Sound Therapy: A Tinnitus Treatment that Works!
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) occurs when neurons fire from internal stimuli rather than external stimuli (sounds). There are many causes of this mis-firing. Tinnitus can be treated by removing any triggers and providing the right sensory inputs on a daily basis, which is what Sound Therapy achieves.
Tinnitus, which affects 1 in 5 Australians, is an annoying and potentially devastating condition. Constant, severe tinnitus is one of the most psychologically stressful conditions a person can suffer from.
- As an audiologist, Sound Therapy has been the missing link to assist my patients.
- Donna Segal
Doctor of Audiology
Indianapolis, Indiana USA
What exactly is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the condition where a phantom noise is heard inside the head. It can be loud or soft, intermittent or permanent. The sound can be anything from ringing to buzzing, hissing, rustling, clanging or roaring.
While there is currently no medical treatment available for tinnitus, there is hope: effective, proven alternative treatments do exist. Research has shown that Sound Therapy helps 90% of tinnitus sufferers, with relief being experienced anywhere from a few days of listening to 14 months.
What causes Tinnitus?
While normally initiated by damage to the ear, persistent tinnitus is generated by the repeated firing of auditory neural pathways in the brain. (Goldstein, 2005)
Tinnitus may begin at any point along the auditory system. Some of the specific injuries or malfunctions commonly associated with tinnitus include:
- Damage to the cilia (hair-like sensory cells which receive sound in the inner ear) - if they are bent over and touching each other they produce a short circuit, causing the phantom noise.
- Congestion or imbalance of fluid in the inner ear chambers - any condition which disturbs the fluid pressure in the inner ear chamber may produce head noise. This may be due to infection, allergy, or circulatory disturbances which produce changes not only in the fluid but also in the encasing membranes of the inner ear.
- Hyperactive brain cells - neurons in the auditory processing parts of the brain firing when they shouldn't be.
Tinnitus can also be caused by an acoustic neuroma (a tumour on the auditory nerve). Your doctor may recommend that you have an MRI to rule this out.
- Sound Therapy has succeeded where Tinnitus Maskers have failed because it has a soothing effect on the body as a whole, calms the mind and revitalises the rundown brain cells.
- Eric Jordan
Royal Albert Edward Infirmary
Specific factors which can cause tinnitus to develop include:
- exposure to excessively loud of prolonged noice (e.g. a loud concert, shooting firearms, working with noisy machinery, etc)
- accidents causing injury to the ear or head
- an illness (such as ear infections)
- environmental toxins, including caffeine, alcohol, and certain prescription drugs
- misalignment of the jaw
Unless you have a condition that can be helped by syringing the ear or surgery, your doctor may tell you that there is no way to cure or relieve your tinnitus. If so, please tell your doctor about Sound Therapy!
You can learn more about the causes of tinnitus in the book Triumph Over Tinnitus.
How Sound Therapy works as a natural Tinnitus treatment
Sound Therapy is a therapeutic self-help listening program based on the work of ear specialist Dr Alfred Tomatis, which uses specially recorded classical music to stimulate the brain and rehabilitate the ear. This portable system can be used at home or work and doesn't take any time out of your day.
Sound Therapy has proven to be an effective tinnitus treatment since it addresses the root physical problems with the ear and brain most commonly found with tinnitus. Sound Therapy relieves the most common causes of tinnitus. It tones the middle ear muscles, stimulates the cilia, calms hyperactive brain cells, and corrects auditory mapping, to restore normal auditory function.
Sound Therapy has worked for people in their teens through to those in their 80s, for people who have had tinnitus for over 30 years and for those who have just the beginnings of intermittant tinnitus.
Sound Therapy is like physiotherapy for the ear and brain - daily exercise that helps strengthen the ear muscles and brain pathways. The length of time it takes to achieve results varies from 24 hours to 14 months. Typically, more severe cases take longer, so it is advisable to persist with daily Sound Therapy for at least 12 months.
Reversing cilia damage
In the Sound Therapy International listening programs, the low frequency sounds are progressively removed from the music, and the high frequency sounds are augmented.
