Tinnitus Suppression in Cochlear Implant Patients Using a Sound Therapy App Purpose The use of acoustic stimuli to reduce the prominence of tinnitus has been used for decades. Counseling and tinnitus sound therapy options are not currently widespread for cochlear implant (CI) users. The goal of this study was to determine whether tinnitus therapy sounds created for individuals with acoustic hearing ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 12, 2018
Tinnitus Suppression in Cochlear Implant Patients Using a Sound Therapy App
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Richard S. Tyler
    Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Rachael L. Owen
    Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Julie Bridges
    GN ReSound A/S, Bloomington, MN
  • Phillip E. Gander
    Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City
    Department of Neurosurgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Ann Perreau
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL
  • Patricia C. Mancini
    Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City
    Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Richard S. Tyler: rich-tyler@uiowa.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sumitrajit (Sumit) Dhar
    Editor-in-Chief: Sumitrajit (Sumit) Dhar×
  • Editor: Sumitrajit (Sumit) Dhar
    Editor: Sumitrajit (Sumit) Dhar×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 12, 2018
Tinnitus Suppression in Cochlear Implant Patients Using a Sound Therapy App
American Journal of Audiology, September 2018, Vol. 27, 316-323. doi:10.1044/2018_AJA-17-0105
History: Received November 10, 2017 , Revised April 18, 2018 , Accepted May 3, 2018
 
American Journal of Audiology, September 2018, Vol. 27, 316-323. doi:10.1044/2018_AJA-17-0105
History: Received November 10, 2017; Revised April 18, 2018; Accepted May 3, 2018

Purpose The use of acoustic stimuli to reduce the prominence of tinnitus has been used for decades. Counseling and tinnitus sound therapy options are not currently widespread for cochlear implant (CI) users. The goal of this study was to determine whether tinnitus therapy sounds created for individuals with acoustic hearing may also benefit CI users.

Method Sixteen sounds from the ReSound Relief app (Version 3.0) were selected for the study. Sixteen participants were asked to rate the overall acceptability of each sound and to write the description of the sound they perceived. Sounds were streamed from an Apple™ iPod (6th generation) to the CI using a Cochlear™ Wireless Mini Microphone 2+. Thirteen participants then completed a 5-min trial where they rated their pretrial and posttrial tinnitus and the acceptability of a subset of preferred sounds. Ten out of these 13 participants completed a 2-week home trial with a preferred sound after which they answered an online tinnitus questionnaire and rated the effectiveness of the sound therapy.

Results Individual differences were large. Results from the 5-min trial showed that sounds perceived as rain, music, and waves were rated the most acceptable. For all of the participants, the posttrial tinnitus loudness rating was lower than the pretrial rating, with some participants experiencing greater difference in their tinnitus loudness than others. At the end of the 2-week home trial, 3 of 10 participants rated the effectiveness of sound therapy 70% or higher.

Conclusion The results suggest that the use of tinnitus therapy sounds delivered through a CI can be acceptable and provides relief for some tinnitus sufferers.

Acknowledgments
The authors thank Cochlear Corporation that provided financial support for the study and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico, Brazil, for providing a scholarship (Grant 200817/2017-5).
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