Safe And Potentially Effective Tinnitus Treatments
Tai Chi can offer relief from tinnitus.
Other treatment forms that are safe and that may be effective include, but are not limited to:
- Sound therapy for tinnitus, such as listening to white noise or other pleasant masking sounds
- Supplements such as Magnesium* or Zinc*
*Always consult your general practitioner before taking vitamins, minerals, supplements, or other OTC or prescription medications.
Not Recommended Tinnitus Treatments
There are a number of treatments that may be posed as “cures” but actually have little to no evidence of actually improving tinnitus and may pose safety risks.
Examples include but are not limited to:
- Ear candles
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
- Ginko biloba*
â*Always consult your general practitioner before taking vitamins, minerals, supplements, or other OTC or prescription medications.
Pills or supplements posing as ‘tinnitus cures’ are not safe or effective
The Reason Why There Is No Cure For Tinnitus
Tinnitus is not a condition but a symptom. Persistent or constant tinnitus usually indicates damage to the peripheral auditory system. The damage can be caused by noise exposure, ototoxic medications, or the existence of other health conditions. The damage results in instability of the sensorineural auditory pathway which produces a phantom signal that the brain interprets as sound. If the underlying medical condition that is causing the tinnitus is treated, such as removal of impacting earwax, the tinnitus could go away completely. But many times, the damage to the auditory system is permanent and irreversible, such as with excessive noise exposure, and therefore the tinnitus persists.
Your audiologist will perform a thorough case history, an audiological exam, and tinnitus assessment to determine the best course of action to help mitigate the effects of the tinnitus.
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How Can I Prevent Tinnitus
Your risk of developing tinnitus increases with exposure to loud noises, so hearing protection is an important intervention. If you are around a noise that is so loud you cannot speak at a normal conversation level, you should wear ear plugs, move away from the noise source, or turn it down.
Can Sound Therapy Help Tune Out Tinnitus
There is no cure for tinnitus, but it can become less noticeable over time. Still, there are ways to ease symptoms and help tune out the noise and minimize its impact. Treatments are a trial-and-error approach, as they work for some people but not others.
One often-suggested strategy is sound therapy. It uses external noise to alter your perception of or reaction to tinnitus. Research suggests sound therapy can effectively suppress tinnitus in some people. Two common types of sound therapy are masking and habituation.
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Hearing Aids For Tinnitus
The first step in evaluating someone with tinnitus is usually a full hearing assessment to identify the degree and type of hearing loss. Then, an audiologist or other medical professional will work with you to identify the pitch and volume of your particular tinnitus sound.
If your degree of hearing loss suggests youd benefit from wearing hearing aids, you can choose the type that includes whats known as pitch masking. Using a masking tone that matches the pitch and intensity of your particular tinnitus sound, the goal is to produce residual inhibition, which means that you either no longer hear or barely hear the bothersome sound.
Even if you dont need hearing aids, you may benefit from using sound therapy via headphones or environmental sound machines to mask your tinnitus and help you habituate to it.
Additional Approaches May Help With Tinnitus
Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor also may recommend addressing issues that could contribute to your tinnitus.
- Musculoskeletal factors. Jaw clenching, tooth grinding, prior injury, or muscle tension in the neck can sometimes make tinnitus more noticeable. If tight muscles are part of the problem, massage therapy may help relieve it.
- Underlying health conditions. You may be able to reduce the impact of tinnitus by treating conditions like depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
- Negative thinking. Adopting cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnosis to redirect negative thoughts and emotions linked to tinnitus may also help ease symptoms.
- Medication. Tinnitus can be a side effect of many medications, especially when taken at higher doses, like aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and certain antidepressants. The problem often goes away when the drug is reduced or discontinued.
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What Can You Do For Tinnitus
While there is no cure, there are some tools and treatments that can help to manage tinnitus.
If your tinnitus keeps you awake a night, you could try meditation apps that play white noise or soothing sounds like rainfall or ocean sounds. A noise in the background can help you to sleep better and drown out the ringing of the tinnitus. White noise from a fan or a dehumidifier may also help you to sleep better at night. You could also use a white noise device with pillow speakers.
Hearing aids are also common treatments for tinnitus, even if a hearing loss isnt present. While using hearing aids to restore hearing can sometimes alleviate tinnitus symptoms, they can also be equipped with masking features to help you better block out the sounds.
Cognitive behavior therapy is often seen as one of the most effective treatments. Psychology based interventions like this can work to improve the quality of life and reduce the distress caused by tinnitus, but this is more of a mind over matter approach. This may also be used in tandem with tinnitus retraining therapy , which seeks to help you ignore the sounds in environments that might be difficult, such as when youre sleeping or in the shower.
Is There Treatment For Tinnitus
What makes a person focus on tinnitus is fear, Gans explains. Fear or anxiety has to be a part of the picture.
