discoveries magazine

Silence Is Golden

A new technology can alleviate ringing in the ears by retraining the brain to ignore it. It offers hope to the 50 million Americans who suffer from one of the most common health conditions in the country: tinnitus.

Musicians, factory workers, military veterans, and many others endure chronic tinnitus and associated problems with concentration, sleep, anxiety, and depression.

The technology, called the Levo System, mimics the specific sounds of each patient’s tinnitus, which the patient listens to through earbuds while sleeping. Because the brain is most responsive to sensory input during sleep, it grows accustomed to the sounds after a few months of treatment, and symptoms abate.

Clinical research has borne out the system’s therapeutic potential and it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The technology was invented in Uruguay, and Cedars-Sinai helped fund key research — including a clinical study — and saw it through the regulatory approval process.