Sunday, September 24, 2006

Tinnitus Treatment Options

Treatment of tinnitus depends on the cause.

If the tinnitus is due to age-related hearing loss or damage to your ears by exposure to excessive noise, no treatment can reduce the noise. Your doctor may be able to take steps that could reduce the noise, such as removing impacted earwax. Tinnitus resulting from a vascular condition often can be corrected by fixing the underlying problem. If the tinnitus results due to adverse effect of a medication you are taking, your doctor may recommend discontinuing the drug or switching to a different medication.

Drugs like gabapentin (Neurontin) and acamprosate (Campral) are effective in relieving tinnitus for some people.

Other treatments that have been tried, but with limited results, are:



The herb ginkgo,

Cochlear implant

Electrical stimulation

Medications, such as benzodiazepines (antidepressants)

Hyperbaric oxygen chamber

Amplification using hearing aids

TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) treatment

Remember : ATA (American Tinnitus Association) does not recommend any tinnitus treatment.

Screening and diagnosis

Once you feel you are suffering from Tinnitus (hear constant irrelevant annoying noices ) , Its better to take an appointment with an experienced ENT surgeon ( Oto - Rhinologist ). Provide your doctor with correct information like -- when they started, their severity and what can make them worse.
A detailed history will be taken and a number of tests may be carried out. The Doctor will first examine your ears with an otoscope to see whether any local condition (like ear-wax, tumor etc. is causing the tinnitus or not. He may also refer for various investigations like x-ray lateral view of head, blood tests,tuning fork tests, and sometimes a CT (computerized tomography) or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan to come to a correct diagnosis.