Posted by: Scotty | 2003/01/28

Tinnitus is driving me mad

Hi doc, I have tinnitus (constant ringing in the ears). The ringing started happening about 3-4 years ago and seems to be slowly worsening. The ringing occurs in both ears and is a constant high pitched zinging, similar to a tv or computer monitor sound.
I have been to a dr. Brom (a homeopath) in Roodepoort and he gave me some medication, explaining that it could take up to 6-8 months to stop. I discontinued the medication after 2 months as nothing seemed to be happening. My ears also seem to be a bit blocked (similar to what is experienced when travelling to the coast).
In this day and age, I'm sure there must be a cure for this phenomenon.
Please give me some advise as to what can be done.
I currently stay in Pretoria and I am a white male at 40 years old.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Scotty, the treatment of tinnitus all depends on whether we can find out what the cause of the tinnitus is. Tinnitus may occur as a symptom of nearly all ear disorders. The treatment is thus firstly aimed at treating the underling cause, secondly at treating any associated hearing loss and then at masking the tinnitus by means of background noise that is more pleasant than the tinnitus itself (radio etc). I doubt that it is due to stress or exercise, but I suppose it’s possible. The best person to help you with all this would an ENT surgeon or maybe a neurologist. Good luck.

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Our users say:
Posted by: annie | 2003/01/28

Hi Scotty, I am not a doctor, but as a tinnitus sufferer for many years, I understand what you are going through. It is actually a very common condition but there seems to be absolutely nothing that can be done about it, except learning to live with the irritation of that constant ringing, etc. I find that it is most noticeable when everything else is very quiet. Therefore, put the music on, or always ensure that you have background sound i.e. tv, radio, etc. etc. When you are deeply involved in conversation or absorbed with what you are doing you will find the noise seems to disappear completely - it is only when you consciously think of it that it appears louder. Try and train you mind in this way, it does help! The more you forget about it, the better you will be. Sometimes a mild tranquiliser such as serapax (10 mg) also helps. But the big thing is to blot it out with other sound and destract yourself from consciously thinking about it. I have had it for the past 10 or 12 years. Am so used to it now, that I seldom notice it. Good luck!

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