Sound Therapy activates the middle ear muscles, restoring their tone and resilience. Gentle high frequencies then more readily reach the inner ear, where they give gentle stimulation to the cilia (sensory cells), restoring them to their upright, receptive position. (Jastreboff 1993; Goldstein 2005)
Learn more about how Sound Therapy rehabilitates the ear.
Correcting a fluid imbalance in the inner ear
The ear's ability to adjust and balance the fluid pressure in the inner chambers is impeded if the stapedius muscle, a tiny muscle in the middle ear, is not fully functional.
The "Electronic Ear" used in the recording of Sound Therapy challenges the ear with constantly alternating sounds of high and low tone. These alternating frequencies exercise the middle ear muscles, improving their tone and responsiveness. Improving the responsiveness of the stapedius muscles helps regulate the pressure in the inner ear.
Learn more about how Sound Therapy rehabilitates the ear.
Calming hyperactive brain cells
Eric Jordan, Chief Audiometrician in the Audiology Department at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan, England, conducted double blind tests with Sound Therapy over a two year period in the 1980s. He attributes a high degree of success with tinnitus patients to Sound Therapy calming hyperactive brain cells.
Jordan writes, "what happens with Sound Therapy and tinnitus as far as I can surmise, is that it re-vitalises the brain cells which have been the cause of brain cell hyperactivity. Such hyperactivity is caused by stress, anxiety and depression. Sound Therapy has succeeded where Tinnitus Maskers have failed because it has a soothing effect on the body as a whole, calms the mind and revitalizes the rundown brain cells."
In March 2009, the BBC reported in "Tinnitus cure 'is a step closer'" that "researchers at the University of Western Australia studied what was happening inside the brain and found increased activity in nerves in the auditory brainstem where sounds are processed."
The article went on to say that "it may be possible to use drugs to block this activity and treat conditions such as tinnitus in the future." No need to wait for a drug to be developed - the Sound Therapy Listening Foundation Program already does just that, naturally!
Learn more about how Sound Therapy stimulates the brain.
Auditory mapping refers to the patterns we learn to recognize through repeated firing of certain groups of neurons in our auditory cortex.
Sound only makes sense to the degree that the brain can perceive the sounds it receives, and this depends on our auditory mapping. When there is an injury or disturbance to any part of the auditory system, this may result in the re-mapping of parts of the brain responsible for hearing. This means that the auditory maps are faulty and the brain is not accurately perceiving sound.
Recent discoveries in the field of neural plasticity have demonstrated the potential for brain pathways to be restructured and organised through sensory stimulation. (Jenkins et al., 1990, Sasaki et al., 1980.) The good news is that since the brain is constantly changing in response to stimulus, the right sort of stimulation can correct this auditory mapping and increase our chances of restoring normal auditory functioning. Sound Therapy provides that therapeutic stimulation.
The Sound Therapy International programs cause neural firing in complex patterns which engage many different sensory and perceptive areas such as the auditory cortex, hypothalamus, and limbic system. This introduces change, enabling the auditory mapping to become more accurate and useful.
- It seems that it is the re-establishing of the ability to listen to the higher frequency that is repsonsible for repairing and reorganising cortical (brain) pathways.
- Hundreds of adults report they have been helped with severe depression and have overcome anxiety, caused by diminished hearing and tinnitus, helping them develop better communication skills, creativity and self-confidence.
- George B. Richards Ph.D.
How to Treat your Tinnitus
- See your health professional to check whether your tinnitus is affected by large secretions of wax, TMJ syndrome, or acoustic neuroma. Address these issues first.
- Make any necessary lifestyle changes, such as reducing your stress levels, and reducing the toxic load in your body:
- Use Sound Therapy daily.
Which Sound Therapy International Program should I use?
For tinnitus, the best Sound Therapy program to start with is the Listening Foundation Program. For most, this program is all they need to successfully treat tinnitus. Please be aware that this is a rehabilation program, and as such, it may take quite some time for results to be noticed. Persistence is essential.
For those that need more help, Advanced programs are available to move onto after using a Level 1 program for at least 300 hours. For tinnitus, choose the Natural Hearing Improvement series.
Want to learn more before selecting a tinnitus treatment?
The book Triumph over Tinnitus details natural tinnitus treatments that work, from Sound Therapy and body work through to chemicals to avoid - a must have for every tinnitus sufferer.
You will learn more about all the available options, helping you make an informed choice about how to manage your own tinnitus.
Listener's Success Stories
Sound Therapy on ABC's Second Opinion - Eric Mutton's story
ABC's Second Opinion program followed Eric Mutton's progress as he tried Sound Therapy for his tinnitus. Eric rejoices, "At 6 months I've been using these tapes for a long time now and the tinnitus has gone! It works!"
Paul Bazelmans' story
Metal worker Paul Bazelmans was interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper in an article called "The sound of therapy".
He suffered from tinnitus for 15 years. He reported that since using Sound Therapy his tinnitus "has definitely improved enormously".
Paul is also one of the people interviewed on "Sound Therapy: an introduction":
Noel Dennett's story
Airline pilot Noel Dennett speaks about his experiences with using Sound Therapy for tinnitus:
Sarsha Carpenter's story
Reverend Sarsha Carpenter was introduced to Sound Therapy during her studies to help her tinnitus, which left her housebound. She was also suffering from Meniere's disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraine headaches, and fits. Sarsha says the day she discovered Sound Therapy, her life changed. However, at first she was very sceptical and decided to take on the therapy simply to prove it didn't work!
As she was studying at the time, she put her Sound Therapy on in the morning and would leave it on all day. The first thing she noticed was that she slept right through the first night - something she hadn't done in years.
The next thing she noticed was when she was asked how the tinnitus was going, she listened for it and realised there was nothing - no sound of any sort. This was incredible, as the condition had plagued her for 20 years!
More Success Stories
- The fullness/blocked feeling has greatly reduced, tinnitus has reduced by about a 1/3, hearing has improved slightly.
- Albert M
15 November 2013
After 6 weeks of Sound Therapy (approx 180 hours)
- Generally speaking, I think that my state improved in regards of well being and tinnitus especially. I had these moments that I was really surprised that I hear what other person says and I was listening with pleasure. I also feel that I am more concentrated on the others words. I feel like am concentrated on the words itself and do not hear all the sounds around.
- 2 months ago I really enjoyed going to the club whether in the past I hated such loud places. Normally I hadn't understood a word and I had been really anxious due to the very loud music. In this club music was quieter to what I experienced before, but I enjoyed a lot being there and talking to my friends. I felt good.
- Surely, I noticed that since the start of the program the tinnitus disappeared. It is returning recently from time to time (I do not know why) however it's very soft.
- What I have noticed it's the fact the the Sound Therapy music sounds different. Even comparing to the original tracks. When I listen to the classical music during my work in the office I am bored after listening to the same compositions 3-5 times. Whereas I can listen to sound therapy music all the time. Sometimes I would like to listen to something different but it happens after listening to the therapy 6 hours straight and it is not strong desire. Sometimes I feel like I am discovering Sound Therapy music. I'm not sure, but I think I notice other sounds not present there before.
- I also feel I was really closed. Even to the music. And I feel it is better now.
2 October 2013
After 3.5 months of Sound Therapy (630 hours)
- I can sleep easily without my radio on. Sounds of tinnitus lessened.
- Pablo Marquez
16 July 2013
After 3 months of Sound Therapy (270 hours)
- I would like to inform you that after 7 days of listening sticking to the 3hrs a day regime on album 1 I have noticed a massive improvement in my tinnitus in regards to it's reduction, it truly is a miracle which I cannot really explain in words.
- Kyle Stewart
10 June 2013
- Tinnitus improved, hearing improved, no vertigo - 2 dizzy spells in March.
