Tinnitus is characterized by a perception of sound in ears with no external cause. This sound can come in the form of ringing, beeping, clicking, hissing, buzzing, etc. Tinnitus is not a disease, but a symptom. There are many causes, but it is very common in patients with hearing loss.  

There are two types of tinnitus: subjective and objective. In objective tinnitus, the physician can hear the sound with a tube in the ear.  It is caused by the contraction of muscles in the middle ear and is usually treated with muscle relaxants. Subjective tinnitus, which is far more common, requires a physical examination and diagnostic evaluation to determine its cause. It can be the result of something as simple as earwax blockage to health conditions such as sensorineural hearing loss.  

Approximately 10-15% of people will experience tinnitus in their lifetimes. It can be extremely bothersome, especially for those dealing with it chronically. Although there is no “cure” for tinnitus, treating the underlying cause can help.  

Researchers at the House Institute Foundation strive to understand what happens in the brain to cause tinnitus. Beyond that, we are committed to find innovative treatments designed to improve the lives of individuals living with this symptom.

Past Research  

  • Found that tinnitus can be aggravated by anxiety, stress, depression, and fatigue  
  • Found that impulses coming from muscles, such as the neck, can cause or intensify the perceived loudness of tinnitus  
  • Found that relaxation exercises such as biofeedback or yoga can be helpful

Current Research  

  • Clinical drug trials are underway for the treatment of tinnitus.

Our Team

Publication List  

Balkany T, Bantli H, Vernon J, Douek E, Shulman A, House J, Portmann M, House W. Workshop: direct electrical stimulation of the inner ear for the relief of tinnitus. American Journal of Otolaryngology. 1987 May;8(3):207-12. 

Berliner KI, Shelton C, Hitselberger WE, Luxford WM. Acoustic tumors: effect of surgical removal on tinnitus. American Journal of Otolaryngology. 1992 Jan;13(1):13-7.  

Brackmann DE. Reduction of tinnitus in cochlear-implant patients. The Journal of laryngology and otology. Supplement. 1981;(4):163-5.  

Briner W, House J, O’Leary M. Synthetic prostaglandin E1 misoprostol as a treatment for tinnitus. Archives of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. 1993 Jun;119(6):652-4. 

Goddard JC, Berliner K, Luxford WM. Recent experience with the neuromonics tinnitus treatment. The International Tinnitus Journal. 2009;15(2):168-73. 

House JW. Tinnitus: Clinical Overview. The International Tinnitus Journal. 1997;3(1):23-24. 

House JW. Therapies for tinnitus. American Journal of Otolaryngology. 1989 May;10(3):163-5. Review. 

House JW. Tinnitus: evaluation and treatment. American Journal of Otolaryngology. 1984 Oct;5(6):472-5. 

House JW. Management of the tinnitus patient. Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology. 1981 Nov-Dec;90(6 Pt 1):597-601. 

House JW, Brackmann DE. Tinnitus: surgical treatment. Ciba Foundation symposium. 1981;85:204-16.  

House JW. Treatment of severe tinnitus with biofeedback training. Laryngoscope. 1978 Mar;88(3):406-12. 

House JW, Miller L, House PR. Severe tinnitus: treatment with biofeedback training (results in 41 cases). Trans Sect Otolaryngol Am Acad Ophthalmol Otolaryngol. 1977 Jul-Aug;84(4 Pt 1):ORL-697-703. 

Jackler RK, Brackmann DE, Sismanis A. A warning on venous ligation for pulsatile tinnitus. Otology & Neurotology. 2001 May;22(3):427-8. 

Leone CA, Edgerton B, Berliner K, House JW. [House cochlear implant for the control of tinnitus: preliminary results]. Acta Oto-laryngologica. 1984 Mar-Apr;4(2):163-70. Italian. 

Liu YW, Cheng X, Chen B, Peng K, Ishiyama A, Fu QJ. Effect of Tinnitus and Duration of Deafness on Sound Localization and Speech Recognition in Noise in Patients With Single-Sided Deafness. Trends Hear. 2018 Jan-Dec;22:2331216518813802. doi: 10.1177/2331216518813802. 

Mallen JR, Chiu J, Marquis H, Ottochian A, Perez E, Kuo CL, Otto S, Ryan T, Roberts DS. Quantifying tinnitus suppression in cochlear implantation using tinnitus interval-limited tracking. Laryngoscope. 2019 Dec 4. doi:10.1002/lary.28414.  

Meikle MB, Henry JA, Griest SE, Stewart BJ, Abrams HB, McArdle R, Myers PJ, Newman CW, Sandridge S, Turk DC, Folmer RL, Frederick EJ, House JW, Jacobson GP, Kinney SE, Martin WH, Nagler SM, Reich GE, Searchfield G, Sweetow R, Vernon JA. The tinnitus functional index: development of a new clinical measure for chronic, intrusive tinnitus. Ear Hear. 2012 Mar-Apr;33(2):153-76. doi:10.1097/AUD.0b013e31822f67c0. 

Miller MH. Tinnitus amplification: the high frequency hearing aid. The Journal of Laryngology and Otology. 1981;(4):71-5. 

Roberts DS, Otto S, Chen B, Peng KA, Schwartz MS, Brackmann DE, House JW. Tinnitus suppression after auditory brainstem implantation in patients with Neurofibromatosis Type-2. Otology & Neurotology. 2017 Jan;38(1):118-122. 

Soussi T, Otto SR. Effects of electrical brainstem stimulation on tinnitus. Acta Otolaryngol. 1994 Mar;114(2):135-40. 

Wazen JJ, Daugherty J, Pinsky K, Newman CW, Sandridge S, Battista R, Ramos P, Luxford W. Evaluation of a customized acoustical stimulus system in the treatment of chronic tinnitus. Otol Neurotol. 2011 Jun;32(4):710-6. doi:10.1097/MAO.0b013e318217d459.