Skip to comments.MuteButton receives funding to trial tinnitus treatment device
Posted on 07/05/2011 6:07:58 AM PDT by Red Badger
Irish start-up MuteButton has secured a 200,000 (£180,000) investment from Enterprise Ireland to accelerate large-scale clinical trials of its tinnitus treatment device and grow its staff to 20 by 2013 as the device nears market release.
MuteButton was established in 2010 by Dr Ross ONeill, as a spin-out company from the Hamilton Institute, NUI Maynooth, where the technology, a novel medical device to successfully treat people suffering from permanent tinnitus, was originally developed by ONeill, Dr Paul OGrady and Prof Barak Pearlmutter.
The company has recently located to NovaUCD, the Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre at University College Dublin (UCD), to develop collaborative partnerships with UCD researchers working on neurological conditions.
Tinnitus, commonly referred to as ringing in the ears, is the perception of an illusory low-level sound in the absence of a corresponding external stimulus to the ear.
Temporary tinnitus, which can be caused by excess fluid or wax in the ear or short-term exposure to loud noises, can be cured. However, permanent tinnitus, which is caused by intense or prolonged exposure to noise, and which is often associated with hearing loss, cannot be cured. It can have a negative effect on the quality of life of sufferers and can lead to insomnia and depression. In addition, no effective treatment for this form of tinnitus is currently available on the market.
MuteButton has developed a non-invasive device that treats the effects of permanent tinnitus. The device, the size of an iPod or iPhone, presents sound to the ear using normal headphones and simultaneously presents this sound as tactile patterns on the tongue using an intra-oral array. This results in neurological mechanisms within the brain suppressing the ringing in the ears of the sufferer for a period of hours.
This investment by Enterprise Ireland marks a significant milestone for the company, said ONeill, chief executive officer of MuteButton. It is another step towards the development of an effective treatment for a medical condition that is currently considered untreatable.
This investment will enable the company to carry out large-scale clinical trials of the MuteButton device later this year with our clinical collaborator Brendan Conlon, surgical ear, nose and throat specialist at St Jamess Hospital, Dublin, he added.
Tinnitus ring List!..............
A type of Synesthesia, when a stimulus of one sensory modality disrupts or evokes stimulation in another, separate sensory modality.
So, it's like stubbing your toe to take your mind off the fact you just smashed your thumb...
I worked at a millwork plant for 20 years. Several machines over 120 dB in my department. But I was going to eventually be in management! When I started, the audiologist told me not to work there - I was the only person he had tested with perfect hearing. Didn’t take long to take care of that. When I left I had a 70% high frequency loss. And tinnitus like you wouldn’t believe. Really frustrating, constant ringing. And you don’t really get used to it, as it drowns out all high frequency noise unless it’s really loud. I can’t hear the alarm clock in motel rooms. Wear your hearing protection kids.
Not meaning to look a gift horse in the mouth, but would hope this treatment if actually able to mute for several hours would lead to a better understanding of the internal factors and result in less intrusive and longer lasting stimulus.
Thanks, but I think I hear the phone ringing...Nope, just me!
So this new invention stops the ringing while it’s being worn?
As a person with tinnitus I think that this treatment would be horrible.
First, it’s only working while headphones are on and something is attached to your tongue. Second, and most importantly, when the machine is removed the ringing will start again...this time even more annoying since you actually had a quiet period for a short time.
Think of it as having leprosy and having all the scabs removed for a couple of hours, enjoying a normal feeling, and then having them reapplied. Same thing...
One takes what help is available, IMHO.
Go find that cricket in the house.
My ears ring so loud that my wife can hear it.
I have had it since 1964, right not my tinnitus is singing up a storm I usually don’t notice it, it has just been there for sooooo long.
One always has hope. If TelStar would just get out of my ears.
Me either... I was a nurse.. hospitals are quiet.. about 30 years ago I realized the noise the furnace made was in my head..it was not the furnace..One ear gives me a high pitched buzz the other a roar like the roar of a furnace motor