New App Helps Tinnitus Sufferers
Ringing in the ears — also known as tinnitus — can be highly frustrating. If it’s not the annoyance of the sound of constant ringing, buzzing and other sounds, then it’s the feeling of suffering in (figurative) silence.
Because tinnitus symptoms vary so wildly, and because describing them is very subjective, it’s often tricky for patients to feel that doctors truly understand their discomfort. In the worst cases, docs write off the symptoms and, essentially, leave patients to “deal with it.” The dismissal can be devastating, and furthermore, the stress can make tinnitus worse.
Now a new smartphone app called Ear Ringing Relief is trying to fix that. Released in April, the app allows tinnitus sufferers to match the sounds they hear to sample sounds and then set the volume to match their symptom intensity. Users can play the sounds to docs in a helpful “Show and Tell.”
This “Show and Tell” allows specialists to hear what the patient hears and measure how well various treatments work. The app’s tinnitus sounds can be helpful for therapies such as biofeedback. In this type of therapy, the user can set the app’s sound to be quieter than what they actually hear, and then, while relaxed, try to match the app’s sound to reduce their symptoms.
Developed by the Grossan Institute, the app is available on iPhones for $1.99.
When you’re dealing with tinnitus, don’t give in to frustration. The right, customized treatments can minimize symptoms, and whether you turn to an app or not, the key is starting with a doctor who’ll truly listen. When you need to felt heard, we’ll be here.