by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
New research reveals that for some people with hearing loss, the tinnitus associated with hearing loss stems from over-active sensory nerves in the face and neck.(1) After hearing loss occurs, for some reason, touch-sensing nerves in the face and neck step up their activity in the brain. The result is that some neurons in the cochlear nucleus become hyperactive. This increased activity has been linked to tinnitus.
For these people, treatment for their tinnitus may be as simple as acupuncture targeted at the nerves in the head and neck.
These findings may also reveal why many people with temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) also suffer from tinnitus.
(1) The Hearing Review, Vol 15, No. 2, February 2008. p. 60.