Epilepsy drug may help reduce tinnitus

An auditory research group at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine recently discovered that a drug used in the treatment of epilepsy known as retigabine may aid in the prevention of tinnitus.

How does retigabine help to prevent tinnitus? What researchers discovered is that retigabine works to proactively reduce the hyperactivity of those cells in the ear that cause you to think you are hearing sounds that actually aren’t there. The mice that were treated with retigabine immediately after exposure to loud stimulus did not develop tinnitus.

This study serves as a stepping stone for further research into the realm of tinnitus prevention. Researchers are now focusing on the development of a drug that will isolate specific mechanisms involved in the manifestation of tinnitus with the aim of minimizing potential side-effects.

  • If your results indicate a need for a hearing instrument, we will most likely begin the fitting process for making molds of your ears. The doctor will then consult with you about the different choices available for hearing instruments. These items will be considered:
    1. Conditions at birth or during adolescence that may have an impact on hearing.
    2. Exposure to workplace, military, or recreational noise.
    3. Medications prescribed for medical conditions.
    4. Past surgeries.
    5. Family traits and hereditary anomalies that may be associated with hearing loss.
  • What to bring: Please bring a list of all medications (prescription, over-the-counter, herbal, supplements) you are taking, your photo ID and insurance card(s) with you. You may print out and complete the necessary forms (located to the right of page) and bring them with you to your appointment. Please check in 15 minutes prior to your appointment time.
  • Who to bring: your main conversation partner: Communicating with your friends and family is often the most important reason you are going forward with a hearing solution. You can benefit from having a friend or family member join you in the consultation and fitting process. That way, instructions and decisions can be shared and others will have a better understanding of the process.

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