Tinnitus - scourge of the Devil

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Barbarella, Jul 30, 2011.

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  1. Years of nightclubs and shotguns without proper ear defence have left me with subjective tinnitus. I have tried pumping myself full of all the nutritional supplements suggested (zinc, melatonin etc) to no avail, however I really don't want to start down the harsh chemical or more drastic surgery route as it really would be a last resort.

    Anyone else had similar issues and found a non-invasive way of calming it? It's pretty much non-stop now and I miss the voices...
  2. napier

    napier LE Moderator Reviewer

    Always have background noise so its not so noticeable. Have music playing quietly when you go to bed. There's not much else you can do.
  3. Tinnitus can be caused by a wide variety of different health conditions. Therefore, the treatment that is recommended for you will depend on whether your tinnitus has an underlying cause.

    For example, if your tinnitus is caused by a severe or long-term ear infection, antibiotics may be prescribed. If it is caused by a build up of earwax, then eardrops or ear irrigation (where a pressurised flow of water is used to remove the earwax) may be recommended.

    However, in most cases of tinnitus, there is no cure and so treatment is aimed at managing the symptom on a day-to-day basis. Staff at specialist tinnitus clinics can give you information about tinnitus, and help you develop a strategy to manage it more effectively.

    Some of the treatments that may be recommended are described below.
    Sound therapy

    Tinnitus is often most noticeable in quiet environments. Therefore, the idea behind sound therapy is to fill the silence with sounds that you find pleasant in order to distract you from the sound of tinnitus.

    Some people find that having the radio or television on provides enough background noise to mask the sound of tinnitus. Others prefer to listen to more natural, relaxing sounds, such as the sound of the sea.

    A sound generator may be useful if you do not have any hearing loss. It produces a constant, gentle sound (often described as white noise), and can help you to retrain your brain to ignore tinnitus. To do this, the volume should be positioned at just below the level of your tinnitus.

    Understanding tinnitus is an important part in learning how to manage it more effectively. Counselling is a talking therapy that helps you to learn more about your tinnitus and to find ways of coping with it.

    A counsellor is someone who is trained to listen, talk through problems with you and help you to develop possible solutions. Talking about your tinnitus, and how it affects your everyday life, may help you to understand the condition better and perhaps lessen its effects.
    Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

    CBT is the term used to describe a number of therapies designed to help treat problems such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    CBT is based on the idea that a person’s thoughts affect the way that they behave. Treatment is therefore aimed at retraining the way a person thinks in order to change their behaviour.

    If you have tinnitus, and your knowledge about it is limited, you may have certain ideas about it that make you anxious and distressed. However, if these beliefs are untrue, changing them may help to reduce your stress and anxiety.
    Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT)

    The tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) technique uses a combination of sound therapy and counselling to help people to cope better with their tinnitus.

    TRT involves retraining the way that your brain responds to tinnitus sound so that you start to tune out of it and become less aware of it.

    TRT should only be carried out by someone who has been trained in the technique. The number of recommended sessions of TRT can vary. Some people may only need to have a few sessions, whereas others may need to have several.
    Self help

    Some people are able to manage their tinnitus using a number of self-help techniques. Some self-help techniques that you may find useful are outlined below.

    Relaxation. Stress can make your tinnitus worse. Regular exercise, such as yoga, may help you relax.
    Listening to music. Calming music and sounds may also help you to relax and fall sleep at bedtime.
    Sound generators. These are also known as white noise generators or tinnitus maskers. They may be useful for drowning out the sound of tinnitus (see Sound therapy above).
    Hearing aids. If you have hearing loss, using a hearing aid may help with your tinnitus. This is because hearing sounds that you would not otherwise be able to hear may help override the tinnitus noise.
    Support groups. Sharing your experiences with other people who have tinnitus may help you to cope better with the symptom. For details of the nearest tinnitus support group in your area, contact the Action on Hearing Loss tinnitus helpline on 0808 808 6666.


    There is currently no specific medication to treat tinnitus. However, as tinnitus can sometimes cause anxiety and depression, medication such as antidepressants may sometimes be prescribed in combination with other forms of treatment, such as counselling.

    So man up and live with it
  4. I think the OP has not lost the ability to google. Or are you trying to make out that was all your own work?
    • Like Like x 4
  5. I'm not reading all Tropper has posted but I am aware hypnotherapy is useful for some people with tinnitus.
  6. I think I heard somewhere that Tropper was listed as the person who discovered Tinnitus.
  7. As a member of my local Veterans mental health group Tinitus is something that comes up all the time, and I tend to have pieces about such things bookmarked on my computer,
  8. Sadly, I agree. I have had this for years and deal with it by having a radio tuned in to Classics FM and always on at low volume when I am in the office.


  9. I agree , background music is my chosen method, just make up a good playlist, but as you get older Tinitus seems to pale into insignificance as the other more painful chronic illnesses kick in
  10. In this age of google and self medication I'll have to ask: did you see a doctor about this? It could be an infection or something else that could be treated. Just asking.
  11. I have seen a Dr, quite possibly the most useless one in Christendom - and then went on to see two others in the same practice over the next few months to see what they could suggest. All were of the conclusion that it is caused by years of big bangs and loud music rather than any underlying infection or illness - however it is exacerbated by stress/tension and having just moved house I can confirm these do worsen it, hence my plea.

    I have googled extensively, however I thought it might be an idea to ask an audience likely to also experience the same problem - given that some of them work in close proximity to things that go bang... It's always good to get inspiration from people who suffer the same problem.

    Matron, thanks for that - I fall into the latter category however am yet to "lose my zest for life" thankfully. It was rather interesting to actually guage the frequency of my own special noise (11000 Hz - perhaps I am a dog after all?!). I will try a specially tailored cd and see if that does more for me than my current radio addiction.

    has anyone tried the hypnotherapy? I might give it a crack if results have been seen - may even get them to stop me smoking at the same time...
  12. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    My LAY opinion although I have been round this buoy a few times is that the first thing to recognise is that the ear converts sound energy to an electrical signal. It is this signal that the brain translates into music, conversation, whatever. For noise-induced deafness (whose signature is that the hearing deficiency is most marked in higher frequencies) the cilia in the inner ear which effect this signal conversion become brittle over time and break off. Consequently one 'hears' far more of the natural electrical noise within the brain, as that organ struggles to find the external sound signals which it is now, in fact, not receiving or receiving in much reduced strength. So (ear wax and infections apart, the former is easy to get diagnosed and treated, don't bother with expensive drops, use olive oil to soften the deposit and then get the practice nurse to soogie it out) there are two things to do. 1. get a good NHS hearing aid, tuned to enhance the most defective frequency range. This will improve apparent hearing and improve the signal to noise ratio. 2. Train yourself not to listen to the tinnitus - think of all the irrelevant sounds a person tunes out already when concentrating on, for instance, a particular speaker.

    Supplements, or any other witch doctor remedies beloved of the PoW and other tree-huggers - forget it.
  13. Another alternative would be to get married.
    A wife will provide fairly continual background noise which varies from a constant droning about various complaints alternating with spells of whining. As time goes by you will train your brain to tune out the annoying noise from the wife and at the same time tune out the tinnitus noises.

    Of course after this period of training you will likely wish to dispense with the wife. One low cost method involves a woodchipper in a wooded area. Be sure to wear hearing protection when using the woodchipper
    • Like Like x 3
  14. Is there anybody who served in the '50/'60/'70s who doesn't have tinnitus? If there is then they were either extremely lucky or, more likely, they were a REMF!