People who suffer from ringing in the ears, look for tinnitus treatments from almost any source. The constant whining or whistling in their ears is frustrating in the extreme, and can make just carrying on a conversation difficult.
So suffers explore any possible therapy to find relief.
Every case of tinnitus seems to be a little different, and there’s no one thing that works for every person. However, enough folk have found help from the each of the following therapies that they’re worth considering.
If you try any of these therapies, keep in mind that each one of them takes time and effort. Don’t give up after a few days and assume something isn’t going to work; some of these approaches may take weeks or even months to have an effect. You also may find that a combination of therapies works better than just one alone.
These treatments for tinnitus are in no particular order:
Biofeedback is a relaxation technique. Once someone has learned to use biofeedback, he is able to control factors such as his pulse, skin temperature, and muscle tension. Biofeedback doesn’t reduce or eliminate stress, but it can help a person manage stress more effectively. Since one of the triggers of tinnitus is stress, when someone is able to manage the stress in his life, they may notice a lessening of tinnitus.
Cognitive therapy is based on counseling. It deals with how someone reacts to the constant ringing in their ears instead of the actual tinnitus itself. Its goal is to help the person cope with tinnitus more effectively by identifying negative or self-defeating thought patterns and behaviors, and modifying them into more productive behaviors. Each cognitive behavior program is designed for the particular person involved, and works best when accompanied by one or more other therapies, such as medication or sound masking.
Some folk who have tinnitus associated with hearing loss may get some relief from wearing hearing aids. There are many factors that affect whether or not hearing aids help; one is the frequency of the tinnitus and its relationship to the hearing loss. If your hearing loss is close to the frequency range of the tinnitus, hearing aids may amplify sounds that help mask the tinnitus.
There are no drugs on the market specifically to treat tinnitus. However, many existing drugs have been used to help relieve tinnitus. Some of the drugs that have been studied for possible use treating tinnitus include anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, antihistamines, anticonvulsants and even anesthetics. All of these have worked for some patients but not others.
Remember that any kind of drug therapy carries risks such as side effects. You and your doctor need to plan out any prospective drug therapy carefully. Consider what medications you already take, and how drugs may interact. Also remember that some medications may worsen tinnitus in some people. You and your doctor will have to decide whether or not the potential relief you may get from a particular drug regimen is worth the possible side effects of the drugs involved.
Some people respond to the use of sound to mask tinnitus or to make it less obvious to them. The sound may be very simple, such as a fan running, or it may be a tabletop sound machine. Hearing aid-like devices allow the person to have masking sounds at all times. This doesn’t work for all, and in some cases may make perceived tinnitus worse. Sound therapy is most effective when it’s combined with some type of counseling.
TMJ Tinnitus Treatment
One cause of tinnitus is jaw joint dysfunction known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMJ. The muscles and nerves in the jaw are lie very close to those of the ear, and under some circumstances can affect the nerves of the ear. Generally this condition produces jaw pain as well, so if you have symptoms you suspect might be TMJ, see your dentist.
Herbal and Vitamin Treatments
Some suffers have reported improvement after taking minerals such as zinc or magnesium, B vitamins, or herbal preparations such as Ginko biloba. Other people have gotten relieve from acupuncture or hypnosis. Doctors have researched a few of these options to see if there really is anything there that would be helpful to patients, but so far nothing has emerged as a conclusively effective treatment. However, since these therapies have little potential for negative side effects, your doctor may tell you to try them and see if they work for you.