Stimulating the tongue with electricity reduces tinnitus

Originally published at:


Could the same thing be achieved with a simple 9-volt? (I can’t be the only one here who checks the charge level of their smoke detector batteries by licking the terminals, right?)


I’d say it definitely depends on the voltage, and whether it’s something continuous or there’s some frequency to it?

Well, I check my smoke alarm about once a year or so (or whenever it makes that weird sound my partner cannot hear and tells me is all in my head)… is that frequent enough? :wink:

(Actual tinnitus sufferer, so I’m not mocking it, for avoidance of doubt.)


Oh I signed up to offer to be a test subject for this. I’d forgotten about it.

I’ve had tinnitus since 22, I usually blame the bass bins I shoved my head in at raves by the truth is just a cold. My ears got blocked and I couldn’t sing to pitch which was a problem and I developed tinnitus.

I believe some people have found the epley manoeuvre helps. It’s used for vertigo. Which does seem to have gone away.


I suffer from tinnitus thanks to the US military, I constantly keep a box fan running in my home to drown it out, but I still don’t know if that’s any worse than having some gizmo attached to my tongue like that.


This is both a promising development for those with tinnitus (as I am), as well as a tiresome and empty promise. Anyone with tinnitus knows what I mean. There is no known etiology or treatment for this scourge but thousands of scam-cures. The most common medicines prescribed for it are antidepressants. I’m hopeful and skeptical.


Dr. Emilio Lizardo invented this treatment long ago…

Srsly though, this is wonderful news - I know someone who suffers from this and how awful it is for her.


On second thought, I guess the downside to this technique is that if you accidentally set off the alarm when reinstalling the battery, the ear-splitting noise from the smoke detector probably won’t do your tinnitus any favors.


Same here. Maybe it’s just that I don’t follow it closely, but it seems like there isn’t much work being done to solve it.

It doesn’t kill people, but it really is awful. It’s hard to explain to my family who doesn’t have it what it’s like to be able to think of your life in terms of before and after you could experience silence.


Same here but it was longer ago - and not raves, but more Deep Purple and the like. My ears rang for 3 days after that one and I did spend almost an entire Status Quo gig with my head in the bass bins.


Years ago, I saw an episode of Scientific American Frontiers with Alan Alda, where he experienced a tongue-electrode device like this. Rather than relieving tinnitus, it was hooked to a camera and sent a low-fidelity image to the electrode array. After some time wearing blackout goggles, he reported that he was able to perceive edges, areas of dramatic light-dark contrast, through the electrode array on his tongue, but interpreted as sight.

It left me with the impression that the brain’s sensory apparatus was largely some sort of frequency correlating machine, and that the organ that provided the input is not a particularly important part of the equation. I wonder if this device works on similar principles.


I’ve suffered from tinnitus basically my entire life. I would guess I was born with it. I don’t know what real silence is. It hasn’t cause any notable hearing loss save for a limitation of being able to hear a narrow range of tones in the ~8000-9000Hz range in my left ear. It is, however, a constant aggravation. I’d love for there to be some sort of fix for this, but as @brokenwords has noted I’m not holding my breath.


Stimulating the tongue with electricity reduces tinnitus

Uh huh. Kind of like how hitting your thumb with a hammer reduces the severity of a headache.


Purely anecdotal but for a couple of years I was suffering from low-frequency tinnitus. When I was in a quiet environment, I’d begin to hear a humming sound in the 40 - 160 Hz range. At night it sounded like a factory, except every time I’d move my head the sound would stop, and then start up again a second or two later (I thought I was going mad until I read up about it and found that low freq. tinnitus is a thing).

About 4 months ago I undertook an LSD trip as I am prone to do once or twice a year. It was just a stunningly beautiful experience filled with all the usual mysteries and landscapes and riddles and bizarre insights and sensations of life/death/rebirth etc.

But a few days afterwards I realized the low frequency tinnitus was GONE. Hasn’t come back since.

I can’t conclude much from this, and I’ve also had the thought that maybe the phenomenon originally started after a psychedelic trip. Molecules like LSD have been shown to rewire neural pathways so who knows?


Same trick here, but with mushrooms. It comes back if I clench my teeth too much, or if I’ve had a cavity or a sinus infection. But goes away quickly.

There’s some suggestion that MDMA might treat tinnitus also.


Hasn’t work for me yet @joey_bladb , but I’m committed to keep trying!


Was it on BB a few months ago where they reported that some experimental device for treating motion sickness also accidentally treated tinnitus? The salient bit from the article is that one person in the trial did not want to give the device back because it had been so effective at reducing the severity of the ringing for them.

Here’s an article from that bastion of science reporting, LinkedIn:


If you don’t mind my asking: is that the pitch your tinnitus is at? I also have it, and from an audiological workup, I know that I have a very narrow but deep dip in sensitivity ~6khz, which is pretty much precisely the frequency of my ringing. I’ve heard anecdotally that this is common, but :man_shrugging: