The People's Perspective on Medicine

Show 808: New Approaches to Treating Tinnitus (Archive)

Treating the brain and changing its perceptions may offer a new way of treating tinnitus.
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New Approaches to Treating Tinnitus (Archive)

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Tinnitus, often referred to as ringing in the ears, can be a terrible problem. The sufferer hears a sound that no one else perceives, whether it is hissing, booming, buzzing, chirping or clicking. Treating tinnitus effectively is very difficult. People are rarely able to get the sound to stop and some victims find it is so intrusive it is difficult to function.

Treating Tinnitus:

Over the last several years, research has begun to point to the brain as the source of tinnitus. Is there a way to tame the brain? A new approach, using a programmable device called Neuromonics, has had positive results.

This Week’s Guests:

Paul Davis, PhD, is the inventor of the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment and was, for a number of years, the company’s Chief Scientific Officer. He teaches audiology at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Rebecca J. Price, AuD, CCC-A, is a Clinical Specialist in Audiology in the Division of Speech Pathology & Audiology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC.

Debara L. Tucci, MD, MS, is Professor of Surgery in the Division of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery of the Department of Surgery at Duke University Medical Center.

Listen to the Podcast:

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Have had tinnitus for over 15 years and no known cause. Recently I have had a major flare up with severe ringing and rattling noise. I switched thyroid meds from armour to NP (which I think is an armour generic). Wondering if this has had any affect on the tinnitus. No other changes that I am aware of. I also suffer from TMJ and have for years. Thank you for any comments.

Interested in this conversation.

Facelift, huh. I had a facelift too, and tho it did not affect the tinnitus it did make me vulnerable to frequent eye irritations. Plus my face “fell” way before it should have which led to a whole other set of issues. I’ll look on here for another thread on facelifts. Much to say about that.
I just got over a really bad virus complete with Zithromax and the tinnitus was exacerbated by sinusitis, fever and (probably) the atb. I have tried to cut back on the online-ordered gingko biloba combo but find I can’t cut back much. Like some prescriptions, my body seems to need this now. And after attempting a new job on night shift, that too exacerbated the tinnitus. So controlling tinnitus is causing big changes in lifestyle.

My tinnitus began a few months after a facelift. Don’t know if the nerves to my ears were affected, but nothing else in my life had changed prior to the surgery.

Can you please tell me what the remedy was?

I enjoyed reading comments. My tinnitus started one year ago when for first time ever I developed poison ivy on left arm & used calamine lotion went away. Returned few days later on right arm and body. Doctor prescribed prednisone and claritin for the noise it was causing in my right ear. However after the prescribed 10 days of medication the poison ivy was gone but the loud tinnitus remains with me in the right and at times is in my entire head. Two ENT doctors have tried all they know to do and both have said hearing aids. Both said not possible for the prednisone to have caused it but never had head noises prior to this episode.

I don’t know if it will work for you but I notice that when I eat or drink anti inflammatory foods the ‘noise’ is less strong. I eat cherries, and fresh ginger tea. it doesn’t go away but is less noisy.

Does anyone know what the homeopathic remedy is that was so helpful to JG? Or any homeopathic remedies that are helpful for tinnitus?? Some of us respond well to those tiny doses of remedy and much better than to mega doses of supplements.

I started getting tinnitus 4 months ago and my biggest problem was falling asleep. My Doctor prescribed xanax for 30 days which did the job but after the 30 days he refused to prescribe anymore because he did not want me to get hooked on it or go through such damaging side effects. Remember xanax is not for sleeping it is for anxiety and to relax your mind. So, I did my own little research and came up with 2 non habit form products that help me sleep and with anxiety. 1. coffea cruda 30c 2. calm forte sleeping / anxiety. They both work for me with zero side effects. They can be purchased at your local pharmacy or vitamin store. Hope this can help someone. God bless all.

Many have asked for the homeopathic remedy, but some people just post and don’t choose to receive follow-up responses. (Homeopathics are very individualized, for the most part, anyway.) I’m glad the homeopathic remedy worked for the person who posted, but I don’t think s/he has even seen our requests to know what it was!

I also started experiencing tinnitus while receiving chemo about 4 years ago. Thankfully, I mentioned it to the MD and he changed the formula of the chemo so it didn’t worsen at that time. On the other hand, it never got better and does slowly get louder and affect my hearing in the affected left ear. I have seen the ad on TV for bioflavonoids but haven’t tried it myself. The homeopathic solution mentioned in this forum sounds fascinating to me…but I haven’t seen the exact medication mentioned.

The most common form of tinnitus is subjective (only you can hear it) but in a small number of people with objective tinnitus, the sounds can actually be picked up by an external microphone. The American Tinnitus Organization mentions this on their website (

Well, what was the remedy/ Share the rewarding information, please.

Tricyclic anti-depressants started my tinnitus, too. But only at the maximum dosage.

My doctors believe my tinnitus may be the result or have been exacerbated by HIV infection, in combination with over self medicating with aspirin. My symptom is a very high pitched electronic sound. I am 68.
I attempted treatment with over the counter medication, one of which seemed to help relieve the ringing. These days it has mostly subsided, but occasionally returns at a very annoying level, usually when my stress levels are high.

