Treatment of tinnitus, characterized by an ever-present ringing in the ears in the absence of external sound, is getting a new high-tech tool as Oregon-based Otoharmonics receives FDA clearance for its Levo System.
One more example of how Apple devices are being used in innovative health treatments, the system equips patients with an iPod Touch preloaded with a neuroscience-based sound therapy software system and custom-made ear buds, while hearing professionals use an Apple iPad Air installed with Levo's Manager software to survey patients' progress.
The system "maps" and documents an individual's unique sound print, which then allows for the creation of a personalized course of therapy, which works with the cognitive ability of the brain to gradually reduce the annoying ringing effects. Pricing information has not been revealed at press time.
Tinnitus can be caused by exposure to loud noise or tied to age-related hearing loss and counts an estimated 50 million sufferers in the US, according to the American Tinnitus Association. It ranges in severity from being a minor annoyance to debilitating, leading to sleep loss, emotional distress and anxiety.
A recent study conducted at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston suggested that drinking coffee could help reduce the risk. The large-scale study found that women who drank between 450 and 599 mg of caffeine per day had a 15 percent lower risk for tinnitus compared to those consuming less than 150 mg.
For more information on the Levo system: otoharmonics.com/levo