Tinnitus treatments may depend on what kind of tinnitus you are suffering with. Tinnitus can either be objective tinnitus or subjective tinnitus, each can be cured through different procedures and medications.
The American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery has come up with new guidelines for treating tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.
Objective and subjective tinnitus
Objective tinnitus is an actual sound which emanates from the patient’s ears and may be caused by muscle spasms which generate a clicking or crackling sound. Subjective tinnitus has a lot of possible causes, the most common of which is otologic disorder which is the same condition that causes hearing loss. Another most common cause of subjective tinnitus is noise induced hearing loss which is a result of exposure to loud noises.
Tinnitus treatments have varying degrees of statistical reliability.
Objective tinnitus may be cured through gamma knife radiosurgery, with the use of a neurostimulator, botulinum toxin, the clearing of an ear canal or by the shielding of cochlea by teflon implant.
Subjective tinnitus may be cured through a lidocaine injection into the inner ear but this treatment may only suppress tinnitus for 20 minutes. Older benzodiazepinse such as diazepam can be used against tinnitus but significant risks have been discovered with its long term use. Also known tinnitus treatments for the subjective type are drugs and nutrients melatonin as well as tricyclics which can be taken in small doses. Examples of tricyclics are amitriptyline and nortriptyline.
Symptoms of tinnitus can be reduced by avoiding caffeine, nicotine or salt. However, tinnitus can also be induced when reducing caffeine and smoking. The intake of alcohol has been known to both increase and decrease the severity of tinnitus. The use of earplugs when present in an environment with loud noises e.g. music concert, firing range, noisy work facility can also be suggested to protect our ears and prevent tinnitus.
Other known treatments for subjective tinnitus is zinc supplementation, acamprosate, etidronate or sodium fluoride, lignocaine or anticonvulsants, carbamazepine, sertraline and vitamin combinations. Lignocaine or anticonvulsants are suggested for patients responsive to white noise masking. Vitamin combinations may include lipoflavonoid.
A German neurologist has been using electric or magnetic current for stimulating the head of his patient to reduce the ringing sound or tinnitus while a Belgian neurosurgeon has implanted electrodes in the head of his patient to normalize overactive neurons. Other relative tinnitus treatments are electrical stimulation transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial direct current stimulation, transcutaneous direct current stimulation, and direct stimulation of auditory cortex by implanted electrodes.
Auditive destimulation therapy makes use of individually designed music by which it alters the favorite music of the patient to remove the musical tones that match the aural frequencies related to the tinnitus. The elimination of these tones suppresses tinnitus by destimulating the brain activity for the underlying frequencies. Other kinds of therapy are tinnitus retraining therapy and psychological cognitive behavioral therapy.