The shocking tinnitus therapy is music for the ears of those...

Do you suffer from tinnitus? We were surprised to learn that 15-20% of people suffer from this disease, which equates to constant ringing in the ears. Science doesn’t fully understand the ringtone, but one possible explanation is that the brain compensates for the frequencies it can no longer hear.
Causes of tinnitus. Image via

[Hubert Lim]A biomedical engineer at the University of Minnesota discovered that the brain can be stimulated enough for up to a year to suppress tinnitus. [Lim] discovered this accidentally during deep brain stimulation in a patient with tinnitus. The electrode got a little lost and touched other areas of the brain. The patient suddenly exclaimed that he could no longer hear his tinnitus.

Then [Lim] and his team tested guinea pigs, looking here, there, and under the armpits for the best place to suppress tinnitus. As it turns out, the tongue is one of the best places to be when used in conjunction with a specific soundscape. Then they did a human experiment on 326 people. Each person had a small paddle electrode on their tongue and headphones on their ears.

As the electrodes sparkled against their tongues like pop rock, participants heard pure frequencies played against a background resembling steam wave music. The combination of the two stimulates the brain, forcing it to suppress the tinnitus response. This discovery certainly seems to be a game changer for tinnitus sufferers. If we had tinnitus we would be the first to try this if we had the chance. Armed with the soundscape, we have to wonder how many 9v batteries we would have to leak to get close to the paddle.

Speaking of taste, have you ever experienced all five at once? Here’s a device that simulates them all.

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