I got tinnitus 3 years ago as a transcriptionist, when something went wrong with the sound files and I heard very loud beeps for days – before anyone did anything about it – I had no idea of what tinnitus, for me a high pitched hiss/ring would do to me, emotionally and in every other way. Like some of the people above, I kept on working, because we HAVE to keep working, and because tinnitus cant be seen or verified by others, some of us are just dismissed as moody or lazy. I had to really push to get the electronics fixed, and later pushed hard to insist the doctors turn down using a particular button in their dictation to signify important points,- I mean I had to contact the administration of the hospital. In the end the dictating doctors did turn down their “beep” but tinnitus cost me quite a bit of pay incentive and forward motion in my job. As the 3 years have passed, I now refuse to type a doctor who keeps his “beeps” turned up. I totally avoid loud noise, esp in the frequency of the “beeps.” I also use a ginkgo biloba tinnitus formula that I order online, which was suggested by my ENT. I meditate and exercise, and tinnitus is now much lower and sometimes off. Oddly, my hearing actually seems better and more sensitive than 3 years ago, and I am 67 years old, so the “going deaf as an old person” canard does not work with me.

I had the same experience. As long as I wear my hearing aids I have no tinitus problems. I do hear it when I’m not wearing them.

I was a “groupie” for a rock band in the late 6o’s and was subjected to excessively loud music. I never noticed any side effects until the mid-90’s when tinnitus started.
At first it was distracting but I learned to lessen the symptoms with white noise machines and TM. Meditation can help I’m convinced. I now have some hearing loss, and am fighting the inevitability of getting one or more hearing aids. Oh, the wages of sin!

I first experienced Tinnitus as a high pitched tone or whistle while undergoing chemotherapy about 6 yrs ago. Is there a known connection to chemo as either a cause of Tinnitus or something that could exacerbate the existing damage that leads to Tinnitus?

What treatment did you receive from the homeopathic Dr.? If something really did help you them please share it with the rest of the class! I’m open to trying just about anything after the past few years.

I have pulsatile tinnitus, so I hear my own heartbeat in one ear. It’s usually a whooshing noise, but at other times it’s got more of a tonal sound to it. This started 13 years ago and almost made me lose my mind for the first few years. After it was diagnosed and found to be not dangerous, I learned to relax. Now I tune it out, and the only time it truly gets on my nerves is when I can’t distinguish external sounds from my tinnitus, for instance when I couldn’t tell if my baby was crying or it was just me ear! I sympathize with people who have it. It really messes with your mind.

JG I would like to know the specific homeopathic remedy and appropriate strength. Of course, I realize that sometimes a homeopathic remedy 1) must be tailored to the individiaul and 2) takes a long time to work. I’d love to hear from anyone who knows the specific homeopathic remedy.

I appreciated the show, although as is always the case with tinnitus it essentially added little new and no significant treatment aside from improvements in a few methods/procedures. And, in my case at least, it’s decades too late for that kind of hope. Mine is a continuous whine in multiple upper frequencies, and has grown steadily but slowly stronger over the years. I know exactly how it happened while I was in the Air Force, and I’m pretty sure I have a beautiful picture of the very aircraft that did the initial damage (an M-D fighter interceptor known as the F101B Voodoo, which I was photographing at the time as it took off with afterburners lit… c1962-63). The Voodoo was notorious as the loudest aircraft of its day, and on that day I was as close as I could get… with no hearing protection; it was a twin-engined predecessor to the much better known F4 Phantom of the Vietnam era, so I’d assume the F4 would also be well know as a causal factor for tinnitus (a modern era comparable would be the F22, which can literally destroy hearing).
I am not enrolled in the VA, although I’ve tried many times since actually succeeding back around 2002 at the Viera VA facility near Melbourne FL, and at that point I was also in touch with the VA hospital in Portland OR which appeared to be the best VA center for military hearing issues, and I was about the support them as a research project… but then had to move away. When I sought to have my VA medical records transferred to a VA hospital in Topeka, KS, they (of course) couldn’t find my records. Far too many vets have had that experience, and I’ve been unsuccessful getting re-enrolled since that time; so my tinnitus experience could not be researched.
At my age (74), I know it’s too late to expect help, but I would have been happy to support VA research (I worked in aerospace research throughout my career, and I know how little pieces of experimental work can sometimes produce major breakthroughs. If you can direct me to a VA tinnitus specialist, I will offer myself for research yet again. Thank you for the program, I feel fortunate in the fact that my hearing is otherwise very good and that I appear to have psychologically adapted well enough to the constant nature of it to be okay with it. I am now living in Washington, NC and of course there is a VA clinic nearby in Greenville (even though I don’t have access to it and have given up trying to re-enroll).
Duke R.

