1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Treating Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bachlover, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. I'm going to read through the "Hearing Loss" sticky listed on this thread but in the meantime I'm hoping maybe I can get to the bottom line a little quicker by posting this. Anyone know of any treatments for this? I remember reading or hearing (over the ringing) a Pete Townshend interview where he mentioned an effective treatment that he'd taken. It must've been effective as he was basically sidelined by tinnitus from touring and then resumed again after the issue was addressed. Any comments much appreciated as usual. Thanks!
  2. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    Don't quote me on this because tinnitus caused by volume exposure is due to damage, but I believe there is some correlation between tinnitus and sodium intake.
  3. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    I hadn't heard sodium intake - I'll go looking for that.
    That said, my sodium intake is pretty low already...

    I have read (here) that -some- have had some relief with chamomile tea.
    I've drunk gallons of that stuff and I can tell no difference, but I expect I'll continue on the 'it couldn't hoit' principal. Just finished a cup, in fact, on my way for another...

    I've heard of a couple of other remedies that were (once you got into the fine print) only represented as being effective to treat tinnitus associated with Ménière's Disease. I should probably ask Tom Wictor about that, since he's TB's resident expert on that...

    I have it at barely annoying level in one ear. I've been pretty careful about my exposure to loud sounds pretty much forever. Interestingly, the ringing is a pitch above that which some hearing tests claim I can't hear...
  4. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
    My tinnitus is in both ears, and started about 8 years ago - after 30+ years of working as an auto mechanic and 3 years as a gasoline engine aircraft mechanic for the USAF (radial engines with open exhaust stacks are LOUD).

    It gets easier to cope with as time goes by, but the only "treatment" I've found that works for me is to stay away from total silence. I listen to music as much as possible, and to help me sleep at night I keep the bedroom TV on at low volume.

    I found that noise-canceling headphones only make the situation worse (they can't cancel the noises in your head).
  5. Easy8


    Sep 5, 2007
    Austin, Tx
    I have a constant persisitent ring in the 6000 MHz range.
    My neurologist says there is no cure.
    Distraction works best for me.
  6. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I experience it on occasion but its not too bad.

    I have a friend who had to retire from playing because his tinnitus is so bad that he has trouble sleeping at night. His condition gets more intense when he is exposed to loud noises or music. We played in a band together in the early 80s and he attributes the tinnitus to the fact that our drummer was a very hard hitter. I stood much closer to the drummer than he did but he seems to have been effected much more than I.

    There is no cure. There are several pills and liquids on the market which claim to cure or minimize the symptoms but I have yet to meet anyone who has gotten any level of relief from them. There is some research being done with electrical implants which emit a frequency which can offset the frequency of the ringing in the ears but it has had limited success.
  7. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    6 GHz! Zowie !
    Stay away from radar !

    Assuming that's supposed to be 6 kHz...

    My 'perceived ringing' is (by my estimation) somewhere in the 14kHz range.

    Interestingly, the 'hearing test' file says my hearing stops around 12 KHz...

    Following up on the sodium trail led me to a treatment with a sodium enoxaprin, which is an anticoagulant in the Heparin family and works by reducing capillary thrombosis. However, the range of improvement seems to be in the 4-6 KHz range. so I doubt it's indicated in my case - although I will ask an ENT about it. If you have a 6 kHz artifact, maybe it'll help you. No harm in asking...
  8. bushwhacker


    Dec 17, 2011
    Tinnitus is a complex condition and can have many etiologies, so there are many different therapies which might work. I am an Internist in my real life, but love playing Bass for fun.
    Treatment can be broken down to some broad categories.
    First- Behavioral therapy which includes the subsets of Tinnitus Retraining therapy (TRT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT) and Biofeedback. There are papers reporting on all 3 of these, and TRT seems very promising.
    Second- Drug. Misoprostol, Lidocaine, Steroids and Alprazolam have had small studies of limited benefit, I would not start there.
    Third- Masking. This is where you use "white noise" like a low volume radio tuned between stations, or wave noise generators, etc. This is a very standard therapy and has already been mentioned but results seem remarkably variable, still it is cheap and easy to try, so why not?
    Fourth- Electrical stimulation. This has a wide degree of varieties, range from transcutaneous to cochlear implants, so we are clearly in ENT territory, but it is an option, depending on degree of incapacity.
    Accupuncture and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation have not been shown to be effective.
    In short, you need to see someone familiar with tinnitus, who is familiar with all these options and to work with them, try white noise in the meantime. Most Docs are not familiar with all these therapies, so depending on where you live , there may or may not be a tinnitus specialist, but usually look to ENT to begin. Hope that helps as a brief overview, there is a lot more detail out there, but this forum isn't the place for that level of detail.
  9. 4-stringB