Gans likens the brain to an orchestra, working with many different sections contributing. In treating tinnitus, she helps patients re-tune their brains so they can start perceiving body sensations accurately. Gans does not claim to cure or get rid of tinnitus rather, she helps patients shift their tinnitus from bothersome to non-bothersome.
Its not just about stress reduction. Gans sites three important components to help patients.
- Working to help patients feel less anxious about tinnitus
- Educating patients so they can be an expert on what tinnitus is and also what it isnt
- Taking a patients lifestyle into consideration.
Gans is confident that she can take it from bothersome to non-bothersome by re-training the brain on how to deal with it, whether through an online course or in-person treatments. Education about the condition alleviates patients fears and empowers them to manage their tinnitus. She also recommends meditation or focused awareness practice that enables patients to create space between whats happening to them physically and how they react to it.
This allows patients to shift from being reactive to tinnitus. Through treatment, patients learn how to respond to tinnitus and begin to view tinnitus in a more appropriate way. Tinnitus is a paper tiger, she says. It looks scary, but its actually made of paper.
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Ambiguous Tinnitus Definitions And Subtyping
Multiple definitions of tinnitus have been published from ringing or buzzing in the ears to the conscious experience of a sound that originates in the head of its owner or the conscious perception of an auditory sensation in the absence of a corresponding external stimulus . None of these definitions are entirely fit for purpose. Ringing in the ears is clearly too simplistic awareness of tinnitus does not have to be within the ears and many sounds other than ringing are reported. The other definitions are more accurate descriptors of tinnitus, but would include the auditory hallucinations seen in some forms of psychiatric illness. Also, some examples of pulsatile tinnitus are generated mechanically, for example, by muscular or vascular activity. Similarly, some examples of low frequency noise complaint are responses to genuine low-frequency noise in the persons environment though others are probably phantom perceptions which would fall underneath the tinnitus umbrella .
The various subdivisions of negative reaction to both real and phantom sounds are depicted graphically in Figure 3.
Figure 3. The forms of negative reaction to real and phantom sounds.
Read The Latest Treatments To Eliminate Ringing In Your Ears And Other Symptoms
Have ringing in your ears that wonât go away? If so, you probably suffer from tinnitus.
But that frustrating ringing sound isnât the only symptom of tinnitus.
Here are some other common symptoms of tinnitus:
Buzzing, roaring, or clicking sounds in your ears
Sounds that happen suddenly and without an obvious cause
If you feel any of the above symptoms, you may have Tinnitus…but there are ways to get relief.
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Tinnitus: Ringing Or Humming In Your Ears Sound Therapy Is One Option
- By Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men’s Health Watch
That recurring sound that you hear but nobody else does? Its not all in your head. Well, not exactly.
You may be one of the estimated 50 million-plus people who suffer from tinnitus. The mysterious condition causes a sound in the head with no external source. For many its a high-pitched ringing, while for others its whistling, whooshing, buzzing, chirping, hissing, humming, roaring, or even shrieking.
The sound may seem to come from one ear or both, from inside the head, or from a distance. It may be constant or intermittent, steady or pulsating. One approach to managing this condition is different forms of sound therapy intended to help people tune out the internal soundtrack of tinnitus.
Development Of Tinnitus Cure Map
The preceding text demonstrates the challenges of tinnitus research. We need more focus on definitions, subtyping and outcome measures we need research that uses common methodologies, making comparison and meta-analysis easier we need to ensure that researchers are focussed on what funders and patients want. To try and clarify this complex subject, the British Tinnitus Association 15 has developed a Tinnitus Cure Map. This is an attempt to try and summarize the current tinnitus research, demonstrating knowledge gaps but also demonstrating areas where we already know the answer, blind alleys that do not need further exploration. The aim is also to highlight research opportunities and act as an up to date repository of evidence-based tinnitus knowledge.
The map was developed within the BTA and involved consultation with relevant stakeholder groups, including members of tinnitus patient support groups, BTA members, BTA Professional Advisers Committee members and British Society of Audiology Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Special Interest Group16. Criteria were that the map should be free to access, intuitive and easy to use, adaptable and expandable.
A paper copy of the map has been produced using four heading levels: Steps Toward a Cure, General Research Area, Specific research Area and Individual Projects. A copy of the map limited to three levels for clarity is shown . A version that uses four levels is included in Supplementary Material.
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New Tinnitus Treatment Alleviates Annoying Ringing In The Ears
A noninvasive device designed to rewire brain circuits reduced symptoms of tinnitus in a large, exploratory clinical trial
Tinnitus, the perception of phantom noises in the absence of actual sound, affects millions of people around the world. According to one recent assessment, approximately one in 10 adults in the U.S. experiences tinnitusand in nearly a quarter of these individuals, symptoms last for more than 15 years. Those with tinnitus can also experience complications such as difficulty focusing, fatigue, anxiety and an overall reduction in the quality of life.
