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People with tinnitus - a ringing or other "phantom" sounds in their ears - may benefit from a treatment that sends electromagnetic pulses into the brain, suggests a new study.
Transcranial magnetic simulation (TMS) is not currently available for the average person with tinnitus, but the study's lead author hopes it will someday be used along with existing therapies like hearing aids and symptom management strategies.
"I don’t see TMS replacing all that, but I see it as another option for helping some patients," said Robert Folmer of Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Oregon Health and Science University.
"Tinnitus is more likely to occur in people with hearing loss or people who had a lot of noise exposure," he said. "So it’s usually associated with damage to the auditory system."
For the treatment, electric current running through a coil placed on the scalp generates a magnetic field that affects nearby brain cells.
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