Remember those hearing exams you had to take at the school clinic? Of course you do! How can you forget those annoying, at times painful, rings and beeps? Well, just imagine what individuals with tinnitus (ringing in the ears) have to go through, and consider yourself lucky. Sufferers of tinnitus are regularly subjected to those aural assaults inaudible to you and I. iTinnitus Solutions by Inner Ear Solutions comes to their aid as a supplemental therapy option. For the person engaged in improving his/her health, this app is a welcome addition to a treatment regime.
The interface of iTinnitus Solutions is initially straightforward, with a start-up screen listing the app’s six sections (Introduction, Characterize & Inhibit, Tinnitus Diary, Mask Tinnitus, Habituation and About Us).
The Introduction is in-depth, authored by Robin LeBlanc, MD, FRSCS, a Canadian otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor), explaining everything you ever wanted to know about tinnitus in an elementary manner. For example, “tinnitus is the result of damage to the cells that deal with hearing in the inner ear.” Common causes for the condition include age, trauma, and viral infection. Treatment options, like watching caffeine/chocolate intake and white-noise machines, are also discussed.
The Characterize & Inhibit section allows the user to scroll through tones for an indefinite amount of time or for a set period (up to 20 minutes). The frequency ranges from 100 Hz to a whopping 10,000 Hz. The adjustable volume setting allows for the identification of the sound best matching the individual tone heard by the sufferer.
During use, the patient can press the Lock button in the top right corner to push the data to a graph or table, the Tinnitus Diary, which can be confusing to the novice with all its dots, lines and numbers. (A common characteristic of medical apps.) But iTinnitus Solutions isn’t meant to replace professional care. Again, it’s supplementary. Use the Send function to forward the plotted information to your doctor, who can use it to improve or customize treatment. He/she can explain the section’s contents in layperson’s terms.
The Mask Tinnitus and Habituation sections are similar, in that both offer white noises like rain, fire and static. The former section allows the user to do just what it claims—disrupt the ringing until it is nullified. When the ringing begins, activate one of the sounds until the tone subsides or becomes manageable. Habituation is an effort to reduce the psychological and behavioral reactions to tinnitus through repeated exposure.
Like all medical apps, iTinnitus Solutions includes a disclaimer. For your own good, please do not replace the advice of, and the treatment by, a physician with the use of iTinnitus Solutions. This is especially true of iTinnitus Solutions, as tinnitus may be the cause of a serious underlying condition, at the most extreme and rare a brain mass.
iTinnitus Solutions is for those interested in supplemental therapy of tinnitus, for those not interested in playing the part of a passive patient at the mercy of an ear, nose and throat doctor. The app allows the user to take control of his/her medical condition. Knowledge is power, after all. This app gives you the power to stop the noise.
iTinnitus Solutions requires the iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch.