Friday, September 29, 2006

Varying success for medications to relieve Tinnitus

Many medications have been tried to relieve tinnitus with varying degrees of success. Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline and nortriptyline, have been used with some success, but these medications have troublesome side effects, such as dry mouth, blurred vision and constipation.

Two recent clinical trials found that the migraine medications gabapentin (Neurontin) and acamprosate (Campral), a drug used to treat alcoholism, are effective in relieving tinnitus for some people.

Treatments with limited results
Some other treatments that have been tried, but which have had inconsistent results, are:

  • Acupuncture
  • Hypnosis
  • The herb ginkgo
  • Cochlear implant, an electronic hearing device
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Medications, such as benzodiazepines (nervous system depressants) and baclofen (a muscle relaxant)
  • Hyperbaric oxygen chamber, a therapy to get a high level of oxygen in your blood
  • Zinc

Prevention of Tinnitus

Because tinnitus and hearing loss can be permanent conditions, precautionary measures are advisable. If a ringing in the ears is audible after exposure to a loud environment such as a concert or work place, it means that damage is being done. Prolonged exposure to noise levels as low as 70 dB can result in damage to hearing . If it is not possible to limit exposure, wearing earplugs or ear defenders can be advantageous. For musicians and DJs, special musicians' earplugs can lower the volume of the music without distorting the sound and can prevent tinnitus developing in later years.

It is also important to check medications for potential ototoxicity. Ototoxicity can be cumulative between medications, or can greatly increase the damage done by noise. If ototoxic medications must be administered, close attention by the physician to prescription details such as dose and dosage interval can reduce the damage done

Tinnitus : Masking for symptomatic relief

A sound with higher decibel can mask the low decibel sound of tinnitus. This can be illustrated below:

Sound from surrounding Environment: A TV programme running in the background is often helpful when the tinnitus is disturbing.

Some examples of masking due to environmental sounds are:

Playing with friends, surfing on a beach, festival and other celebrations.

A "Walkman" or “Ipod” can be used with plug-in-ear earphones; which can be switched on when resting.

Modern hearing aids incorporating latest technological advancement are very effective at submitting the usual soft environmental sounds around you, and helping to get tinnitus mask. Older aids were not useful for this purpose. They can be programmed to amplify the whisper like sound around you without amplifying loud decibel sounds (thus avoiding noise induced hearing loss), and thus mask the annoying unwanted irritating tinnitus sound.

Tinnitus maskers : They are not hearing aids in true sense but generate some pleasing sounds in the ears which are not disturbing. They in no way can be used for people with hearing loss. But its use for masking is very limited as most of tinnitus affected age group are of old age with hearing loss and so hearing aid is a better option..

Thinking, Emotions and Tinnitus

Let's say that someone decides to discover the cause of his tinnitus. He already passed all diagnostic, which discovered no organic base, so it obviously has something to do with his life attitudes: habits, relationships, understandings...

In desire to find a solution he can use: thoughts, logic, emotions, consciousness.

Thoughts: 'I can try that drug...or...The traffic under my window causes my tinnitus...I will find solution alone, I will never..., I have to say her...' Thoughts are many, can be confusing. It is good to find good thoughts....
Logic is finding a correlation between thoughts, events. 'If that tea didn't help to others, will also not to me...'
Emotions: anger, peace, fear...are excitations of the heart. They always appear as heart's response to an event, a thought... Emotions disappear after a while. They can give a taste to our life and help us.

Sometimes is good for us if we are persisting in particular emotins, sometimes is not. How to distinguish this?

Intuition is commonly described as 'power of knowing without reasoning'. It can be compared with consciousness. Consciousness has two meaning: a - awareness, b - a voice which tells use what's right.

With awareness part we can observe and see that particular thoughts revoke particular emotions. We CAN find out what causes peace in us. But peaceful feeling can be tricky. True peace is permanent. This doesn't mean that we will feel a permanent emotion. It means that whenever we check our plans we will feel peacefully if the plans are good and we will lost peace in time if our plans are bad.

There is a voice on the end which will tell us 'yes' or 'no' (to do something).

We don't need to understand that voice. If we find peace with that voice it is enough to listen it and do what it tells us.