I first started dealing with tinitus a little over 20 years ago. I also experienced bouts of dizziness. My ENT hinted at Meniere’s disease but never confirmed that diagnosis. My hearing tests indicated that I’d lost hearing in the upper range. I was told that I’d lost that forever.
When I was a young man some 40 years ago I’d had bouts of vertigo which may have been a precursor to Meniere’s. But I never had the tinitus that I have now.
Eventually the dizziness subsided. The tinitus has remained and can be deafening if I allow it to. I don’t know how I do it, but I’m able to ignore it for the most part. While I’m writing this it’s very loud and noticeable but as soon as I divert my attention to something else I’ll be able to block it out.
As for the Meniere’s, if I have it it’s a very mild case. My wife worked with a large group of deaf people once and many of them had Meniere’s and lost all hearing. I’m glad that outcome has not occurred for me.
I’ve always wondered if the heavy use of NSAIDs have been a root cause of my tinitus. Due to some nearly debilitating orthopedic issues I’ve been a regular user of them for nearly 40 years. I started with aspiring to help with swelling in my knee (at my surgeon’s advice) before moving on to Naprosyn. Neither was good for my stomach so I gave Ibuprofen a shot. I’m talking about heavy continuous use to ease the pain and swelling. There seems to be a link but I haven’t been able to confirm.
People’s Pharmacy response: NSAID use has been linked to tinnitus.

In the 70’s I got tinnitus from listening to loud bands. I meditated, listening very intently to the sounds as they would go from the left side then to the right side of my head. Sometimes I would sense a pulling, tearing feeling in my head at the sight of the sound then the sound would disappear.
I also put earplugs in my ears to listen to the sounds as I went to sleep. After doing this many times over the years the tinnitus eventually disappeared. Now I may hear a whistle or a hiss 4 times a year. I pause and listen to it and it goes away.
Recently I read in “Prescription for Nutritional Healing” 5th edition by Balch that the University of Iowa had success in dealing with tinnitus using listening strategies. That made sense to me.

I have had Tinnitus for about 25 years: high pitched noise in both ears, similar to the sound demonstrated by Joe on the show. One technique I use to reduce its effect is to have music playing in the background. Several years ago, I found out our grown daughter also has music playing around her and she told us she also has ringing in her ears.

I have had Tinnitus for about 47 years. Caused from working on the railroad and being exposed to very loud noise. I have been to different specialists and have had tests to rule out a tumor in the head. All of the doctors I have been to said there is nothing that can be done. Sometimes it gets very loud, other times not as bad. I just put up with it.

I have had SEVERE tinnitus for many years. I have tried EVERYTHING to make it stop to no avail. So what homeopathic treatment worked for you in 8 hrs. This would be a multi million dollar CURE if it were true.

Had tinnitus for a few years, interestingly most noticeable after my son mentioned that he was talking with someone who said, “everyone has that”.
It was most noticeable during high stress work situations and also when visiting my parents who live at a higher altitude. Now that my parents have passed and my stress is much reduced, I’ve lost a little weight and try to eat healthy, whole food as much as possible, my tinnitus is almost nonexistent.
If I ever notice it, it is mild and disappears easily when I get busy, doing something fun or interesting. A simple walk in the sunshine with my dog or going to the gym helps a lot.
You might say happily in my case… it’s all in my head. LOL

I felt my tinnitus was due to exposure to jet planes on the flight deck of a US Navy carrier in 1960-1963. The VA told me I had no proof that I had tinnitus after my jet plane exposure, since the first time I asked an ENT medical Dr. about it (and thereby “documented it”) was about 2004. I had done all the VA hoops, including going to a VA ear exam and after about a year, they finally said I did not qualify. The VA letter said they had no research to indicate that tinnitus could occur so long after my long ago exposure.
I have had tinnitus for so long that I don’t even notice it now. I guess I am lucky! It sure does make it hard to hear some times though.

Hi William,
I went to the VA for my tinnitus a few years ago because I was in the Navy in 1959-1962 around jet planes. I really didn’t know when I started hearing the (for me) buzzing but I finally mentioned it to an MD hearing specialist in 2005, and he said yes it was tinnitus, Then Dr Tucci also said I had tinnitus in 2011 or 2012.
I filed with the VA in 2012 at the suggestion of a retired vet who has disability. After about 10 months of VA procedures, I got a letter saying that their research indicates that tinnitus which occurred that many years after my Navy jet plane exposure was not due to the jet planes and they turned down my claim.
So, when you apply, be sure that you at least have friends who will tell, in writing, the VA when you started complaining of buzzing or ringing. Good luck!

I’m afraid the Neuromonics program would be of no help to me because I wear hearing aids and my understanding is that you must listen to the program for 5 to 6 hours a day. I couldn’t be without my hearing aids for that amount of time. The other thing is the cost which I feel is ridiculous and unless you are a Veteran, insurance won’t cover it. I am interested to know if they do allow a 60 day trial. That seems fair considering the price tag (4 to 5 K).

I got tinnitus from a work-related loud buzzing as I type reports from earbuds. I just panicked. Could not sleep or concentrate. Fortunately at the time I was trying to learn meditation. What a lifesaver that has been! I have learned to relax when I get a tinnitus “storm” which can last 3 days to a week.

What was the exact remedy? Thanks

what did he do to help? please fill me in …i would so greatly appreciate it thank you kindly.

Hi. What did the doctor prescribe?

