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Learn about FDA-approved Lenire, a breakthrough device that’s giving hope

From ringing, buzzing, and humming to shrieking, whooshing, or even musical notes, the phantom sounds of tinnitus in the ears or head affect over 11% of people in the U.S. and can disrupt everyday life. It can present at nearly any age, and for many the symptoms of tinnitus often go untreated. But an exciting solution is making noise.

Our own Dr. Brian Fligor, audiologist-in-chief and president of Tobias & Battite Hearing Wellness, talked to National Public Radio about Lenire, a newer strategy in the fight against tinnitus. The device, which gained Food and Drug Administration approval last year, uses electrical tongue stimulation to deliver tinnitus relief.


Understanding Tinnitus

But first, some background on tinnitus, including causes and traditional treatments. It’s important to note that tinnitus is not a disease but often a symptom of an underlying issue — such as an ear infection, an earwax blockage, excess noise exposure, lifetime wear and tear, Ménière’s disease, certain medications, a blood vessel disorder, or other issue.

Hearing loss goes hand in hand with tinnitus and is considered a primary risk factor. An estimated 90% of people with tinnitus have hearing loss, making them commonly coexisting conditions. Treating the hearing loss itself relieves tinnitus symptoms for some people, making it another important reason for early intervention when listening difficulties occur.


Training the Brain

Effective tinnitus management can depend on the underlying cause and treatments range from earwax removal, use of hearing assistive technology, or sound devices to medication adjustments, lifestyle changes, tinnitus retraining therapy, or other help — including, in rare situations, surgery.

Relief might come in the form of habituation, in which the brain is actively rewired to inhibit the intrusiveness and negative reactions to tinnitus. As Dr. Fligor explains to NPR, the Lenire system redirects the brain’s focus from the offending noises through a two-pronged approach of sound played through headphones and electrode-based stimulation of the tongue.


Showing Results

As one of the first 14 U.S. providers to be trained in the evaluation and fitting of the Lenire device, Dr. Fligor has seen robust success with patients. Our own program evaluation has shown over 70% of our patients using Lenire have had a clinically significant reduction in tinnitus symptoms. These results are on par with the clinical trials that lead to FDA clearance. In those clinical trials, nearly 80% of participants showed a significant reduction in tinnitus symptoms.

Could Lenire work for you or someone you love who’s experiencing tinnitus symptoms? An expert audiologist trained in the technology can work with you to determine whether it’s an appropriate solution. It’s important to get a comprehensive evaluation, including ruling out any underlying conditions.

To learn more about this exciting innovation or to schedule a consultation, visit our Tinnitus Care page today!


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