    Jun 10, 2010
    +1 on prior USAF service, took annual hearing tests, saw my hearing heading downhill. Jet aircraft flightline duties( you wanna talk about loud?) Nowadays I wear plugs, just wadded up paper towel. Drummer(300 lb. gorilla) raises hell, cause he thinks I can't hear what's going on. But when your ears aren't defending themselves against extreme volume levels, you can hear far more clearly than without the plugs. And it's not your bass that will get you, it's standing next to those damn cymbals.
  10. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    I've known ENTs and audiologists to recommend something like this to help ease the ringing...



    I've got tinnitus pretty badly and my hearing range goes up to only about 13K.

    I've researched the pills that are supposed to help but they are a scam. Don't waste your money.

    Yes, wear earplugs! I do sometimes but I've gone for too long without them. The damage is done.

    It's too late for me. Save yourself!

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  11. tinnitus is 100% non-reversable

    all you can do is be sure to protect yourself from further hearing loss or damage- good earplugs, and using them all the time.

    it's a terrible thing for anyone to- let alone a musician- deal with.
  12. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    I too have professional input: alcohol consumption & loud music & sirens from firefighters trucks make it worse.
  13. Rodger Bryan

    Rodger Bryan Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    Thank you for the informative overview. I was not aware of the therapies- this was very helpful.

    I am only experiencing mild symptoms that are only apparent before I fall asleep or when it is relatively quiet, but I am going to look into some of these options.
  14. Hey Grooooooove - Reminds me of Beethoven. Totally stone deaf when he composed the 9th symphony. Cut the legs off his piano, hammered at the keys, and put his ear to the floor to hear what he was playing. He conducted the debut in Vienna of the 9th & had to be turned around by the 1st violinist to see the standing O because he couldn't hear it.
  15. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    I have heard that the retraining studies are showing some progress. I'm keeping a watch on this as I think it started at UCLA, which is close.

    BTW - The reason that your tests show hearing only up to say, 12K but your tinnitus is at 14K is because the tinnitus is masking the test signal.
  16. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    It's not going away. Don't waste your money on meds.
  17. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    I still have old tube tv's in the house (lcd or whatever isn't high enough a priority for this po boy)- volume off, they and some fluorescent light ballasts emit the very frequency that drives me nuts in silent rooms. My best results for minimizing the effects come from sttaying well rested, hydrated and minimizing exposure to the tv and cymbals.
  18. My tinnitus is the result of loud rock concerts, loud manufacturing environments, and big city living. It tolerable, but when I'm tired it seems to be louder, so I sleep with a table fan on at night to help mask the sound. It's just something I've learned to live with, and it'll finally shut off when I drop dead! :meh:
  19. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Phillipsburg, NJ
    My ears have been ringing ever since I saw a Nascar race in Martinsville, VA. Years ago. Don't go there without some serious hearing protection.
  20. mpace


    Nov 6, 2010
    I started really noticing mine about 6 months ago and tried to upgrade my ear plugs and even wore the sound limiting head phones - but it was not very effective. I did finally get tested (have perfect hearing even with T) and have molded ones done, but I have since left the band due to volume among other things and haven't really tried them out...
    I also did research on supplements and was taking ginko and Vit B and the ginko seemed to ease it a bit, but the Vit B seemed to be a little harsh on the stomach. The research I saw pointed to both damage that is unrepairable and circulation issues - with Circulation issues smoking, drinking and caffiene are all factors and can worsen the effects of T. I have since quit smoking and I do have to say, in combination of not being in the loud band and no smoking it has gotten better (I do not still take the ginko). I will definitly not join a loud band again - and will always wear the molded ear plugs - get those right away.