A researcher at the Newcastle University  Kate Yukhnovich is inviting people with tinnitus to volunteer for an Online Tinnitus Modulation Study, which aims to investigate whether a specific type of sound is successful at reducing tinnitus loudness.

What will I do?

Volunteers will be asked to listen to two different types of sounds, one for each half of the study: one sound (the ‘active’ sound) is designed to try and suppress tinnitus, while the other sound is similar but is a ‘sham’ sound that is not intended to have any effect on tinnitus. The order of these is random, and volunteers will not know which type they are listening to.

The study is run online and takes a total of 18 weeks. Participation is voluntary at every stage, and volunteers can withdraw at any time, however, their data can only be included in the study if they complete the whole study period.

The study consists of the following:

  • Providing information such as age, sex, details about tinnitus, and questionnaires about tinnitus and hyperacusis (sound sensitivity);
  • Listening to a range of sounds to estimate hearing, type, and frequency of tinnitus;
  • A 6-week period of listening to one type of sound (active or sham) daily (no set amount of time: listening is done for as long as the volunteer chooses), which can be done while performing other activities if preferred;
  • A 3-week‘ washout’ period with no daily listening;
  • A further 6-week period of daily listening (to the other type of sound), and a further 3-week washout period;
  • Before and after each listening and washout period, numerical rating of the loudness and impact of tinnitus at that time.

Who can take part?

To be eligible for the study, you need to confirm that you:

  • Are at least 18 years of age;
  • Are able to make a voluntary and informed choice about whether to take part;
  • Experience tinnitus (persistent sound in one or both ears) for the majority of the time, provided that the level of background sound is not sufficiently loud to mask it. It is not important, for these purposes, whether you notice the tinnitus most of the time, provided it is there if you listen out for it;
  • Do not have hearing loss that is in the ‘severe’ or ‘profound’ range at the higher frequencies. Where there are such high degrees of hearing loss, it is unlikely the sounds used in the study will have any effect on the tinnitus. If you do have this level of hearing loss, but use a hearing aid or cochlear implant to correct this, then you can still take part, though we cannot guarantee that the sounds will have the same effect when used with such a device;
  • Do not have tinnitus that is ‘pulsatile’, meaning that it gets significantly louder and quieter in time with your pulse. This type of tinnitus usually is described as a low-pitched ‘whooshing’ sound.

What’s next?

If you are interested, please follow the link to the full Participant Information Sheet, which includes a more detailed explanation of the study and some FAQs. 


If you have any questions about the study, please email Kate at [email protected]