- Laurie Hrdlicka
27 May 2013
After 3 months (400 hours) of Sound Therapy
- Some time ago I said I hadn’t benefited much from sound therapy yet, blaming my age and the stubborn resistance of blocked Eustachian tubes over many years. But now that I have listened to Level 2 for almost three months I have found that I have very little tinnitus, my hearing without hearing aids has improved, and my hearing aids give a clearer sound, not muddy or harsh, as they did at first. I can play the piano using hearing aids or using headphones (it’s a good quality digital piano), and can enjoy it both ways. I can also attend live concerts with much less discomfort than previously. So I have ordered Level 3 and look forward to further improvements. I like the fact that I can trust the music to be good quality and the right level of stimulation.
- Doris Rowland
25 January 2013
- This morning my ears stopped ringing, first left, then right. Head feels clear, feeling really positive!
- Susan J
26 November 2012
After 2 weeks of Sound Therapy
- No longer have that 'fullness' feeling in left ear and the high pitch of the tinnitus has reduced in my left ear.
- Michael S
After 6 weeks of Sound Therapy
- I have been using sound therapy already 3 years I am at level two with the mini mx 1 and it has done miracles my tinnitus is practically gone I only hear it when im stressed or very fatigued. I sleep better, my concentration level in school has increased. I am planning to get the mini mx 2 for the level 3 continuation by 2013, this is the best investment I have put my money into.
1 September 2012
- In 2008 After some research into tinnitis I found Sound Therapy, and bought the Basic Music Kit, consisting of 4 sound cassettes. I read all I could about this condition, and learnt so much about the ear, and brain. It took a little while to adjust to the therapy, and I found Simone Carot Collins here in Perth, to be very helpful and reassuring. I persevered, and then upgraded to the Ultralight [Level] 2. I've been using that regularly for a year now, and have found that the tinnitus is gone. I'm continuing to use it to for brain stimulation, and to keep my balance strong. So thanks for a wonderful product.
- I would recommend it to everyone.
- Christine Robbins
Perth, Western Australia
4 July 2012
- Dear Simone,
- Thank you for all your support and great advice, I have managed to finally sit down and provide some feedback since commencing sound therapy. (commenced 12th April)
- I have stuck to your program to the letter so to speak, combined with consulting a Chinese Acupuncturist I have already regained my hearing in my right ear and the tinnitus is greatly reduced.
- Rob H
Perth, Western Australia
27 April 2012
- It did wonders to my tinnitus, that's for sure, worth the money I spent for it!!!!!! Thank you SOUND THERAPY
- Shirley Welsh
20 December 2011
- I am delighted, in fact I am over the moon. I am so much better, it means the world to me. I was in a real dark place with my hearing and
tinnitus but now I feel so much better about my life.
- My tinnitus is much less intense and my hyperacusis has lessoned measurably after only thirty hours of listening.
- Thankyou so much Simone.
- I am telling all my friends about it, they are all happy for me.
- Name withheld
10 August 2011
- I've been using sound therapy for 5 months now and it works my tinnitus is greatly improved. If you have tinnitus I would recomend (sic) to use sound therapy.
- Name withheld
- I have been away overseas so only started on the Sound Therapy programme a little over a week ago. I'm already finding that I miss it when I don't get in 3 hours of listening - it's almost like I'm craving it! The classical music is of course an added bonus, but often I am listening on the train and in other noisy environments where I can't really hear it.
- As for the tinnitus, I have become aware that when I wake up some mornings it is no longer there. Comes back when I get up but that is still progress.
- Irina K
- It's been 3 months since I have started using Sound Therapy and I have seen improvement. Before I wasn't even able to have a good night sleep due to the sound of my tinnitus which was loud but since I started Sound Therapy my tinnitus has gotten so low that I really have to be in a extremely silent room or concentrate on my tinnitus to hear it and I am able to sleep better and I have even better concentration when studying.
17 January 2010
- As a Doctor of Audiology for 24 years, I understand the profound benefit of Sound Therapy. I am blessed to have come upon Patricia and Rafaele Joudry's mission through Sound Therapy. I have been using Sound Therapy for many years since I first became aware of their therapeutic treatment system.
