Noises in the ear: this is how a disorder that affects more than 6 million Spaniards begins

Tinnitus consists of constant sounds perceived in one or both ears, which resonate in the head, make it difficult to sleep, cause loss of concentration at work and usually reduce hearing.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
16 September 2023 Saturday 10:29
4 Reads
Noises in the ear: this is how a disorder that affects more than 6 million Spaniards begins

Tinnitus consists of constant sounds perceived in one or both ears, which resonate in the head, make it difficult to sleep, cause loss of concentration at work and usually reduce hearing. Sometimes they will cause anxiety, which can cause depression and even the appearance of suicidal ideas. In the words of Dr. Jordi Coromina, otorhinolaryngologist at the Teknon Medical Center in Barcelona, ​​“it is a noise produced by the body itself, without an external source.”

“At first, you hear those beeps for a few seconds during the day. Sometimes they last for hours. Until they start to be there all day, capturing all your attention, because you have something super strong in your head,” says Clara Campagnaro, a 31-year-old girl who has suffered from tinnitus since she was 25. “And then depression.”

Psychological disorders, from anxiety to depression, are one of the main consequences for those who suffer from tinnitus, although some patients get used to it and sleep well. When patients come to our clinic, we give them the Tinnitus Discomfort Test with a score out of 100. The higher the number, the greater the discomfort there is. There are people rated with 92 or 93 points, that is, those whose tinnitus causes depression or suicidal ideation, who cannot live with it,” explains Dr. Coromina.

Clara Campagnaro, an Italian living in Castelldefels (Barcelona), had done everything possible to reduce her tinnitus. “Acupuncture, chiromassage, visits to ENT doctors and any doctor that could be related: dentists, psychologists, osteopaths… Many CT scans and MRIs… I also visited a center that does radiofrequencies behind the ear. “I did yoga, meditation, mindfulness…,” she lists. But nothing was effective for a condition, which, in most cases, is of unknown origin.

Dr. Jordi Coromina knows very well the causes of tinnitus. The most common is acoustic trauma, that is, damage to the ear due to noise. “It occurs, above all, in people exposed to very powerful noises, that is, from 70 decibels (which is more or less equivalent to the noise of a hair dryer). We see more tinnitus in musicians or in those who listen to music at very loud volumes. Also in people who usually go to nightclubs or rock concerts. Before, few people had tinnitus, but now there are many more,” he concludes. In addition to music, other causes of acoustic trauma can be firecrackers and certain jobs that require protection from noise. “For example, jackhammers used to fix roads and break up asphalt. The trauma can be acute, like a firecracker, or chronic, due to long-term and sustained exposure to noise,” says the otorhinolaryngologist.

The second most common cause is unknown origin, and thirdly presbycusis, that is, age-related hearing loss, which is often accompanied by tinnitus. Other causes are head trauma (in car or motorcycle accidents or in rugby players); Ménière's disease or vertigo; some drugs (for malaria, tuberculosis or cancer) and excess aspirin and diuretics. A wax plug or ear nerve tumors can also cause Tinnitus.

Clara Campagnaro, a patient with tinnitus, went to the Coromina Center in February of this year. It was then that the young woman was treated with Lenire®, an innovative treatment for people with tinnitus, obtaining a spectacular improvement. And it's also the first and only tinnitus treatment approved by the FDA (the demanding US Food and Drug Administration).

“Lenire® is a technological, painless, non-invasive, non-surgical and non-pharmacological treatment that relieves or reduces tinnitus. It is based on the neuronal stimulation of the two nerves involved in tinnitus: the trigeminal and the acoustic. By applying very gentle electrical impulses to the tongue combined with the sound reproduced by the headphones, it is possible to modify the neuroplasticity of the brain in the areas related to tinnitus,” explains Dr. Coromina.

The Coromina Otorhinolaryngology Center, located at the Teknon Clinic in Barcelona, ​​is the first medical center accredited in Spain for the use of the Lenire® device in patients with tinnitus. The specialist, together with doctors Aurora Barreto, Patricia Girauta and Jeanneth Zamora, has been applying this treatment in his center since April 2022.

Xavier Cirera, CEO of Trusbin (treatment distributor in our country), knows a lot about how he came to Spain, who turned the solution to a personal need into a professional adventure.

“I suffer from tinnitus and I have always been informed about its possible treatments. I've tried practically all of them. Furthermore, I have visited many doctors and the truth is that to date I had not found any solution to my tinnitus. Until I read an article in the American magazine “Science Translational Medicine” that published the results of a large clinical trial with Lenire®, a treatment for tinnitus developed by Neuromod Devices Ltd, a company located in Dublin, Ireland. And then, then, Without a doubt, I contacted them in 2020, in the middle of the pandemic. I did the treatment and the truth is that the result was spectacular. My tinnitus decreased significantly and it relieved me a lot. It encouraged me so much that I thought “if it worked for me, why shouldn't it work for more people?” Then we began to negotiate the possibility of being their partner in Spain, of having exclusive distribution of the Lenire® treatment. And that was achieved in January 2022, after a year of negotiations.”

Currently, the treatment is only available in Barcelona, ​​but before the end of the year it will reach other geographical points such as Madrid, Andalusia, Levante and northern Spain. “More than 100 patients have already gone through the Coromina Center for whom the treatment has worked more than 81%. This milestone, along with the introduction of Lenire® in the United States, after becoming the only treatment approved to date by the FDA, has encouraged us to want to reach more places. Our goal is to have several prestigious accredited centers that, after training and training them, receive our advice, so that they can also offer the treatment,” says the CEO of Trusbin.

After 24 weeks of treatment, the recommended period, Clara Campagnaro can say that Lenire® has improved her quality of life. “My tinnitus has gone down. Before they had a very high volume. Now there are even days when I don't have them.” And she also highlights the comfort of the device. “It's like having headphones with an MP3 player. It goes in a little box and you take it everywhere. And the treatment gives you a very relaxing feeling.”

On the first visit, the treatment is adapted to each patient individually, to achieve the best result, taking the device home. The treatment lasts 24 weeks and, in 81.1% of cases, the result is very satisfactory.