Tinnitus is a pervasive and distressing condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Characterized by a constant or intermittent ringing, buzzing, hissing, or other phantom sounds in the ears, tinnitus can significantly reduce one’s quality of life.
It’s a condition that often goes untreated due to the lack of effective remedies. However, recent advancements in technology have given hope to tinnitus sufferers in the form of bimodal stimulation therapy, with the Neosensory Duo vibrating wristband leading the way. In this article, we will explore the concept of tinnitus, delve into the innovative field of bimodal stimulation, and investigate the Neosensory Duo vibrating wristband and its role in managing tinnitus.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a neurological condition that manifests as the perception of sound in the absence of any external source. It can take various forms, including ringing, buzzing, hissing, roaring, or even music-like sounds, and can occur in one or both ears. Tinnitus is not a disease in itself but is often a symptom of an underlying issue such as hearing loss, exposure to loud noises, earwax blockage, or even stress and anxiety.
As many as 20 million people suffer devastating instances of tinnitus, according to the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), which estimates that up to 50 million people have experienced it in some way. One of the most prevalent medical problems in the US is tinnitus, which can be acute or chronic.
The experience of tinnitus varies widely among individuals. Some may have mild, intermittent tinnitus that is easily ignored, while others suffer from chronic, severe tinnitus that interferes with their daily lives, sleep, and overall well-being. The condition can lead to emotional distress, anxiety, depression, and even social isolation.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all cure for tinnitus. Treatment options typically focus on managing the symptoms and improving the patient’s quality of life. Some people use sound therapy or meditation to get used to their tinnitus. There are also numerous smartphone applications for treating tinnitus. Reducing salt intake and making other dietary adjustments can also be beneficial for people who have Meniere’s disease, which frequently results in ringing in one ear. To assist those who have both hearing loss and tinnitus, which is fairly prevalent, the majority of modern hearing aids also offer a tinnitus masking setting. However, the quest for more effective and personalized tinnitus management has led to the development of innovative approaches like bimodal stimulation therapy.
What is Bimodal Stimulation?
Bimodal stimulation therapy is an emerging field in the treatment of tinnitus. It involves the simultaneous delivery of auditory and non-auditory sensory cues to the brain to help it differentiate between internal and external sounds. The idea originated from an animal study conducted in 2015 by the University of Michigan on bimodal stimulation for tinnitus utilizing shocks to the tongue. The theory behind this therapy is that by training the brain to focus on external sounds and ignore internal phantom noises, tinnitus sufferers can experience relief from their symptoms.
Auditory stimulation is typically delivered through sound therapy, which can involve the use of hearing aids or specialized devices that emit soothing sounds to mask or distract from the tinnitus. Non-auditory stimulation, on the other hand, can take various forms, such as tactile or vibrational cues delivered through wearable devices like the Neosensory Duo vibrating wristband.
The effectiveness of bimodal stimulation therapy, as exemplified by the Neosensory Duo vibrating wristband, lies in its ability to train the brain to differentiate between internal phantom sounds (tinnitus) and external environmental sounds. This process can be likened to a form of neuroplasticity, where the brain adapts and rewires itself in response to sensory input.
What is Neosensory Duo Vibrating Wristband?
The Neosensory Duo vibrating wristband is a groundbreaking device that aims to provide relief to tinnitus sufferers through bimodal stimulation therapy. Developed by Neosensory, a company specializing in sensory augmentation technology, this wristband harnesses the power of touch to help individuals better manage their tinnitus.
How does it work?
The wristband is equipped with multiple vibration motors strategically placed along its surface. These motors can generate a wide range of vibration patterns and intensities, allowing users to customize their experience according to their preferences and the severity of their tinnitus.
The tactile component, delivered by the vibrating wristband, adds an extra layer of sensory input. The gentle vibrations on the wrist serve as a non-auditory distraction that further helps the brain differentiate between internal and external stimuli. Over time, the brain learns to prioritize external sensory input, effectively “filtering out” the tinnitus sounds.
One of the key features of the Neosensory Duo wristband is its connectivity to a smartphone app. The app serves as a control center, enabling users to adjust settings, track their progress, and fine-tune the vibrations to maximize their effectiveness in managing tinnitus.
Consistency is key in training the brain. Regular use of the vibrating wristband, especially during periods of tinnitus exacerbation or when individuals are most bothered by their symptoms, can lead to habituation. Habituation is the process by which the brain becomes desensitized to the tinnitus sounds, reducing their perceived intensity and intrusiveness.
It’s important to emphasize that the Neosensory Duo vibrating wristband is not a cure for tinnitus. Tinnitus is a complex and multifaceted condition with various underlying causes, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, devices like the Neosensory Duo aim to provide relief and help individuals manage their tinnitus symptoms more effectively.
These devices are often used as part of a comprehensive tinnitus management plan, which may include other strategies like counseling, sound therapy, and lifestyle changes. It’s also crucial for individuals with tinnitus to work closely with healthcare professionals to identify and address the underlying factors contributing to their condition.
How Much Does It Cost?
The bracelet and unrestricted access to the smartphone app are both included in the Neosensory Duo plan, which costs $249/month for two months. A 30-day money-back guarantee is offered on all Neosensory products. Users have two months to return or buy the device if they no longer want it.
According to Dr. David Eagleman, co-founder of Neosensory, “People typically reach their maximum effect in eight weeks.” “As far as we know, there’s no reason to run it any longer than that.”
In 2023, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) approved Neosensory’s products (the Duo, Clarify and Buzz/Sound Awareness) to be distributed by audiologists for veterans with hearing loss and tinnitus.
Tinnitus can be a challenging and distressing condition, but innovative approaches like bimodal stimulation therapy, with devices such as the Neosensory Duo vibrating wristband, offer new hope for those seeking relief. While these devices are not a cure, they provide an effective tool for managing tinnitus symptoms by training the brain to differentiate between internal and external sounds.
It’s important for individuals with tinnitus to explore various treatment options in consultation with healthcare professionals. Each person’s experience with tinnitus is unique, and the most effective management plan may involve a combination of therapies and strategies tailored to their specific needs.
As technology continues to advance and our understanding of tinnitus deepens, we can look forward to even more innovative solutions that may further improve the quality of life for tinnitus sufferers. Until then, devices like the Neosensory Duo vibrating wristband serve as a promising step in the right direction, offering a tangible means of relief and empowerment for those living with tinnitus.