Customized Web-Based Sound Therapy for Tinnitus

Customized Web-Based Sound Therapy for Tinnitus (Presented at the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery meeting, San Francisco, CA, September 2011. Paper accepted in Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology).

Introduction: Traditional masking efforts have presented broadband noises, most typically white noise. Targeted (customized) sound therapies have been introduced to overcome the limitations of traditional maskers.

Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of a web-based delivery of customized sound therapy in reducing tinnitus loudness and increasing the residual inhibition.

Materials and Methods: Thirty-two subjects matched their tinnitus frequency using a web-based protocol. A customized Harmonic Sound Therapy file was produced by the web-based software and downloaded by the patient onto an MP3 player. The subjects listened to the sound file for one hour.

Results: Tinnitus loudness mean was 6.0 ± 2.3 standard deviation (SD) which decreased to 3.3 ± 1.9 SD after one hour of sound therapy. Some reduction in loudness was seen in 81%, while 72% experienced a reduction of 25% or more. Tinnitus annoyance decreased from an average of 6.1 ± 2.6 SD to 3.1 ± 2.0 SD. Median duration of residual inhibition was 32.5 minutes, with an average of 75 minutes ± 132 SD.

Conclusion: Customized sound therapy can be delivered via the internet. Harmonic Sound Therapy is effective in reducing the loudness and annoyance of tinnitus.