Tinnitus Pro Music Therapy

Enjoy your music and reduce your tinnitus

Tinnitus Pro Music Therapy is a treatment aimed at reducing the loudness of tinnitus through listening to individually tailored music. The app identifies a one-octave band around the patient’s tinnitus frequency and removes this swath of frequencies from the music’s energy spectrum. In time, tinnitus sufferers should experience a significant reduction in the loudness of their tinnitus.

How does Tinnitus Pro Music Therapy work?

Tinnitus Pro Music Therapy is a treatment aimed at reducing the loudness of tinnitus through listening to individually tailored music. This works by stripping out the frequencies in music that correspond to an individual’s tinnitus frequency. The app identifies a one-octave band around the patient’s tinnitus frequency and removes this swath of frequencies from the music’s energy spectrum. After one year of listening to this “notched” music, patients have reported a significant reduction in the loudness of ringing compared to a group of tinnitus patients who listened to music in which frequencies were randomly removed.

Scientific Research

Tinnitus Pro Music Therapy is the result of scientific research undertaken by Okamoto, Stracke, Stoll and Pantev at the Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis and the Department of Otorhinolaryngology in Muenster, Germany. The research has been endorsed by the Tinnitus Research Initiative.

For more information: PNAS and Tinnitus Research Initiative

The theory behind the application

Little is known about the mechanisms of tinnitus, but recent studies have shown it may be caused by maladaptive auditory cortex reorganization. In this situation, neurons in the auditory cortex are deprived of normal electrical input because of hearing loss.
Yet the neurons don't become inactive. Instead, they are "rewired" so that they are no longer excited by the frequencies they were originally tuned to. They do, however, become sensitive to neighboring frequencies. That synchronized spontaneous neural activity may lead to tinnitus. Previous research has shown that this kind of cortical reorganization can be modified by behavioral training.

This app reduces the loudness of patients' tinnitus by exposing them to music of their choice which is modified, or "notched," to contain no energy in the same frequency range as the patient's tinnitus. The idea behind this therapy is that the notched music doesn't stimulate the cortical area corresponding to the tinnitus frequency, but it still excites surrounding neurons. Therefore, the neurons that aren't stimulated are suppressed via lateral inhibitory inputs originating from surrounding neurons.
The notched music could also have induced synaptic or cellular plasticity mechanisms.