I just returned from Orlando where I attended the Audiology Now conference. I compliment the American Academy of Audiology on its stellar success. People from around the world attended to get updates on the latest and greatest solutions for hearing loss. I was able to get a firsthand glimpse of new products and new science.
At one presentation Dr. Richard Salvi presented interesting data about how the advances in human brain imaging and animal models have greatly advanced our understanding of the neural basis of tinnitus. He presented imaging studies that showed changes in brain activity with patient reports of subjective tinnitus. They demonstrated that tinnitus may be initiated from damage to the ear but ultimately it is our brain that takes the brunt of that damage and starts to generate noises that we often perceive to be in our ear. He made the analogy of how people experience phantom sensations after the loss of a limb.
It is good to see some scientific evidence that professionals are on the right track when they recommend tinnitus treatments that focused on the brain in addition the ear.