New ear app is ‘ere

Mobile app provides crucial hearing aid

University of Exeter are making headway with understanding a rare inner ear disease, thanks to a new mobile app.

The innovative app, developed by the Medical School’s European Centre for Environment & Human Health, will allow sufferers to log details about their symptoms and compare with others across the country.

Affecting roughly 60,000 people in the UK, Ménière’s Disease can cause tinnitus, hearing loss, vertigo and a feeling of pressure deep inside the ear.

“You could grow potatoes in those ears”

Cornish digital company Buzz Interactive have helped to develop the app in an attempt to understand what influences the symptoms of Ménière’s.

And they’re pretty serious about it too – focusing on factors such as air pressure and humidity, the researchers are studying people across the country that experience similar complaints at the same time.

Research leader Dr Jess Tyrrell said: “By collecting data on a daily basis this project will provide the crucial first step in understanding the variable nature of Ménière’s.”

Hear, hear. He adds: “We hope this will be good news for those diagnosed with the condition, removing some of the anxiety associated with the ‘unknowns’ that trigger attacks.”

Gerald Pitts, a long term sufferer, said: “It can be a very unpredictable condition that makes everyday life difficult. One minute you can be functioning well, the next the whole room is spinning and you have no idea what set it off. Understanding episodes like this will help me – and others with the condition – to prepare for times when symptoms might worsen.”

You can aid the research if you have been diagnosed with the disease, are over the age of 18 and have and have experienced symptoms, such as vertigo or tinnitus in the last year – it can be downloaded on Itunes or Google Play.