Treatments for Tinnitus: 5 old wives tales that don’t work
If you go online or visit your local chemist, you will notice a number of suggestions for treating tinnitus that really doesn’t work. Let’s look at a few of the old wives tales that I wish everyone didn’t know about as more people would seek appropriate treatment if their tinnitus is negatively affecting their lives.
- There is nothing I can do about tinnitus. Not that long ago the general advice from a GP or ear specialist was to “learn to live with it”. There is nothing that you can do about tinnitus. They used to say “Try to ignore it.” The fact is there is a LOT you can do to lessen the effects of tinnitus.
- There are pills to cure your tinnitus. If you go to your chemist and look on the shelves you can get some Ginkgo biloba or other supplements for your tinnitus. Some companies will try to point to a miraculous tinnitus cure from taking a few pills. While much research has been done around the effects of medication and vitamin supplements on tinnitus, there is currently no proven tinnitus cure.
- Cutting out caffeine will improve your tinnitus. In fact, research has found that cutting out caffeine from your diet is unlikely to help. Suddenly cutting out caffeine might actually make your tinnitus worth.
- Foot Baths – Alternate hot and cold foot baths. This is meant to increase the flow of blood to the head and cure your tinnitus.
- Cutting the hearing (auditory) nerve will cure tinnitus. It might seem that, because tinnitus is experienced as a sound, cutting the nerve that carries sound signals from the ear to the brain might make it stop. But this is not the case. This is because the brain is involved in the perception of tinnitus and not just the ear. Even if the auditory nerve is surgically cut, tinnitus continues. Reduction of tinnitus occurs as the brain’s perception of tinnitus changes, either naturally over time or with the help of different strategies or interventions.
In fact anything that suggests a cure for tinnitus is to be viewed with scepticism. There are ways to make your tinnitus better, It is recommended that you see an Audiologist experienced and specialising in tinnitus
This article was first published at hearingcareprofessionals.com.au
Nolene Nielson is an experienced Brisbane Audiologist whose independent audiology practice is part of a new direction in hearing health care. Her speciality areas include Tinnitus