I’ve had tinnitus for at least 8 years. I had a medical ear eval, prior to audiology testing for hearing aids at Duke. The MD I saw was Dr. Tucci.
I am one of the lucky people who can tolerate the constant noise (a rushing sound) and have no trouble sleeping or awake with it, except I often can’t understand what is being said to me – my hearing aids definitely help and do essentially remove my awareness of the the tinnitus. I filed for disability with the VA 2 years ago but they said that since my tinnitus started only a few years ago, it wasn’t caused by my exposure to Navy jet plane noise in 1960-1962.
I will follow this thread with interest and ask Dr, Tucci’s office if they have an ongoing “newsletter” on their tinnitus work.

What was the remedy that worked for you?

Brina, have any of the therapies you tried work successfully to date? I am hoping to hear from someone who actually has found some relief after all their research, time, emotions and money. Thanks Phyllis

It’s still early day’s for you with you being a new sufferer! You have to be patient with this condition, it takes time for your brain to habituate to the tinnitus. I know what it’s all about! I’ve suffered with tinnitus for the past sixteen years and I like you have it very loud in both ears 24/7.
I honestly don’t think I’ll ever get used to it! But you learn over time to tolerate it much better. For me! its no longer a problem, I don’t see it as a bug bare any more, on my worst day’s during the first couple of years, as with you, it drove me up the wall, during this time after work, I’d go for a walk on the beach or the in the woods where the natural sounds of the waves lapping the sand or the rustle of the leaves would partially mask the tinnitus sounds. For me, this definitely helped at that time when I also struggled to cope, it does get better, like me and most other sufferers over time you’ll adjust as we have and it’ll dawn on you that its not such a big deal anymore.
A word of advice, all these herbal so called remedies are a waste of time and money. It’s said in the recently published journals- that with the research now being done (mainly in the USA) that during the next ten years there will be a cure! So fingers crossed they are right.
Best wishes,
A. Bailey. (retired bricklayer) NE England

TO MCK AND MAW – NOTHING WILL BE DONE if no one report this to the FDA. there are e-addresses ‘,

Thank you for your post, your situation is exactly like mine. I was given Citalopram by my doctor, and then I experienced the exact same results. I feel my tinnitus was caused by this drug. I have also tried acupuncture and other supplements which I have researched. My concern is that doctors and makers of Citalopram should be aware of this side effect and look of the root cause.
My ENT dismissed this when I first brought up the relationship between the drug and Tinnitus. I would really like to know who we could reach out to and have this link between the two followed up on.

I developed screaming high pitched tinnitus after I had been taking Lexapro (citalopram) for 10 days. I was given samples by Nurse Practitioner without any drug info paper that the pharmacy usually provides. I was not taking any other meds at the time. Asked my NP if Lexapro was causing the tinnitus & her reply was “No, she had no other patients that had complained of this side effect.” She told me to keep taking the drug.
I did & the tinnitus increased in volume & eventually was in both ears. I had to become my own advocate & found out from pharmacist that Lexapro can cause severe, persistent ringing in the ears. I stopped taking Lexapro 19 months ago & I have been suffering with this condition. I tried acupuncture & herbal therapy but it did not help.

What remedy?

The Upledger Institute instructs health-care workers in CranioSacral Therapy (CST). They can help you locate a trained therapist in your area. CST helps relieve dysfunctions in the cranial bones and meningeal membranes which can cause numerous health problems, including migraines, vertigo, and tinnitus.
Particularly for those who have tinnitus as a result of loud sounds, head/neck trauma, or dental work, CST should be very effective. It is a very light touch bodywork practiced by osteopaths, massage therapists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists. I’ve even known dentists who have studied it.
In my own Massage Therapy practice, I have successfully used CST to eliminate migraine and other forms of chronic headache, correct TMJ dysfunction, relieve pain from trauma, even reduce the frequency, pain and severity of tics due to Tourette’s Syndrome. It has also been used to help veterans overcome PTSD (studies done at Walter Reed Hospital). I strongly encourage all who have already posted here to check it out:

I heard the end of this show when I was visiting my parents in Florida. I have had ringing in my ears for a long time and did not know it was not normal. It makes relaxing after work and sleeping harder. I was listened to the programme on line today. I was trying to understand if it is necessary to see a specialist or if this can be managed. I am going to get a noise maker for sleep. I also started listening to classical music when I am alone, and it seems to help me relax.
I just started taking Amitriptyline for a nerve problem in my arm. I heard it can help with Tinnitus. How does that work?
Thanks for this programme. I am relieved to know this is something that I can address.

About a year ago I attended an event with several large sailing ships, all of which fired very loud cannons close to where I was standing. When I left I had a ringing in my ear that I thought would go away in an hour or two. It didn’t. After several days, I started looking on-line for remedies and treatments. Two things happened. One, I did nothing, and the ringing gradually went away in about a month. And, two, I found that a lot of the so-called cures and treatments are scams. I have nothing but empathy for those with permanent tinnitus.

