Magnetic blasts to the brain may fix this common ailment…

Magnetic blasts to the brain may fix this common ailment…

It's called tinnitus -- and it may be cured using this bizarre method involving magnetism.

A new study has found that magnetic pulses to the brain may cure people with tinnitus — a common ailment you may not even know you have.

About 45 million people with tinnitus hear a persistent ringing or hissing in their ears even there is no external source, a problem that can interfere with people’s ability to concentrate, and it drives some people absolutely crazy, according to a HealthDay News report.

There aren’t any proven treatments for tinnitus, perhaps because it is viewed as more of an annoyance than a serious ailment by the medical community, but in many cases it can be severely disabling.

But a new study provides hope for those who suffer from the condition: researchers subjected patients to 2,000 magnetic pulses over sessions stretched over 10 consecutive workdays in a process called “transcranial magnetic stimulation.” The patients had tinnitus for at least a year.

The study found that the symptoms of tinnitus had been eased for at least six months in half of the patients versus a “placebo” treatment.

It was the first time in years for many patients to experience a relief from symptoms, a promising result that could provide scientists with new leads in treating the ailment that affects so many Americans. This could be especially helpful to members of the military who have been subjected to trauma, and it is in fact one of the most common disabilities in the armed forces.

Tinnitus is often described as a ringing but sometimes as a clicking, roaring, or hissing. Sometimes — although rarely — voices or music are heard. It can come from one ear or both, and usually it comes on gradually. In some people, it can be disabling, resulting in depression or anxiety.

The findings were published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery.

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