Neck patch silences ear ringing agony of tinnitus
A PATCH of ‘skin’ worn on the back of the neck could banish annoying ringing in the ears, according to new research.
Experts at the University of West Virginia in the US tested the idea on dozens of men and women suffering from the condition tinnitus, which causes the incessant ringing.
Each wore a patch containing lidocaine – a local anaesthetic often used by dentists – on the base of the skull for up to three months, applying a new patch daily. The results, published in the American Journal Of Otolaryngology, showed that most saw a significant reduction in ringing after just a month, with even better results after two and three months.
It’s not clear why lidocaine has this impact on ringing in the ears.
But if further studies confirm the benefits, it could be a huge relief for the UK’s five million tinnitus sufferers – some of whom can end up suicidal due to the unremitting, round-the-clock ear noise.