- Personally, I have experienced phenomenal mind, body and spiritual benefits from Sound Therapy. This ranges from alleviation of tinnitus in my left ear, fatigue, sinus and ear fullness, to concentration, improved sleep, reduction in severity of menopausal night sweats, TMJ and jaw stiffness, headache and neck tension and back pain.
- I recommend and use Sound Therapy with my patients in my private practice.
- Donna Segal AuD, CCC-A
From the foreward to the 12th edition of Sound Therapy: Music to Recharge Your Brain
- In one weeks time my tinnitus has disappeared. It is miraculous, it's big, it's something to celebrate today, tomorrow and forever, if God wants.
- Last night, after weeks, in the bed I realized that the tremendous ringing in my right ear had disappeared.
- I'm still listening to cassettes, my three hours minimum. I want this healing is lasting, and saying you will go another day with peace of mind. The principal and important is this: part of my healing, my health and the indescribable joy I feel at the moment. Thanks God, thanks to life … and of course sound therapy.
- -- Three months later: --
- It's been several months without any big, deafening sound or that which affects my wellbeing. Without any doubt, with the Sound Therapy cassettes, I could end this time of loud noise. There was no doctor that could give me a solution. Without any hope I gave in and used the cassettes. Why didn't I do that before!!!! In a week, the trumpets of Jerico disappeared, the national orchestra of Brandemburg disappeared. Can you imagine living with such a noise in your head? Thanks to God... I live without noise in my head.
- David Cri
7 July 2009 & 4 October 2009
- The benefits overall (after 300 hours) were that my tinnitus did decrease in volume and my sleeping improved. Also my hearing seems to have gone back to normal and I can talk to people in crowded places again.
- B Boyd
Perth, Western Australia
18 January 2009
- 10 weeks and 300 [hours], my sleeping has improved a lot, my right tinnitus is getting softer and hardly noticeable, the left one was always a pain in the neck but it is less stressful now. I feel good.
- H. F.
Denmark, Western Australia
31 July 2008
- I started playing the electronic organ at the age of 8 and always practised with it turned right up loud, despite repeated protests from my mother that I would damage my hearing. When I wasn't playing the organ I was listening to loud rock music on my walkman or cassette player in my room. As a result, I developed tinnitus by the time I was 14 years old.
- I stumbled across Sound Therapy when I was 26 when I found the book Sound Therapy: Music to Recharge Your Brain in a bookstore. Despite the instructions recommending listening for 3 hours a day, I started listening to Sound Therapy for a good 10 hours a day. While my sleeping and hearing improved substantially, my tinnitus started getting worse, and it became very distracting. It drove me insane! I persevered with listening to Sound Therapy, though I cut back the number of hours per day to 3, and my tinnitus finally started improving - it stopped being so much of a distraction, and one day a few months later, about 6 months after starting Sound Therapy, I suddenly realised that there was no noise anymore! After 12 years of constant noise in my left ear, my tinnitus was completely cured!
- See Simone's full story.
Perth, Western Australia
- Using Sound Therapy has brought me remarkable peace - of ears and mind!
- After extensive damage due to a long career performing in a loud rock band, I thought I would never hear 'silence' again. My tinnitus used to sound like a whining kettle going off inside my head which made me always tense and uncomfortable.
- With regular use of Sound Therapy I no longer notice any annoying whistle. If I am exposed to a new loud sound (for example loud music in a club without ear plugs) I might hear that 'kettle' again the next morning, but a few days relaxing with Sound Therapy morning and night takes care of it. My favorite place to use it is in bed as I am reading a book - it's very soothing. Sound Therapy is easy and convenient and it works.
- Fiona Horne
Lead singer "Def FX"
Los Angeles, USA
- I have experienced a reduction of the level of tinnitus in the right ear and a different perception of the way I have experienced tinnitus in the left ear so some dynamic must be shifting! I have been listening now for 370 hours.
- Tony Richards
- I suffered from Tinnitus for several years until it reached the stage where it was difficult to go to sleep. I consulted a doctor who advised that there was nothing that could be done to cure the problem.
