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’15 to 20 per cent of the entire global population is affected by tinnitus’

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Dr Soniya Gupta, Co-Founder, Dr Spectra (Audiologist and Speech Therapist) discusses with Viveka Roychowdhury on the burden of tinnitus and innovative products and solutions by Dr Spectra to treat tinnitus

What is the disease burden of tinnitus, globally and in India?

This is natural for people to overlook the severity of the disease or consider it as a symptom of the common cold. They believe that perception and noise will disappear after a short duration. However, this ringing can affect the quality of life to a great extent. The sound prevents patients from leading a normal and healthy life. It disrupts concentration paving the way for more errors in the daily tasks. It causes insomnia adding to the existing stress. The disease progresses with age and complicates the essential functions of the body. These are the primary factors that make tinnitus a burden in India and across the globe.

What is spurring an increase in the number of cases?

Recent statistics state that over 15 to 20 per cent of the entire global population is affected by tinnitus. This is relatively higher compared to the past decade. The number of patients is increasing at an alarming rate. The principal reason for this acceleration is the overall surge in noise pollution. The stressful and loud traffic stands as a testimony for the population explosion. The smartphones which have become an indispensable aspect of our lives also contribute to these disorders. People are accustomed to hearing loud music and excessive radiation exposure. These factors contribute to the spurring increase in the number of patients.

What are the different stages of the condition?

There are no known stages of the condition. However, the disease can slowly process from a low buzz to a high squeal. The cases might differ based on the patient and their health. There are different types of the disorders, and it is segregated into the subjective and the objective variant. The ringing sensation can be temporary or even permanent. The noise levels are different based on the patient. The treatment plan is determined based on the condition. Dr Spectra formulates customised plans after a thorough understanding of the patient profile.

How can the onset of tinnitus be detected, delayed and prevented?

The first step in treating a disorder is to diagnose it and the possible reasons. This would assist the public to reduce the risks of these factors. Some of the ways that can be used to detect tinnitus include an audiological exam, movement test, CT and MRI scans. The physician would analyse the type of sound and determine the nature of the issue. They might conduct multiple tests to achieve a conclusive diagnosis. Dr Spectra implores the public to reduce the usage of headphones for listening to loud music. The blaring horns and other sounds can be harmful to the ears. The people can derive innovative solutions like noise-cancelling headphones to prevent the onset of tinnitus.

What are the ways to treat tinnitus?

Dr Spectra has devised innovative products and solutions to treat tinnitus. We diagnose the nature of the issue and formulate a personalised treatment plan. We develop our products which are recommended to our patients. Some of the conventional treatment techniques include earwax removal, medication management and identification of a solution for an existing condition. Our notable products include Tinnitus Relief, Speechifi and Speakfluent. Tinnitus Relief is a battery-operated device which utilises Neuromodulation to treat the condition. The device soothes the nerves and also closely monitors the changes. We also suggest practical tools to minimise the contributing factor to manage the disease effectively.

What are the awareness levels of this condition among the medical fraternity?

Tinnitus has gained popularity in the last few years. However, the condition is relatively ignored by the masses due to lack of awareness. The patients do not seek adequate medical help, mainly because of ignorance. A few specialists in the country provide an efficient treatment plan. Nevertheless, there is considerable scope for development in the segment in terms of awareness creation and product development. This scenario motivated Dr Soniya Gupta to launch Dr Spectra. We have shouldered the responsibility to spread the message throughout the country. We implore the assistance and support of our peers across the nation to join hands with us in this endeavour.

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