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Tinnitus Awareness Week 2015 to Raise Awareness of ‘Ringing-in-the-Ears’ Medical Condition

Monday, 26 January 2015

Neuromod Devices and Irish Tinnitus Association to Promote a Nationwide Information Campaign

Saturday 31st of January sees the launch of Tinnitus Awareness Week. This year a public event will take place, hosted by The Neuromod Clinic in conjunction with the Irish Tinnitus Association. This free of charge event will take place at The Hermitage Medical Clinic, Lucan, Dublin at 10.30am on Saturday the 31st January.
The event will hear from industry experts including; Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Neuromod Devices, Dr. Ross O’Neill, Clinical Director of The Neuromod Clinic, Caroline Hamilton and Jean Scott Chairperson of the Irish Tinnitus Association.

A key objective for Tinnitus Awareness Week 2015 is to raise awareness, educate and inform members of the public about this potentially life altering condition and the effects it can have on those who suffer from Tinnitus.

1 in 10 people live with Tinnitus, with 1% of the population reporting significant issues such as anxiety, sleep deprivation and depression as a result of the condition. Often described as ‘ringing in the ears’, A key objective for Tinnitus Awareness Week 2015 is to raise awareness, educate and inform members of the public about this potentially life altering condition and the effects it can have on those who suffer from Tinnitus.

For those suffering with chronic tinnitus the effects can be significant, Isabelle Kidney (clinical trial patient) said “It affected my concentration, my fundamental quality of life and my feeling about life.”

Irish general practitioners, audiologists and patients now have access to a new revolutionary treatment option for chronic subjective tinnitus, in the form of mutebutton™. A non-surgical treatment from Neuromod Devices, the mutebutton™ treatment has secured a medical device CE Mark, certifying the product’s safety and efficacy to the highest European standards.
The product combines synchronous audio and lingual (tongue) stimulation to promote neuroplasticity amongst patients. The mutebutton™ system has been designed to give an overall relaxing experience to the patient when used for 30 minutes a day.

Since the introduction of mutebutton™ many Irish patients have discovered significant improvements to their quality of life, “With the reduction in noise I was more energised throughout the day... that was a massive improvement in my quality of life.”

As Clinical Director at Neuromod Devices, Caroline Hamilton has been integral to the advancement of the mutebutton™ treatment; “Subjective tinnitus is commonly associated with hearing loss but it can impact young and old patients alike. Many patients are worried that their symptoms will only increase with time. Having worked with Tinnitus patients for over 10 years, I am excited about being able to provide a new standard of care to these patients”.

Founded in 2010 by biomedical engineer Dr Ross O’Neill, Neuromod Devices has been recognised for their innovation and excellence, winning the ‘Emerging Company’ award in December at the Irish Medical Devices Excellence Awards.

Tinnitus Prevention

While the introduction of mutebutton™ offers welcome news for existing tinnitus suffers, Tinnitus Week is fundamental for the circulation of information regarding the steps the general public can take to prevent the development of tinnitus symptoms. As explained by Caroline Hamilton, Clinical Director of The Neuromod Clinic, “Preventing hearing loss is the best step someone can take to prevent tinnitus symptoms arising. It is important that people consider the impacts of noise on their hearing and take steps to protect their hearing accordingly. Remembering that an employer is governed by law to provide ear plugs if noise levels reach over 85db in the workplace, we should remember that many music concerts can exceed 110db. We tend to overlook the impacts of noise exposure on our hearing.”

Tinnitus Treatments
At present there are limited avenues of treatment for tinnitus. Once diagnosed with subjective tinnitus, most people may find themselves referred to an audiologist for standard hearing aids. “The problem with hearing aids, however, is that they merely amplify the sounds around you. They don’t directly address the tinnitus symptoms. Noise maskers can offer some temporary relief by distracting the mind from the illusory sound, however, this is only temporarily masking the symptoms, not addressing the cause and providing lasting relief. That’s why we developed the mutebutton™ system”, according to Dr. O’Neill.

The mutebutton™ system has been designed to give an overall relaxing experience to the patient. Once configured, the patient simply uses the treatment for 30 minutes a day. The control device enables the patient to adjust the level of tongue stimulation and the loudness of the relaxing audio during the treatment, to their personal preference. The device is sold with Bluetooth headphones which have been carefully selected for comfort, safety and efficacy and the company’s own tonguetip™, which is a small intra-oral device.
Tinnitus suffers who would like more information on mutebutton™ can find all details at www.tinnitusawareness.ie or call Neuromod Devices on 01 -7163640.

ENDS

26 January 2015

For more information contact Micéal Whelan, University College Dublin, Communications Manager (Innovation), e: miceal.whelan@ucd.ie, t: + 353 1 716 3712,


Irish Tinnitus Awareness Week 2015 is taking place across Ireland from 3 to 7 February. To find out more about what is happening in your area during this week contact your local DeafHear office. www.irishtinnitus.ie

The Irish Tinnitus Association aims:

  • To achieve our objectives through the dissemination of accurate information about the condition and the approaches which might be taken by sufferers to cope and hopefully gain some relief.
  • To ensure that those with Tinnitus need not feel alone and this is particularly important in respect of the elderly and those who might live in isolated locations.
  • To raise public awareness of the condition and the relevant and the extent which it can be a disability.
  • To raise awareness with the medical profession, particularly GP’s, to ensure that more guidance is given to patients than the current approach of ‘nothing can be done, you must live with it’.

Neuromod Devices was founded by Dr Ross O’Neill in 2010 as a spin-out from NUI Maynooth to develop novel and innovative neurostimulation technologies for the treatment of unaddressed neurological conditions. The company has developed a stable platform technology for the rapid development and evaluation of innovative neuromodulatory interventions and is certifying it to the highest international technical medical standards. This core technology will form the basis for a pipeline of new products that address high-value market opportunities. The company has been headquartered at NovaUCD since 2010.

www.neuromoddevices.com

mutebutton™ is a completely new approach to the treatment of tinnitus. Unlike other technologies, such as noise-maskers and sound therapies that only provide relief while using the device, mutebutton™ is a clinically proven tinnitus treatment that combines auditory and lingual (tongue) stimulation to drive real improvement in the patient's condition after use. www.mutebutton.ie

At NovaUCD, the hub for new ventures and entrepreneurs at University College Dublin, we nurture and support new high-tech and knowledge-intensive companies as part of UCD’s innovation mission. At NovaUCD we provide purpose-built, state-of-the-art incubation facilities alongside a comprehensive business support programme for our client companies such as Neuromod Devices. NovaUCD has been funded through a unique public-private partnership that includes AIB Bank, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Enterprise Ireland, Ericsson, Goodbody Stockbrokers, UCD and Xilinx. www.ucd.ie/novaucd


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