Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears. Tinnitus is not a disease itself — it’s a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.
The most common causes of tinnitus include ear infections, ear water imbalance, noise-induced hearing loss, psychological stress such as anxiety and restlessness, and head injury.
If patients delay getting medical advice at an early stage, the tinnitus will continue, which will eventually cause sleep disorders, affect the patient’s concentration, daily functioning and emotions in the long run.
TMS and Tinnitus
TMS can suppress the excitatory activity of neurons by stimulating the “underactive-hypoactive areas” of the auditory cortex. This can reduce the hyperactivity of the brain region, thereby regulating the hearing of patients.
Clinical studies have also found that patients with tinnitus receive 10-day TMS treatment, and more than half of the patients who participated in the study indicated relief of symptoms up to 6 months.
Folmer RL, Theodoroff SM, Casiana L, Shi Y, Griest S, Vachhani J. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treatment for Chronic Tinnitus:A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg.2015;141(8):716–722.
Ridder, D. D., Song, J., & Vanneste, S. (2013). Frontal Cortex TMS for Tinnitus. Brain Stimulation,6(3), 355-362. doi:10.1016/j.brs.2012.07.002
Ridder, D. D., & Vanneste, S. (2011). Auditory Cortex Stimulation for Tinnitus. Textbook of Tinnitus,717-726. doi:10.1007/978-1-60761-145-5_90
*Declaration: The application of TMS to Tinnitus is still experimental. Although some clinical studies have achieved positive results, this clinical application has not yet obtained FDA approval and CE mark.