Psychological interventions such as cognitive-behavioral therapy can help lessen the distress, but to date, no drug or medical device has been shown to reliably improve this condition. Now researchers have inched closer to making a treatment for tinnitus a reality. According to a new study, published today in Science Translational Medicine, a noninvasive device that applies a technique known as bimodal neuromodulation, combining sounds with zaps to the tongue, may be an effective way to provide relief to tinnitus patients.
Take The First Step In Fighting Tinnitus With Your Audiologist
There may be no definitive cure for tinnitus, but there are plenty of ways your audiologist can help treat it if youre experiencing it. Get in touch with The Center for Audiology by calling our Houston office at 713-255-0035 or our Pearland office at 713-800-5050. We will be glad to help you learn more about tinnitus and find the relief you deserve.
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What Will Work For Me
Talk to your doctor before trying any of these treatments. Tinnitus is unique to each person, so getting the right treatment may mean trying different options and combinations to find what’s right for you.
If you combine therapies for tinnitus, you’ll be going to more than one health care provider. You’ll need to see a behavioral or mental health specialist along with a hearing professional.
Successful combined treatment also takes commitment. Many forms of therapy — including behavioral therapy and tinnitus retraining therapy — may take several sessions over a few months, depending on your specific circumstances and the types of treatment.
Who Is Affected
Most people have experienced short periods of tinnitus after being exposed to loud noises, such as after a music concert.
In the UK, more persistent tinnitus is estimated to affect around six million people to some degree, with about 600,000 experiencing it to a severity that affects their quality of life.
Tinnitus can affect people of all ages, including children, but is more common in people aged over 65.
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How We Can Help
At Hearing Associates, we understand that no two peoples experience with tinnitus is the same.
Even though there is currently no cure for tinnitus, we offer many treatments to make it more manageable. However, we know that while one treatment may work amazingly for some of our patients, it may do absolutely nothing to help others.
This is why we are dedicated to working with each of our patients individually to find what treatment or treatments are right for them. We are here to help and guide our patients on their hearing journey, no matter how short or long it may be.
Additional Treatment Strategies And Alternative Medicine
There are many behavioral changes you can make that can either help relieve your tinnitus or help you learn to cope with it.
Homeopathy, hypnosis, meditation and acupuncture are also thought to suppress tinnitus conditions. Studies have shown acupuncture can help relieve symptoms of tinnitus, but relief may not be seen until you have completed 10 to 15 sessions.
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What Are The Treatments For Tinnitus
If your tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying medical condition, the first step is to treat that condition. But if the tinnitus remains after treatment, or if it results from exposure to loud noise, health professionals recommend various non-medical options that may help reduce or mask the unwanted noise . Sometimes, tinnitus goes away spontaneously, without any intervention at all. It should be understood, however, that not all tinnitus can be eliminated or reduced, no matter the cause.
If you are having difficulty coping with your tinnitus, you may find counseling and support groups helpful. Ask your doctor for a referral.
If the cause of your tinnitus is excessive earwax, your doctor will clean out your ears by suction with a small curved instrument called a curette, or gently flush it out with warm water. If you have an ear infection, you may be given prescription ear drops containing hydrocortisone to help relieve the itching and an antibiotic to fight the infection.
Surgery may be necessary in rare cases of a tumor, cyst, or otosclerosis .
If your tinnitus is the result of temporomandibular disorder — sometimes called TMD — your doctor will probably refer you to an orthodontist or other dental specialist for appropriate treatment.
Medications for Tinnitus
If your tinnitus is accompanied by some hearing loss, a hearing aid may be helpful. They strengthen the sounds you need to hear. That makes the ringing stand out less.
A Possible Cure For Tinnitus Has Been Found
Scientists from the University Of Arizona have been working to develop a cure for the extremely bothersome ear ringing condition known as tinnitus. They are hopeful that they have finally discovered a remedy.
After much experimentation with mice, the scientists discovered they could stop ringing in ears by blocking a protein that inflames the brain, effectively curing the condition. Now, they are hoping to achieve the same results in humans by using a pill to block the protein.
Professor Shaowen Bao co-headed the study, which was published in the publications PLOS Biology. The scientists’ work proposes that by blocking this protein, they can prevent the development of tinnitus even after elongated exposure to loud noise.
Bao spoke to The Metro about the study. He said:
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What Really Is A Tinnitus Cure
Each person’s tinnitus treatment journey is unique and may take a multifaceted approach.
A helpful way to think about a tinnitus “cure” would be to determine which improvements are most important to you.
Here is a list of questions you can ask yourself about what a tinnitus cure would look like to you. They will help you figure out what approach may work best for you.