Thank you so much again for taking the time to explain how the therapy works and sharing so much information with me. You cannot imagine the hope your replies have given me!
As a Massage Therapist and Pilates Instructor I am supposed to always be upbeat, positive and heal my clients but this has affected my energy in ways that nothing else has. Today was tough and then I came home and saw your reply and I am feeling so much better.
You have been an Angel, really, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

I am glad that my comments helped. I am sure Dr. Jasterboff’s book will be very helpful. One thing that he prescribed for me was a sound machine to keep by my bed and use at night. I think it was made by Brookstone and the sound was either falling rain and/or ocean waves. For years I kept it on at the barely audible level all night long.
I presume you have also contact the American Tinnitus Association for their literature and their newsletter which comes out every month or so. They are also on the web. You also have to be patient as it does take several months to get results. And it first it doesn’t seem like the noise generators are working, but by using them every day for 8 to 9 hours, or even longer (I used to wear mine 12) the tinnitus will eventually habituate.
As Dr. J told you, we hear with our brains not our ears. The ears pick up sound but it is our brains that actually do the hearing. The noise generators over time will “habituate” the tinnitus. It works like this: you come in with a large bag of things that have to go into refrigerator; you open the refrigerator and after a while you hear the motor in the refrigerator turn on; your hear the running of the motor; you keep putting things in; you keep hearing the motor; after a while you close the door and notice as you do that the motor is still running; now you see a letter on the kitchen island that has come from a friend who is traveling in Italy; you start to read the letter and you no longer hear the refrigerator.
What has happened? The motor is still running but your brain no longer has any need to hear it. Your brain is totally focused on the letter and has turned off the noise from the refrigerator because it no longer needs to or wants to hear it. That is now the noise generators will work. It just takes time.
I was glad to learn that Dr. J. got back with you. He and his clinic and staff at Emory are all outstanding.
I am sorry to hear that it costs $2,600 today. Things have gone up in 12 years!
As far as food is concerned I am not sure that it makes any difference. Certain medicines make mine worse at times. I don’t do well with sleeping pills or some allergy medicine. And most people will tell you that caffeine make tinnitus worse, but I drink coffee every day and don’t notice it.
As for concerts, I still go to some but sit way back and use db -30 or -33 foam ear inserts that I get at Walgreens to block out the loud stuff. I hope this helps.

Thank you so much for getting back to me because your story sounds so much like mine. I wrote Dr. Jasterboff an email a couple of weeks ago and he was kind enough to call me!!!! My email was a tear jerker. He recommended his book and I ended up making an appt with the TRT therapist down here because those noise generators are not sold to the public after all.
He fitted me with the sound generators like yours and told me I needed the therapy with him also, total was 2600 which Dr. Jasterboff said was an OK price and cheaper than going to Emory! At this point I was so distraught I was just glad to find a therapist trained at Emory close to my house. I didn’t have a choice, I was desperate.
I am so glad to hear that you found relief because your comment gave me the hope I needed, I have been so depressed and despondent. Music is the love of my life and the thought of never being able to enjoy a concert is also very sad. Thanks you again a million times for getting back to me. If you can tell me of anything else (life style changes like foods etc.,) and it’s not too much trouble to keep bothering you, please let me know. Again, I cannot thank you enough.

Please look into Tinnitus Rehabilitation Therapy, I went to see someone in my area they studied it under Dr. Jassterboff at Emory University in Atlanta, there are trainers all over the country and the world. Look them up on the internet. There is a list called Tinnitus Retraining Therapists Worldwide. They fit you with sound generators which you wear for a 9 hrs a day or more. I am also taking Lipoflavonoids, I also found a study that showed zinc seems to help, so I am doing the sound therapy, zinc, the Lipo…. and ginko, acupuncture did not help me. Hope this helps!!!

As a follow-up to your second question. I did not have to go back to Emory in Atlanta after I was fitted with the General Hearing Instrument noise generators. I only went one time for the whole day one time. I was also told to integrate the noise from the noise generators with my tinnitus so that the two sounds blend. You don’t want to overwhelm the tinnitus sound with the noise generator, just get them blend. As you adjust the sound on the noise generator up you will get to a point where the two sounds merge. That is where you want to be.
Dr. Jasterboff even told me that the noise from the noise generator should be slightly less. But Ms. Lisa Payne who is the nurse who worked with me said the sound from the tinnitus and the noise generator could be about the same–integrated. I hope this helps. I again apologize for not getting back to you sooner but am just now getting back to my computer.

Yes, the devices I was fitted with at the Emory University Tinnitus and Hypercusis Clinic were made by General Hearing Instruments. I checked with several ENTs in the Atlanta area who had been trained at Emory, but they were all much more expensive than Emory. The number I have from 12 years ago for the clinic is 404-778-3389 or 778-3109. I have been away for a while and am just now getting back to your request.

I developed tinnitus about 1 year ago. I do not have any type of hearing loss which would have contributed to my tinnitus. The only life style event which I can contribute my tinnitus is the drug citalopram, which my doctor prescribed to me for depression.
Since tinnitus is now be tracked to the brain, it would make sense that this would be the common denominator. My tinnitus is 24/7, in which I have been very disappointed with ENT’s and their concern with tinnitus, I actually received better treatment and information from my neurologist than from my ENT. My question, has there been a link to drugs, such as citalopram, which has contributed to tinnitus. Also, I have now resorted to eastern medicine, such as acupuncture, and has anyone had any positive results or herbal drugs? I am totally desperate for help.

