Therapists in the UK
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The Noise Can Go Away
Part two in an ongoing series.
Hearing Health Article by Kevin Hogan
Did you know that approximately 25 percent of all tinnitus sufferers simply wake up one day and their tinnitus has disappeared?
Did you know that an additional 50% of tinnitus sufferers experience a significant reduction in the volume of their tinnitus after doing some of the "right things?"
That leaves about 25 percent of people with tinnitus who need therapy and/or treatment of some kind. Just what, specifically can these people do?
Without going into the numerous causes of tinnitus, it is possible to consider the various effective methods for reduction, before we exclusively consider hypnosis in the next article. Each of these will be simply noted in this abbreviated article as they will be discussed later in the year in more detail.
Medication and Vitamins
Xanax is often prescribed for tinnitus and has been shown to be remarkably useful in reducing volume. One well controlled study proved that 76% of participants received significant reduction in volume from their tinnitus.
Calcium and magnesium are often used by listeners in order to strengthen the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) which is often directly related to a person's tinnitus. The research has not shown solid evidence one way or the other.
The herb, Ginkgo Biloba, had been shown in some studies to be effective in reducing the volume of tinnitus, not the case recently. The herb can be found in health food stores. It is quite expensive and shopping is a must. Ginkgo has been found to act as a vasodilator. It is hypothesized that ginkgo improves blood flow. It is also possible that new research with SPECT, we may discover that ginkgo also improves blood flow in the brain thereby perhaps making some improvement in cerbrovascular diseases.
One recent study shows impressive results by those using biofeedback. Biofeedback is a methodology of controlling emotional response to stress. By reducing stress, tinnitus should, and can, over time, reduce.
For an individual with severe tinnitus, it is often worth considering utilizing the services of a well trained psychotherapist for assistance in determining any psychological relationships between your emotions and the noise. Sometimes by analyzing the events at onset, the tinnitus will reduce. In longer term therapy the goal is to habituate the tinnitus emotionally so that it is no longer significant to the individual. At that point it often remits completely.
Next to the drug Xanax, hypnotherapy with a well trained practitioner has a significant likelihood of reducing tinnitus volume and the stress and depression that normally accompany it, in my opinion. (More in the next issue on the analysis on hypnosis to reduce or eliminate tinnitus.)
Among the pharmacological treatments, Xanax has been shown to reduce the volume of tinnitus in 3/4 of individuals by 10-40% and more. Similar drugs like Klonopin have also been shown successful in numerous cases as well.
There are two categories of anti-depressants that seem to have a positive effect with tinnitus sufferers.
An excellent methodology for tinnitus reduction is that of habituation. In its simplest form, the individual wears tinnitus maskers or an iPod, all day, every day with very low levels of white noise stimulation or music being input into the ear. As time goes on, the brain becomes habituated to the sound of the tinnitus and finds the sound "less interesting" to listen to.
Nearly 80% of people using habituation are improving their situation.
Habituation therapy is a two year or more therapy but the results are obviously very appealing.
All of the above are useful tools for reduction. Not all tools will work for everyone but it is almost certain that almost everyone will gain substantial benefit from at least one of the tools that has been mentioned.
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