Neck patch si­lences ear ring­ing agony of tin­ni­tus

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Health -

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.

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