- My wife then bought me a set of four of your Sound Therapy tapes. After several months the annoyance had abated considerably and for years now I haven't the slightest sign of it returning.
- Nevell Phelps
Moree, NSW, Australia
- It was pure accident that I heard Patricia Joudry being interviewed on radio. The word tinnitus caught my attention, and I began the Sound Therapy.
- My tinnitus, which my doctor said was incurable, was cured after several weeks of 3 hours a day listening. I had tinnitus for two years - and it was SHEER HEAVEN when it stopped - not to have incessant ringing in my ears. It also gives me a sense of well being. I am lending the book to my doctor!
- Gertrude Rempel Brown
- In the early part of 1989, I began to suffer from Tinnitus and only by mid 1989 had received medical advice that nothing could be done about it. I read the Sound Therapy book from cover to cover at least four times, and each time put it down - convinced that it was just too good to be true.
- I mentioned it to a member of our local library, who told me that her daughter was using the tapes and "wished that she had started 2 years earlier." So I decided to try them, without any great hopes or expectations.
- I had been listening for approximately 100 hours when I suddenly became aware that the Tinnitus whistle had stopped - I wasn't sure WHEN it stopped - but it had. Since then I have periodically been aware of the whistle but by relaxing my head muscles for about 2 minutes - it disappears.
- About the same time I noticed distinct improvement in hearing to my left ear - there had been noticeable loss in that ear for about 3 years.
- I do not know what response others will get from the tapes. I can only say that I have been VERY, VERY satisfied.
- Flick Evans
Somers, Victoria, Australia
- It's a wonder! Your sound therapy has helped really.
- One morning, it was the 22nd of August, I suddenly noticed that the noises on the left ear had gone. I switched on the television to look if the speakers words are more clearly, and they were. I couldn't believe and knocked on wooden things - Germans do that to make sure that a situation will stay long. I didn't tell Jurgen but the whole day I put the buttons in and off the ears to make sure there are still no noises.
- Up to this day I have no noises in the left ear and can hear very well the whole day. At first (my doctor) wasn't very interested. The audiogram tells him the truth. My left ear is as good as it has been before all the trouble began. He has never had a patient whose ears had become better again, when they had been as bad as mine.
- Annaliese Palsans
- About four years ago I started getting ringing in the left ear, followed by light-headedness and dizziness. Sometimes I couldn't stand without falling. This I was getting about once a month, then twice a month, soon twice a week and not long later three or four times a day. My doctor told me I had Meniere's Syndrome, which is a problem of the inner ear past the stirrup. There wasn't much that could be done; I would just have to put up with it. Being my age was 53, I knew I would be quite some time putting up with this problem.
- Then I heard about Sound Therapy. I bought the Sony Walkman and tapes. Now, four months later, I have no light-headedness and dizziness, and the ringing in my left ear has gone. The hearing in my left ear has also improved. I can't express how much Sound Therapy has done for me. I am never dragged out and tired any more. I can stay up very late at night and still get up rested early in the morning. Also, I don't get uptight and stressed about the little setbacks of the day, but can just relax and take them in my stride. I even find it easier to talk to people - am not so shy! It's like a new life.
- Darrell Johnson
- About eight years ago, I read an article in a Women's magazine about the damaging effects of loud noise on our hearing. Sound Therapy was mentioned.
- Since I was suffering of frequent ringing in my ears, was very sensitive to noise, with frequent headaches etc, I rang the phone number given on the article.
- I read the book in one sitting. I was so impressed, that immediately after reading it, I purchased the tapes. I have said many times since, that the few hundred dollars I spent buying the tapes was the best investment I ever made for my health. From the very first moment I started listening , I knew they were going to do me good.
- I couldn't get enough. I listened for 6 hours straight. That same night I slept with my headphones on. I was amazed and very pleased.
- A few months later, the ringing in my ears, my regular dizzy spells, and my headaches, were largely gone. I felt so energized that I went from needing 8-9 hours sleep a night, to only 7. Many times since, I have woken up feeling fully rested after only 5 or 6 hours of sleep.