I have high frequency tinnitus. To the point that I have been told that hearing aid’s probably will not work for me. It is at 12 hertz. I have an appointment this week to try them anyway. I’m at a loss. Tried so many things as I am sure all who post here have done. I am frustrated today as the pitch is so high. I have ocular migraine’s too. Has anyone had any success with Chiropractic’s?

I never suffered from Tinnitus until I was prescribed a mild blood pressure medicine called lysinopril. I only had about 12 days of the drug when I noticed ringing in my left ear. It has been 1 year since I quit the blood pressure meds, but I still have nonstop ringing in my head.
Over time it has not been so bad as you get used to it. Yet it still is very annoying specially at night when you go to bed. I have used some night time sleep machines which dampen the ringing so I can get some good sleep.
If anyone has had tinnitus due to medicine and healed it through some method please contact me…

Please PG I really need to communicate regarding Emory, it’s so important, thank you so much
I have been evaluated by an TRT and told me I need the Simplicity Tranquil and to wear them for 8 hrs also. He wants to charge me 1300 a piece and that includes therapy. I am devastated because I cannot afford them, he told me how to wear them, I begged him for any discount as I was on the verge of just losing it from the sound.
I am not able to come up with that money but did find them online. If I order them and wear them myself, he told me to wear them where I hear both my ringing and the sound, would that be enough? or did you have to go to Atlanta for more therapy? I was crying hysterically in his office from the stress and he said NO DISCOUNT!! He said that price is for life but he is in his late 80’s!!!!

Can anyone please tell me if Simplicity Tranquil helps?

please let me know what this product was!! Thank you

Thank you for your comment. I met with a Tinnitus specialist that studied at Emory under the doctor you mentioned. The items he wanted to sell me are called Simplicity Tranquil and sounds like what you used. His charge is $1300 each!!! I was devastated since I am not able to afford that. I went on line and found them at 1/2 price!! same item exactly! Is this the item that you used? They are by General Hearing Instruments. Please let me know, I am desperate and devastated by this, I have had it since March 2nd when I flew with a terrible cold, my ears have not been the same since and have been to two ENT’s, heavy steroids and antibiotics now my last hope is this!!!
Thank you for your reply

I’ve had tinnitus since my mid 30’s, I’m now 56. As I got older my ability to hear has gotten worse. I tried many hearing aids, but none made a big enough difference to buy them. After testing by ENT, they said my hearing loss was congenital, (from birth) however, I believe with all that ringing going on in my head, it also has affected my hearing.

Did you get pine bark at a health food store? Do you have hearing loss due to tinnitus?

I’m a 59 year old Vietnam Veteran and I shot M-60 machine-guns while there. I developed tinnitus within a year of my discharge from the Army.
My tinnitus became so bad when I was in my early 50s I contemplated suicide. I had it in both ears, very loud and mine sounded like I was in a room full of angry rattle snakes and June bugs. The mixture of these sounds nearly drove me nuts.
I was successfully treated by the precursor to nuronomics at the University of Texas Callier Clinic in Dallas by wearing a device looking like a hearing aid, that provided sound therapy. I wore two devices that looked like hearing aids, but generated a background sound suited for my particular type of tinnitus with my high-frequency hearing loss. When I first heard about this type of therapy, I discounted it as quackery, but after 12 months of wearing the aids, my life improved 95%… The tinnitus isn’t gone, but my brain no longer has “tunnel-vision” and a megaphone homing into the rattle snakes and June bugs in both ears.
My message to veterans, (and those serving now, who are exposed to loud noises) don’t give up. Sound therapy worked for me and I bet the numeonics therapy is better than the sound therapy I had.

I have mild-tinnitus and swim often. My age is 71 and I have been trouble by this for about 6 months. Could water in the ears or water pressure when swimming under water contribute?

There is a form of tinnitus referred to as Objective Tinnitus in which a sound can be heard externally. This differs from the tinnitus suffered by most people however. In addition, Pulsatile Tinnitus can sometimes be heard externally.

I have occasional tinnitus in both ears and have had it since my teenage years. I lived in a small southern Nevada town and the jets practicing for shows broke the sound barrier over the town a couple of times. The form of tinnitus I experience starts with a sudden loss of hearing, with a feeling of pressure, then a high-pitched buzzing that slowly goes away as my hearing comes back. The whole process takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes but, thankfully, doesn’t occur more than 3-4 times a year. Considering what the cause of my tinnitus is, I feel very lucky that it isn’t any worse!

I’ve had Tinnitus for 10 years, the problem was started by side effects from tricyclic antidepressants!

I have had the same surgery and same results. If you find any help please let me know. Seeing ENT doctor this week. I keep hoping.

