If your doctor has deemed that your tinnitus is a symptom of a much deeper health problem, then he may focus on a plan to treat the underlying condition first. If, the tinnitus stems from exposure to loud noise or if it does not get better after treatment, the doctor may then consider using some non-medical approaches geared to the elimination, reduction or masking of the tinnitus noise. There are instances when the tinnitus goes away all by itself without medical or non-medical intervention. There are types of tinnitus, however, that cannot be reduced or resolved regardless of what treatment plan your doctor may use.
Patients having a hard time dealing with tinnitus should join a support group or seek counseling for help. You can ask your doctor for any referral.
Too much wax in the ear can also cause tinnitus. If you have this problem, your physician will either clear your ears off the wax using a curette which is a small curved instrument or by suctioning them off with a vacuum via a small suctioning tube placed in the ear and connected to small vacuum machine. An ear infection can also cause tinnitus. Treatment for this problem is prescription ear drops consisting of hydrocortisone that addresses the infection and itching.
Sometimes surgery may be needed when factors like otosclerosis (calcium accumulation on the ear bone), cyst or tumor become the causes of your tinnitus.
Tinnitus symptoms due to a problem called the temporomandibular joint syndrome or TMJ will probably be handled by a dental specialist, orthodontist or other dental expert for the right treatment.
A lot of drug treatments for tinnitus have been studied. Certain tinnitus patients have found relief from their symptoms using minimal amounts of antidepressants such as Elavil or anti-anxiety drugs like Valium. A typical anesthetic like Lidocaine can be used as treatment for specific forms of irregular heart rhythms and even for tinnitus relief for certain individuals. This drug should be utilized into the middle ear or intravenously to effectively work.
For patients whose tinnitus comes with certain degrees of hearing loss, doctors may recommend a hearing aid for them.
A lot of individuals have had great success for their tinnitus using tinnitus maskers. These are devices that look like hearing aids that run a more pleasant sound into the ear to mask the irritating tinnitus noise. One other and newer tinnitus device functions as a masker and as a hearing aid at the same time.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)
This therapy tries to subliminally insert a signal into the brain and buries it in the subconscious level to keep it from surfacing onto conscious perception. This process is called habituation and people with tinnitus usually habituate many types of sounds like gentle rain, refrigerators, fans, computer fans and air conditioners among others. All these sounds are seen or perceived as low or soft sounds which can enable the brain to filter them out.
TRT consists of two parts:
A tinnitus patient will play a specific neutral sound every time and probably will use in-the-ear sound generators. Another part of TRT involves the patient going into one-on-one counseling.
The whole duration of tinnitus retraining therapy may last 1 to 2 years and usually works when handled by a competent therapist.
Cognitive therapy counsels a tinnitus patient to assist him to change his response to his tinnitus symptoms. This therapy is often effective when combined with complementary therapies like medication, masking or acupuncture among others.
Biofeedback aids tinnitus sufferers into modifying their responses to their tinnitus by using a certain form of relaxation technique. Some sufferers do find this technique very effective.
There are medical researchers who think that tinnitus can come from certain problems in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This is the part of the face where jaw bone connects to the cranium, just in front of the ear. These researchers recommend dental treatment to address tinnitus symptoms since the ear may be affected by the nerves and muscles in the jaw which are very proximal and connected to those in the ear.
A cochlear implant is surgically embedded in the ear, to address severe deafness. They can also help minimize the effects of severe tinnitus-related hearing loss. This implant sends electrical signals from the ear to the brain.
Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) which sees tinnitus as an imbalance of two energy principles called yin and yang. Tinnitus is believed to be caused by a yang rising pattern which means that the body has too much fire inside it. The rising of heat means the yin principle is deficient or lacking in the body causing an imbalance that is the underlying problem. The lack of yin or cooling and rise in heat energy can lead to the ringing in the ears, dizziness, irritability and burning eyes.
For a great number of tinnitus patients the treatment plan can entail herbal remedies and acupuncture to furnish the body with nourishment at a deeper level. Some patients suffering from tinnitus caused by too much loud noise exposure or from drugs may find treatment using tinnitus acupuncture combined with herbal remedies, lifestyle changes and dietary changes. Acupuncture and all forms of TCM are basically holistic types of treatment that do not merely address the presenting symptoms, but the root problem as well. With acupuncture, the acupuncturist can halt the pattern of discord and aid the body to go back to its optimal state of health. This type of treatment plan is occasionally termed as preventative health care approach.
Since TCM is a holistic type of treatment, the factors that lead to tinnitus (the energy imbalance of yin and yang) can be remedied to bring the body into an overall good state of health. As with all forms of natural treatment, acupuncture’s goal is to treat or even cure tinnitus by helping the body find a way to heal itself.
Willow Tree Wellness Clinic
1607 NE 16th Avenue
Portland, OR 97232