- Sound Therapy has certainly made a great difference to the enjoyment of my life. My ears and I are very grateful.
- Julia Angel Gulenc
Moorabin, Victoria, Australia
- I have suffered with hearing loss and tinnitus since 1995. I tried everything there is to try in the past to help the tinnitus and found no relief. I began sound therapy on October 4th, 2007.
- The tinnitus is hardly noticeable anymore during the day. And I have no trouble going to sleep at night. If the tinnitus wakes me up too early in the morning, I simply put my headphones on and am usually able to go back to sleep.
- My last visit to the Otologist showed no further hearing loss since my previous audiogram, 2 years prior.
- Because of sound therapy, I feel like I have my life back. I am handling stress better than ever and the sadness that I had experienced due to the tinnitus has lifted.
- I welcome anyone to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions about my experience with Sound Therapy. I will be happy to communicate with you.
- Cindy Reinker
- My experience of hearing as a child was disastrous with numerous infections and abscesses in my ears throughout my childhood. I then amplified the problem with industrial deafness and tinnitus, caused by working as an electrician amongst loud machinery and hammer drills. This led to nerve deafness and tinnitus which I was told was irreversible, and an ear operation.
- I chose the Joudry Sound Therapy because I like the ease of use and the portability. I can drive around in the car using it, I can have conversations with people with the therapy still working, and I can wear it to bed. I sleep better, I'm more relaxed and I have more energy.
- Probaby the most dramatic result I've seen was stopping my tinnitus. I've had expectations about a lot of things, but this one really worked. The hearing improvement has been a great boon for me, but in terms of my quality of life, stopping the tinnitus has made the biggest difference to me.
- Ian Patterson
- My wife and I were travelling up to Queensland... It was a long trip and I listened for 14 hours straight. I kept a little notebook and I monitored my hours. I got very sore ears from having the ear pieces in. Eventually I think I got to about 168 hours and I suddenly realized I didn't have any tinnitus any more! It was a pretty amazing thing to have all this quietness.
- Kelvin Pleming
Things to avoid: Chemicals which may cause / exacerbate tinnitus
Ototoxins are chemicals that can damage the auditory nerve and cilia. Once they have been inhaled, ingested, or absorped through the skin, they enter the bloodstream, where they can be circulated to the ear and cause damage which leads to ringing in the ears, mild hearing loss, or even profound deafness.
Some of the otoxic foods, drinks and medications we consume that can trigger or exacerbate tinnitus include:
- Aspartame: found in many "low/no sugar" foods and drinks, including diet coke, NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful and Equal-Measure. Aspartame is an excitatory neurotransmitter, which means it increases electrical activity in the brain. The last thing you want if tinnitus is due to hyperactive brain cells is to stimulate them even further! For more information see the Aspartame Toxicity Info Center
- Caffeine: coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolate (see Tinnitus could be cured by cutting back on coffee, researchers say)
- Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG): a common additive to make food tastier, especially in chinese food. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter of the hair cell. Like with Aspartame, the last thing you want to consume is something that will lead to more neural activity!
Over 260 drugs report Tinnitus as a side effect. A comprehensive listing of harmful medications, including chemotherapy agents, is available at Ototoxic Medications, or for an alphabetical listing see What are some ototoxic drugs?.
The main categories to be aware of are:
- Analgesics: Painkillers such as Aspirin and Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs), particularly Arthrotec (contains diclofenac sodium and misoprostol), Fiorinal, and Ibuprofen.
- Antibiotics: aminoglycosides (e.g. gentamicin), chloramphenicol, erythromycin, tetracycline, vancomycin, Vibromycin
- Anti-malarials: quinine derivaties (also found in tonic water), especially Quinidex and Lariam (mefloquine)
- Diuretics: bumetanide, ethacrynic acid, furosemide
Sasaki et al., 1980: Gerken et al, 1986: Salvi et al., 1992. cited in Jastreboff, P.J., Hazel, W.P. (1993) "A Neurophysiological approach to Tinnitus: Clinical Implications”. British Journal of Audiology, 27, 7-17.