New device from UC Irvine professor eases painful ringing in ears

May 09, 2012

IN THE NEWS: The Orange County Register took a look at an invention by UC Irvine Professor Fan-Gang Zeng to help ease the discomfort of tinnitus suffers:

The ringing can be loud, constant and debilitating, depriving sufferers of sleep and concentration, even triggering depression.

It’s known to doctors as tinnitus, and a new, iPod-like device invented by UC Irvine scientists can temporarily blot it out.

Called Serenade, the device is unlike older tinnitus treatments, which attempt to drown out the ringing with white noise.

“Imagine a loud sound constantly in your ear,” said UC Irvine Professor Fan-Gang Zeng, who helped invent the device and is himself a sufferer of tinnitus. “Basically, you play a sound typically louder than your tinnitus, so you mask it. Imagine you’ve already got something pretty loud; you play something even louder. Which poison do you pick?”

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