I am 60 and about 12 years ago developed tinnitus after being exposed to extremely loud music at a concert. I finally got relief at the Emory University Tinnitus/Hypercusis Clinic of the Emory Medical College in Atlanta. The clinic’s director is Dr. Pawell Jasterboff, formerly of Johns Hopkins University; and the clinic uses tinnitus habituation therapy.
It involves being evaluated and then fitted with small hearing-aid devices called noise generators. Worn for 8 to 12 hours a day and producing a noise similar to the tinnitus, they train the brain to shut off the tinnitus noise to a person’s consciousness.
I wore them for about two months and noticed they were helping. After two more months the tinnitus disappeared. I was no longer aware of it. Now when I have a flare-up after hearing a loud noise I wear them again and the tinnitus is gone in a few days. The whole treatment with the devices cost much less than half of the $4,000 to $4,500 that your two guests’ treatment program costs at Duke.
The hearing tests at Emory were covered by insurance. I think back then I paid about $1,500 for the whole thing. I should also add that I had hypercusis, sensitivity, almost pain, to noise that went with the damage done by loud music. And that was cured, habituated, too. I hope this helps.

The late Dr. Alfred Tomatis worked for years to develop audio techniques which would address many different ear and/or voice related problems. Much that can be found in this field today originated with Dr. Tomatis. His research into hearing and voice began shortly after WWII and continued til his death in the late 1990’s. There are many Tomatis Centers, but more in Europe than in the U.S. Still, they can be found here in most large cities. If you’re interested, check out his book titled “The Conscious Ear”. Or look online.

The last 30 years have been a whirlwind of specialists for my Left-sided Tinnitus, with many diagnoses. As of this writing, the best help came from the “Center for Advanced Medicine” in St.Louis, Mo. Apparently there was damage to the inner ear (labyrinth) and that has destroyed my hearing for the high pitches, especially phone conversation. The Acoustic Neuroma Association has a good support group and are a good resource for those who have the growth of that benign tumor.
I recall having an inner ear infection as a child, which at that time Polio was rampant and the physician was concerned that I might have that disease.
This “noise” can be devastating to many who have it, so thank you for your program, which brought it to our attention on the radio. At this time, mine is quiet.

I too have had an acoustic neuroma removed and am deaf in one ear. I have tinnitus in this ear, a static hiss that seams to cross over and fill my entire head. The volume increases as outside volume increases. I can change the pitch as I move my eyes around or close them. It’s been 14 years and i am on an antidepressant. I mourn the loss of silence daily and it is difficult to concentrate. I don’t have the money to experiment with neuromonics. Just gotta cope and it is not easy.

I’ve been using 4 capsules of Pine Bark (100mg per capsule) per day, and 95% of my Tinnitus is gone. Initially, I used a higher dose to get it under control and now I use 400mg of Pine Bark per day to maintain it.

I have had constant loud ringing in my left ear for 7 years now. I went to the ENT specialists and they confirmed hearing loss and wanted to fit me for a hearing aid. The nearest I can remember is that it started suddenly after some bad dental work on the left side combined with pulled muscles on my entire left side including my neck and jaw. ENT says there is no connection… but I do believe it is the cause.

After suffering from Tinnitus for a year, I have been using Neuromonics for about 3 months now. I definitely get relief while listening to the music. It helps me concentrate at work and relax when I am at home. I am now on Stage 2 of the treatment and am starting to get relief even when I am not listening, so I am encouraged that it will bring long term relief.

I have had tinnitus 4 years and it seems mild compared to others’ comments. I do notice that changes occur while I sleep. If I have a day without tinnitus and I take a nap, or even nod off for a couple minutes, I wake up with the cricket noise in my right ear. My Question: What chemicals are released when we sleep that could cause this, or why does sleep affect my tinnitus?

JG, Will you please tell me what the homeopathic Dr. gave you that helped you?

What is the homeopathic remedy?

What causes repeated sinus infections? Feels like the worse toothache ever!

When I was about 13 I got tinnitus every time I entered a certain house to babysit. It was definitely tinnitus and definitely environmental and very loud. After 4 visits I had to give up a lucrative sitting job.

I am 59 years old and have had an intermittent tapping in my left ear since I was 18 years old. It is like rapid Morse code and came on suddenly with no loud noise exposure that I can remember. I was on a variety of antibiotics to treat acne when I was in high school and always wondered if they could be the cause.
The tapping is now occurring more frequently and lasting for longer and longer periods of time. It often wakes me at night. About 2 years ago developed pain in the area directly behind my left ear. At times the pain goes up into my head and down into my jaw. I’ve been to the doctor many times and have been told it is just my sinuses causing all the problems. I had a scan of my sinuses which showed nothing. Could this be a type of tinnitus?
Thank you

I am 60.
I have tinnitus from known causes, I did concert sound for 30 years, some of those shows were louder than they needed to be.
Also, I like to target shoot, and unwisely did some handgun shooting without earplugs. This is the main cause of my tinnitus.
It waxes and wanes, and I can control it by not getting upset about it, and it subsides to a manageable level.
However, in the last year or so, a new symptom has begun. Without warning, I will begin to have a disturbance to one ear, but not the other.
This disturbance is a shift in pitch of what I hear. The shift is frequency dependent. In other words, different pitches are shifted different amounts.
For example, when watching television, a male voice will be not nearly as affected as a female voice which is higher in pitch.
A low musical pitch will not be as affected as a high musical pitch. It make music almost impossible to listen to.
It passes after an hour or so, but it is very disconcerting. My method of coping is to not worry about it, and it begins to subside.
That is my basic tactic for dealing with ocular migraines.
Is this a form of tinnitus or something else?
Thanks, great show.

