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Review
. 2018 Feb;45(1):6-12.
doi: 10.1016/j.anl.2017.03.020. Epub 2017 Apr 21.

In-ear Medical Devices for Acoustic Therapies in Tinnitus Treatments, State of the Art

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Review

In-ear Medical Devices for Acoustic Therapies in Tinnitus Treatments, State of the Art

David Ibarra et al. Auris Nasus Larynx. .

Abstract

Cochrane reviews indicate there is very limited support for all forms of sound therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy has the strongest support. American Academy of Otolaryngology (AAO) recently published some guidelines which recommends Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for tinnitus intervention, and only indicates that sound therapy should be considered an "option" for intervention. Nevertheless, acoustic therapy could lead to cause changes in the tinnitus perception and has been appreciated by the affected people for years. In the last decades, the use of sound or sound enrichment has become a central part of many tinnitus management programs used by audiologists, whether the intention was to mask tinnitus, suppress tinnitus, or interrupt the tinnitus generating neural activity. Several acoustic therapies have been developed and implemented in the last 40 years, but how can we determine which one is the most effective? We can determine the effects based on the results reported in many research studies, but in those studies are many factors that differ from one study to another, like in-ear medical devices used to apply acoustic therapy for tinnitus treatment. In this article, we review and analyze the different types of in-ear medical devices used in the most recently acoustic therapies in treatments against tinnitus, allowing us to identify the pros and cons. By our analysis, an optimal medical device could be characterized to enhance the application of acoustic therapies and in consequence the global results of the sound therapies that already exist. In this review, it was considered acoustic therapies, the technology implemented in medical devices and the clinical needs.

Keywords: Acoustic therapy; Hearing aid; Medical device; Tinnitus.

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