Is This New Invention the Answer to Heartburn?



A new study conducted by Harvard Medical School indicates that an ear bud can help the stomach empty faster and reduce indigestion. The tiny device could offer a non-invasive, drug-free alternative to the problem, which affects around 40% of the public. Indigestion is often caused by stomach acid irritating the stomach lining and can lead to heartburn — a sense of fullness, bloating and nausea. The new device is a form of transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulator and works by sending small electrical pulses to stimulate the vagus nerve, the main nerve connecting the brain to the body. This has a number of functions in the body, including digestion, heart rate and mood. The new treatment targets a branch of the nerve that's easy to reach via the ear. While the initial data following a trial is hopeful, larger studies will be needed before the ear bud could be put on the market.