have now raised a further $3.3 million. This makes the total they have raised nearly $4 million.

      cbt-mindfulness-tinnitus.jpg

      oto-tinnitus-review.png
       
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    7. BrOKeN_1

      BrOKeN_1 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      High Frequency Hearing Loss
      I'm still playing it out. All of the sessions seem short. And some are absolutely useless (to me at least).

      The mindfulness is what I'm mostly working on. Habituation has always been my goal. I thought i was close 3 months ago until I had a sizeable spike. Until OTO I hadn't really messed around with mindfulness and meditation (quite difficult to achieve).

      I actually have been to busy this week to continue my sessions so thanks for reminding me... back to it :)
       
    8. Sam Marksmen
      Confused

      Sam Marksmen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meds
      I found the first "lesson" or whatever you call it very uninforming, more like "just relax". Also the sounds were limited and I get way more variety with a free app.

      I thought OTO was connected to Treble Health, or endorsed by. They seem well informed so maybe I should give it another try.

      I'm now wondering if they came up with the name "OTO" to capitalize on Otonomy and OTO-313. Seems like a strange coincidence.
       
    9. DimLeb

      DimLeb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic Cochleopathy or Maybe Loud Music
      "Oto" just means ear in ancient greek (single "ous" - plural "ota"), which the medical science uses in its terminology as with many (if not all) medical words.

      Everything ear related can be called Oto or something, so the name is not unusual at all.
       
    10. Sam Marksmen
      Confused

      Sam Marksmen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meds
      O, yes now I see that's why they call the people that know nothing about tinnitus otolaryngology!

      I'm going to give the app another go.
       
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    11. GeorgeLeidig
      Transparent

      GeorgeLeidig Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Working in bars, iPod during paper round
      Hi guys.

      George here - I'm a founder of Oto. My role is to lead the product development as well as writing the code for the app. Just thought I'd drop by in case you had any questions for me directly.

      Brief backstory - I was a doc in the military, I have tinnitus, I started Oto to improve accessibility to tinnitus CBT.

      r.e. the name - it's actually a bit of a legacy thing from when we first started. We used to write algorithms for predicting hearing loss and other techy stuff in audiology. Oto was short and sweet and vaguely relevant so we went with it. Currently considering a name change though - grateful for your thoughts on our shortlist!

      I like the tinnitus funding/research/CBT debate. My personal thoughts:
      • The pie isn't a fixed size, and if we didn't raise this money for Oto it wouldn't automatically be redistributed in search of a cure. It's more likely our investors would end up funding a digital therapeutic of a similar style for a different chronic condition. We haven't been awarded any money from research funds.
      • The evidence base for psychological therapy is strong and it is already recommended by NICE and the equivalent European guidelines. I agree that it is unnecessary to pump more research money into validating CBT for tinnitus.
      • That being said, we may need to run an RCT of our own to validate Oto itself as a provider of CBT therapy. This is so we can try to get prescribed on the NHS and other healthcare providers in a similar way to Sleepio for insomnia. I'd rather we didn't have to spend money on this but it'll largely be focused around making a business case for digital CBT vs in-person therapy as opposed to validating CBT itself (again).

      Look forward too hearing your thoughts, ideas and any criticisms you may have :)

      George
       
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