UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
Home
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Webcasts
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
If hearing loss is "cured" and the cochlea is restored, will tinnitus go away? Will tinnitus be eliminated permanently? How would the brain know to stop making the ring noise?
Answer 1:

The cochlea is the inner part of the ear responsible for most hearing. Tinnitus is generally thought to be caused by neurons firing sporadically due to hearing loss. It occurs in quiet environments, because any quiet noise will be too low to hear, and instead, the nerve damage will cause ringing. There was somewhat recently (2001) a study on whether cochlear implants help with tinnitus. This study showed that by restoring the cochlea with an implant, tinnitus is reduced or removed completely.

The brain probably knows to stop the ringing because it can again hear what actual quiet sounds are happening, and therefore there is no random neuron firing. Really good question.



Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2015 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use