Tinnitus Treatment (Part
In September 2003 I started my own independent audiology
practice in Bondi Junction, Sydney. The mission of the new
was to offer independent and unbiased cutting edge techniques
technology in all aspects of audiology.
Around the same time Professor Phillip Newall, head of audiology
Macquarie University, introduced me to Neuromonics CEO Dr
Hanley. After 10 years “in the making”, Neuromonics
was looking at
launching a new tinnitus treatment in Sydney. For the previous
years audiologist and inventor of the treatment, Dr Paul
been developing the technique as part of his PhD study at
University in Western Australia. The treatment had been
for several clinical trials, the last one conducted at Macquarie
I have known Dr Paul Davis for more than 10 years. Paul
tinnitus and became interested in the field in an attempt
relief for himself. I had last spoken to Paul at length
when he came
to see me in 1995 at St Vincent’s Tinnitus clinic.
He was then
researching different models used by other clinics to assess
When I met Neuromonics CEO Dr Peter Hanley he introduced
the concept of the auditory desensitisation protocol (ADP)
developed by Paul Davies - I was most interested. I read
research papers and was pleased to find out that for the
first time a
tinnitus treatment had been put through clinical trials
made available to the public. The results were good. Soon
Paul came to Sydney from Western Australia, now as the Chief
Scientific Officer of Neuromonics. We met again and had
interesting discussions about his tinnitus treatment.
Neuromonics was emerging as a new company at the same time
my new clinic. We had similar visions and common interests.
treatment results presented by reputable sources were encouraging.
It seemed logical to me to embrace the new treatment as
my clinical repertoire. In May 2004 I became the first independent
audiologist to provide the Neuromonics tinnitus treatment
practice in Bondi Junction.
What are the clinical results 12 months later?
It has been very satisfying to work with Neuromonics. The
has proved to be extremely professional and supportive.
welfare of the patients going through the treatment has
absolute first priority. The support given to the clinician
been outstanding. I went through extensive training before
becoming accredited to provide the treatment.
To date I have 4 patients who have completed the treatment
another 15 going through it. The process takes an average
months to complete. It is not a cure for tinnitus, and has
never claimed to be.
Like other medical treatments, it is not suitable for
every patient. A thorough audiological assessment is mandatory
prior to deciding the appropriate treatment for each individual
My patients who have completed the treatment showed excellent
results. After following the treatment for 6 months they
longer disturbed by their tinnitus and regained their quality
Most of the patients who are undergoing the treatment are
very positive progress. It may take longer to complete in
cases depending on individual issues. Two patients, unfortunately,
have dropped out as they could not fit the treatment into
lives. It takes commitment on the part of the patient to
the whole process with the support of the audiologist. The
treatment involves listening to the customised sound processor
(built according to the patient’s hearing and tinnitus
profile) for a
minimum of 2 hours a day, together with face to face and
counselling with the audiologist.
Neuromonics is not the only form of tinnitus treatment adopted
my clinic. Each individual case requires specific approaches.
12 months experience with the new treatment, I continue
no hesitation in recommending it to those patients who meet
Why is this treatment so expensive?
As an audiologist in private practice I do believe the cost
Neuromonics tinnitus treatment to the patient is high, but
prohibitive for most. The typical cost of the treatment
equivalent to the cost of a pair of digital hearing aids.
Unfortunately very few health treatments are still available
charge in this country. Any form of one to one therapy for
conditions is costly. Psychological counselling, physiotherapy
speech therapy for example, may cost thousands of dollars
people who need to go through years of weekly treatment
Medicare and private health funds still do not provide a
the Neuromonics tinnitus treatment. The fee received by
audiologist to provide this treatment is no different than
average hourly rate earned by any audiologist in private
A substantial part of the cost is related to R&D (research
development) of the processor. The treatment was developed
based on 10 years of full-time research. Venture capitalists
millions of dollars to make it clinically available. Scientists,
and accountants amongst other professionals, were employed
seek and receive a patent, TGA and FDA approval. Marketing
advertising of the treatment also increases the price. Unfortunately,
these costs need to be recovered and paid by the end user.
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©2005, Celene McNeill