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Am J Audiol. 2018 Sep 12;27(3):316-323. doi: 10.1044/2018_AJA-17-0105.

Tinnitus Suppression in Cochlear Implant Patients Using a Sound Therapy App.

Author information

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City.
GN ReSound A/S, Bloomington, MN.
Department of Neurosurgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City.
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL.
Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.



The use of acoustic stimuli to reduce the prominence of tinnitus has been used for decades. Counseling and tinnitus sound therapy options are not currently widespread for cochlear implant (CI) users. The goal of this study was to determine whether tinnitus therapy sounds created for individuals with acoustic hearing may also benefit CI users.


Sixteen sounds from the ReSound Relief app (Version 3.0) were selected for the study. Sixteen participants were asked to rate the overall acceptability of each sound and to write the description of the sound they perceived. Sounds were streamed from an Appleâ„¢ iPod (6th generation) to the CI using a Cochlearâ„¢ Wireless Mini Microphone 2+. Thirteen participants then completed a 5-min trial where they rated their pretrial and posttrial tinnitus and the acceptability of a subset of preferred sounds. Ten out of these 13 participants completed a 2-week home trial with a preferred sound after which they answered an online tinnitus questionnaire and rated the effectiveness of the sound therapy.


Individual differences were large. Results from the 5-min trial showed that sounds perceived as rain, music, and waves were rated the most acceptable. For all of the participants, the posttrial tinnitus loudness rating was lower than the pretrial rating, with some participants experiencing greater difference in their tinnitus loudness than others. At the end of the 2-week home trial, 3 of 10 participants rated the effectiveness of sound therapy 70% or higher.


The results suggest that the use of tinnitus therapy sounds delivered through a CI can be acceptable and provides relief for some tinnitus sufferers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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