April 19, 2011

Cochlear Implant Used to Treat Tinnitus. But What About Vertigo?

Some comments, responding to an article paralleling skin bleaching to cochlear implantation, claimed that some deaf adults who suffer from vertigo and tinnitus are told by their doctors that the only way to cure either is to undergo cochlear implantation surgery. Therefore, according to the commentors, this can be seen as a medical issue which needs to be fixed (as oppose to getting a CI strictly for hearing purposes).

Sometimes, if necessary, doctors will recommend cochlear implantation to treat tinnitus. Read this article explaining clearly how cochlear implantation can help treat tinnitus in some patients. 

Dizzy yet?I have not heard about cochlear implants being recommended for vertigo, though.

But, I have heard that in many cases, symptoms of vertigo occurred post surgery.

Apparently, there are doctors who have used a type of surgically implanted device, which is based on cochlear implant devices, to treat vertigo associated with Meniere's disease. It sounds as if it is not like getting a cochlear implant for hearing purposes. It has a processor that will activate when vertigo strikes the person to help ease the symptoms.                                                                                       

From Healthy Hearing about treating vertigo using the device:

A patient wears a processor behind the affected ear and activates it as an attack starts. The processor wirelessly signals the device, which is implanted almost directly underneath in a small well created in the temporal bone. The device in turn transmits electrical impulses through three electrodes inserted into the canals of the inner ear's bony labyrinth.

"It's an override," Phillips said. "It doesn't change what's happening in the ear, but it eliminates the symptoms while replacing the function of that ear until it recovers."

Does anyone know more about this? Is there anyone who received cochlear implants in their adult years strictly for these purposes?


Related Post:

*Photo from Flickr


  1. OK, there seems to be some confusion on technology implementations between CI's, Auditory Brainstem Implants (ABI's), and the new vestibular stimulation technology to either cause or relieve vertigo.

    CI's, ABI's and the new vestibular stimulation device all use the same basic implant, differing only in electrodes and software driving them:

    * CI's use a long, thin electrode wire that is usually 25mm (1 inch) long, and it is stuffed, err, "carefully threaded" inside the pea-sized hearing organ:

    * ABI's use a 3/8" (1cm) "patch" with 15 or 21 electrode buttons on it, in 3 rows of five or seven; and is placed in the brain stem:

    * The vertigo treatment uses electrodes of an unknown design, which wrap around the three bony semicircular canals of the vestibular system, attached to the cochlea.

    Here are two TV reports of the University of Washington-Seattle trial on the first patient:

    * UW surgeons perform world's first implant to treat Meniere's disease:
    www.king5.com/health/ UW-surgeons-perform-worlds-first-implant-to-treat-Menieres-disease-105483853.html

    * UW Meniere's implant passes first test:

    Here is a more extensive report:
    "Bioengineering First: Implant to Treat Vertigo from Meniere’s Disease, Balance Disorders"

    Dan Schwartz
    Editor, The Hearing Blog

  2. Giving a CI to those with tinnitus is totally bogus. I have a CI and my tinnitus feels worst after the surgery since that's all I can hear without the device on. Doctors who recommend this is only in for the money. They should be fired for all their doings against these innocent folks.

  3. Yes, deafinitely... it is a bogus.. shame on medical profession for reaping on innocent deaf people. This calls for INVESTIGATION!!!

  4. Sheldon H-

    Not everyone with tinnitus would be recommended to be implanted. There are only a small percentage that can benefit from this. Please read the article that I provided a link to about tinnitus being treated with cochlear implant.

    Note that I wrote, "Sometimes, if necessary, doctors will recommend cochlear implantation to treat tinnitus."

  5. Paul,

    Please do not overreact. If doctors were recommending that everyone with tinnitus get implanted, tons of people I know who have tinnitus would be implanted, not one of them had a doctor recommending them to be implanted.

  6. I personally know someone with tinnitus that went away after being implanted. We can't take one story and assume it is the same with everyone. It's irresponsible. I am not well versed in CI and tinnitus but I know someone close to the family that was relieved when her tinnitus went away. As for vertigo, I have heard that CI can help. Folks should remember, "it can help" is what it is: Can. Not, it WILL help everyone.


  7. Hi, It's been a long time with tinnitus, What can Help Me.

  8. From Tom: Having worn hearing aids since 1973,I had a CI on my right ear in October 2011. Tinnitus was dominant in that ear, and is no longer evident. Neither is the vertigo. Nice to be balanced for a change.

    However, the tinnitus is now in the left ear at a level exceeding what was evidenced in the other for so long.

    I am scheduled for CI on my left ear in a few days, hoping that the issue of tinnitus will be resolved. If not, at least I will be able to distinguish sounds to a superior level than hearing aids ever allowed.

  9. my email is williamsegura7@hotmail.com

    hello to the world of the planet, my name is William de Jesús Segura Baracaldo, I have 36 years of age, I was born in Bogota Colombia, I am deaf since birth, at 4 years old I began to live with hearing the first technology to both ears, usual but I hear it was only with the right ear beginning in 1980 through 2010 for all those years I was lost and increasing each time I change the instrument played more power I have a collection of instruments with a total of 8 technology hearing instruments to the latest technology of different brands, when it reaches the year 2010 was my last hearing power and the 5th of December at any moment I lost my hearing for all, according to audiometry 112% bone loss was 100% that day on Dec. 5 when I felt the deep-total deafness thought it was the instrument that I hurt, but that day gave me tinitus desperately as 8 days the tinnitus is under me, then I got to put me on hearing and tinnitus came back up, I immediately remove the instrument from then on never under tinnitus and sometimes I was up for a long time, I started the treatment and study with physicians surgeons "otologist" and ENT, finally I did several tests, I ordered a cochlear implant.
    2012 this year as almost one year and four months living with tinnitus before surgery, but as soon as I CI cochlear implant surgery on April 24, 2012 I awoke from the anesthetic and the IC put me in the right ear and blindfolded, but I felt my very high tinnitus tinnitus was terrible but so far I have no hearing implant, waiting for me to remove the points and the June 12 start using the headset for the IC, so if I concern is the hell of tinnitus, because there are 4 different sounds and timely, high-strength noise between 88% -90% -100% per cent, when I talk up the tinnitus, when I was also way up the tinnitus, when I do I force up tinnitus, my tinnitus is getting worse than when I was before surgery, frankly I'm bored, I can not sleep well, I get malgenio because it is not easy to live with tinnitus and more than Tinnitus is very high, I hope that once I removed all the points we make the tests with the hearing aid IC and verify whether it is true that the implant helps improve tinnitus, I hope in Faith of God everything goes well.

    Thanks for your help and any information my email is williamsegura7@hotmail.com

  10. Wouldn't it make sense that CI would lower your tinnitus if it is caused by the absence of sound from your actual ear? If the sound is produced artificially through a CI I think it makes sense that the brain would be less confused.

    Do CIs damage your hearing if you get one while you can still hear fine?

    My deepest sympathies to anyone with tinnitus here. I've had mild to moderate tinnitus for as long as I can remember, but recently I had an ear infection which for some reason have left me with lower hearing and more tinnitus in one of my ears. It's still mild tinnitus compared to what some people have but it still scares me.

  11. The processor wirelessly signals the device, which is implanted almost directly underneath in a small well created in the temporal bone. The device in turn transmits electrical impulses through three electrodes inserted into the canals of the inner ear's bony labyrinth. Jenny

  12. cochlear implant company to invest in special devices it would be possible to produce a special cochlear implant to treat tinnitus. tinnitus treatment


Keep it civil.