Important: For proper use of Tinnitus Trainer, your iPhone, iPad, iPod needs to have auto-lock set to never. The app is unable to work properly in background because of some restrictions Apple made to their Framework.
How does it work?
Today, there are still not many treatments
for tinnitus that are non-invasive and without
medication. Retraining therapy and Tinnitus
Masker are often used, but unfortunately with
The Tinnitus Trainer is breaking new ground,
based on recent insights from neuroscience.
Particular changes of activity patterns in parts
of the brain, the primary auditory cortex, leads
likely to the occurence of a chronic, tonal tinnitus
sensation. These sensation occurs without any
external stimuli. The primary auditory cortex is
the the place where signals from the inner ear
(cochlea) are received. A particular property of
this part of the brain is its so-called tonotopic
organisation. Meaning that different frequencies
are represented in different areas of the auditory
cortex. It is assumed that the tinnitus sensation
occurs with a particular kind of activity or
overactivity in these areas that are usually
associated with the tinnitus frequency.
The perceived tinnitus frequency thus corresponds
to changed activity patterns in these area of
the primary auditory cortex, that are usually
involved with processing this frequency.
Such a change can occur after hearing loss, e.g.
after demage to the inner ear. Acustic signal of
a certain frequency are not transmitted anymore
to their associated areas in the primary auditory
cortex. These areas can develop might then
develop an autonomous activity. And this activity
likely leads to the tinnitus sensation. After 12 months
of continued sensation, one speaks of chronic tinnitus.
Meaning that the brain learned these autonomous
activity patterns and they are stable enough not to
change anymore spontaneously.
This is where the Tinnitus Trainer comes into play.
By estimating the individual tinnitus frequency (the
frequency band to be more precise), one can estimate
the area in the primary auditory cortex with the
"wrong" activity. The Tinnitus Trainer generates
specific sequences of sounds around this frequency
band. These sounds constitute the training. Subsequently,
the areas in the primary auditory cortex are stimulated
or activated, that lie close to the areas with superfluous
After a certain amount of training, the wrong headed areas
will get smaller. This is to be understood not in a literal sense,
as reduction of actual brain tissue, but as a change of the
activity patterns occuring in these areas. They are then related
more to the sound sequences one actually listens to.
This property is called plasticity in jargon. The change in
the activity is correlated with a reduction of the loudness
of the tinnitus sensation, until it vanishes completely in the
For more in-depth information, we recommend to read
the relevant professional literature.