science
Study Claims White Noise Can Damage Your Brain, but Don’t Panic

A recent research review suggests that white noise, the soothing, fuzzy soundtrack so many of us rely on to sleep or block out distractions, could actually be dangerous. It argues that exposure to the random, unstructured sounds that make up white noise can alter the brain’s neural connections that help us perceive sound, leaving us at risk of conditions such as tinnitus and even dementia. But there’s reason to be sceptical of some of the authors’ claims. Read More >>

science
This Small Device Could Silence the Maddening Symptoms of Tinnitus

Millions of people suffer from a medical condition known as tinnitus, a disorder that can be so tormenting that it makes Edgar Allen Poe’s talking, taunting raven sound charming. People with tinnitus are plagued by phantom noises, usually ringing or buzzing, sometimes to the point where they can no longer work or function. Worse still, cases are often chronic and incurable: Current treatments include cognitive behavioural therapy to help people manage the distress it causes, using actual sounds to mask the ringing, or invasive brain surgery that often doesn’t work. But the findings of a new study, published today in Science Translational Medicine, seem to offer something much more promising—a noninvasive treatment that attacks the root source of tinnitus while making life noticeably easier for its sufferers. Read More >>

chatroom
Traffic? Tinnitus? Tartarus? What is the ‘Bristol Hum’?

It’s back, apparently. Bristolians are once again being terrorised annoyed and enthralled by a low frequency humming sound, which was first recorded in the city in the 1970s. Nobody’s entirely sure what’s behind the noise, and every explanation put forward so far has raised eyebrows. Read More >>

giz explains
What Tinnitus is (and What You Can do About It)

Some perceive it as a high-pitched, mosquito-like squeal; others, an incessant electrical buzzing. It can even sound like unintelligible voices or music. It's known as tinnitus, and it's a surprisingly common affliction, affecting some 50 million people in America alone. Here's why it happens, and how you can prevent it. Read More >>