New research from Irish medical device company, Neuromod Devices Ltd, has found that more than three quarters of people suffering from tinnitus in the United Kingdom have never received any treatment for their condition, according to an announcement on the company’s website. The poll also revealed that 67% of UK tinnitus sufferers don’t feel adequately informed about their condition.
This news comes as Neuromod Devices has launched its tinnitus treatment device, Lenire in the UK, where it is estimated that seven million people suffer from tinnitus – commonly referred to as “ringing in the ears.“
The research, which polled 251 people with tinnitus across the UK, found that 76.1% of respondents have never used any form of tinnitus treatment. It also revealed that 67.7% of those polled don’t feel adequately informed about tinnitus. This translated as 12.7% of respondents who didn’t feel informed at all about their condition; 22.3% feeling somewhat uninformed, and 31.5% who were unsure about how informed they were about their tinnitus.
The poll also asked respondents about their awareness of treatment options open to tinnitus patients and found that 28.3% of respondents didn’t feel informed at all about their options and a further 30.3% said they were ‘somewhat uninformed’.
Speaking on research, Dr Ross O’Neill, CEO of Neuromod Devices said: “Our poll shows that there is a clear gulf in knowledge of tinnitus treatments in those suffering from this debilitating condition. This may stem from the fact that so many people with tinnitus never seek any form of treatment for it. Recent research has told us that tinnitus is a symptom of long-COVID and we now know that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on people who have tinnitus.”
“In addition, a recent study led by Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, found that 46% of tinnitus sufferers in the UK reported a worsening of their tinnitus during the COVID-19 pandemic[i]. With Lenire, our goal is to improve the quality of life of those suffering from tinnitus and this is what motivates us to bring this treatment to as many people as we can. The results of large-scale clinical trials, involving more than 500 participants, are very positive, as are the real-world outcomes for our patients in Europe so this is a very exciting time for the company.”
The Lenire tinnitus treatment device is available to people with tinnitus through The Tinnitus Clinic’s network of seven locations across the UK or online via the company’s Neuromod Medical tinnitus telemedicine service.
The Tinnitus Clinic’s audiologists will provide Lenire to patients, as well as devising and monitoring their tinnitus treatment plans using the device. The Tinnitus Clinic has locations in London, Bristol, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, Newcastle, and Stirling.
Neuromod specializes in non-invasive neuromodulation technologies and has developed Lenire, “the first non-invasive bimodal neuromodulation tinnitus device which has been clinically proven in large-scale clinical trials to soothe tinnitus symptoms.”
Tinnitus affects between 10-15% of the global population and the British Tinnitus Association estimates that more than seven million people suffer from this condition in the UK alone[ii].
Dr Ross O’Neill continued: “I am absolutely delighted to launch Lenire in the United Kingdom and to begin treating tinnitus patients with the device. Interest in Lenire from the UK has been strong, so in order to best serve those with tinnitus in the UK, it is important to provide patients with the best treatment option for them, whether that’s an in-clinic assessment or one they can do online via telemedicine. This is why working with The Tinnitus Clinic is a great fit for us. The Tinnitus Clinic and Neuromod share the goal of providing evidence-based and clinically proven treatments to those afflicted by tinnitus. I look forward to working with their accomplished team”.
Mark Williams, Chief Audiologist for the Tinnitus Clinic said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Neuromod to introduce Lenire to the UK. It is a novel, but evidence-based treatment which we are pleased to be providing alongside the suite of treatments which are currently available from the service.”
Patients in the United Kingdom can also opt to have tinnitus assessments online via Neuromod’s telemedicine service, which launched earlier this year and has had over 1,000 people use the service to date. The service is delivered through Neuromod Medical, based at the Hermitage Medical Clinic in Dublin, Ireland, and aims to provide patients with quick access to tinnitus care, without waiting lists.
With this service patients can get assessed, fitted for the Lenire device, and complete follow-up appointments with their healthcare professional via a video call from their homes, using a mobile device or home computer.
The device has been used in large-scale clinical trials, the most recent of which, involving 326 participants, delivered dramatic improvements in patients’ tinnitus symptoms[iii]. 86.2% of treatment-compliant participants reported an improvement in their tinnitus symptoms after a 12-week treatment period. When followed up 12 months post-treatment, 80.1% of these participants had sustained the improvements. This study represents one of the “largest and longest followed-up clinical trial ever conducted in the tinnitus field.[iv]”
[i] Beukes EW, Baguley DM, Jacquemin L, et al. Changes in tinnitus experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Frontiers in Public Health. 2020;8. DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.592878.
[ii] Wray N. British Tinnitus Association website. More people living with tinnitus than previously thought. https://www.tinnitus.org.uk/blog/more-people-living-with-tinnitus-than-previously-thought. Published April 1, 2019.
[iii] As measured by Tinnitus Handicap Inventory score.
[iv] Conlon B, Langguth B, Hamilton C, et al. Bimodal neuromodulation combining sound and tongue stimulation reduces tinnitus symptoms in a large randomized clinical study. Science Translational Medicine. 2020;12(564)eabb2830.