I have had tinnitus for over 30 years – one of the symptoms of my Meniere’s Disease and which of course corresponds to the Meniere’s-related hearing loss. I too was told nothing could be done and have not sought any further treatment once I got used to the perpetual high-pitched whistle in my left ear.
I was surprised that none of your guests mentioned Meniere’s, in addition to acoustic neuromas, when several of your callers referred to symptoms of dizziness and nausea. Those 3 are 75% of the symptoms identified with Meniere’s which I think is more common (although less severe) than an acoustic neuroma.
My masking technique has been to listen to a radio on a headset (I woke up to you guys this morning). It seems to work for me.
I also find that the volume level of my tinnitus varies based on my fatigue and stress levels. It’s a good warning to slow down and get some more rest.

I’ve had Tinnitus my entire life, and remember the “buzz” in my ears since before 1st grade. It has always interfered with my ability to concentrate, and I was diagnosed with “psychological scatter” and a mild learning disability. Though I get hearing tests every 2-3 years, the audiologists state my ability to hear is in the “normal” range (but I understand from the experts on the show that isn’t necessarily true).
Now I have 3 specific questions: 1) is there a relationship between Tinnitus and learning disabilities (since the etiology appears to be the brain and not necessarily only the ears), 2) is there a relationship between chronic depression and Tinnitus, and 3) is it possible that being repeatedly slapped in the face can cause the onset of Tinnitus? I am a child abuse survivor and the septum in my nose was damaged from the abuse I suffered, so I’ve always wondered if those injuries might be connected.

Excellent presentation relevant to one of my concerns for myself (I have occasional tinnitus) and my grandchildren). You have a great and helpful show.

I’ve had tinnitus since my mid-twenties. It normally runs at a pitch just UNDER 440 A on the piano which causes huge problems with tuning when I sing. During most of my adult life, I’ve been aware of some hearing loss. I was first tested in my late thirties. At that time, the technology did not exist to appropriately correct the loss.
In my late forties I was able to begin wearing hearing aids and much to my surprise, when wearing the hearing aids the tinnitus totally goes away.
Clearly, my problem was the result of hearing loss.
Problem solved!

I developed tinnitus and vertigo after having a heart cathiteration (sp?). I’ve had it for 5 years and found that in order to sleep at night I use an IPOD and listen to Olde Time Radio programs. This is not music, but people talking, such as Gunsmoke, Hop Along Cassidy, Dragnet, Lum & Abner. With this I can fall asleep within 20 to 30 minutes, without it the hiss can drive me crazy.

I enjoyed the show and thanks for the information. How do I find a Dr. to treat this condition with neuromonics in the Buffalo NY area?
Thank you

Serving in the military as a fifty caliber operator in the Vietnam War with the subsequent diagnosis of PTSD, I also have chronic bi-lateral tinnitus, meaning my ringing is comparable to hearing sniper rounds in my ears, which I experienced as weapon operator. I currently use the neuromonic device as well as an ipod which is tailored to the 4 programs on neuromonic listening device. Currently, I experience a great deal of pressure in my head, co-morbidic to PTSD and Tinnitus. These listening devices are most helpful as is your recent radio show on tinnitus.

Very informative. I occasionally have tinnitus (cricket like sounds) and also have significant hearing deficit in the speech range. I also e mailed question regarding Eagle Syndrome recently Dx for my daughter.

I have had a roaring sound in my left ear for 2 years… sounds like having a seashell stuck to my ear. Is this tinnitis? Also have just been diagnosed with benign positional vertigo. Is this related? Could any of this be related to TMJD (I have not been diagnosed)? I am a 60 year old female. thanks

I did not hear this program but hope to listen when the podcast is available on Monday. I have had tinnitus for a year now and have had 2 audiology exams and ENT reviews. I am so disappointed with the lack of support from the doctors that I have done my own research and have found that I have somatic tinnitus – it varies in degree of intensity – and I can manage it in several ways although stress, salt and alcohol do make it worse. L-Theanine has helped and I take @400mg per day.
Neuromonics might help but is very expensive – @$4000. However, there is a 60 day trial period so if at the end of that time you are not satisfied, you can return the equipment at no charge. There are so many causes of tinnitus that I think it is important to first establish the root cause before trying to treat it.

For the past year and a half, I’ve been troubled with Tinnitus. In the beginning, I thought the noise was external so I made an effort to locate/identify it, even asking six (6) people to come into my condo to listen for the same pounding noise I heard. Of course, they didn’t hear what I was hearing, & after seeing an ENT doctor & a Neurologist who ordered an MRI of my brain, it was determined that I was suffering from Pulsatile Tinnitus due to a crooked artery in my brain near an ear nerve.
This morning’s discussion about Tinnitus was informative, but it only touched on this particular aspect of the condition; I feel more time should have been devoted to it.

Great program on tinnitus! I’ve had this since my army days (no combat) in the late 1960s. No idea if this is the “cause.” The high-pitched reference tone that I “hear” varies in its intrusiveness, but it can wake me up. I have never saught out medical treatment, since my understanding has been that nothing can be done. Learning that some treatment is now a possibility is a revelation, and that VA might cover the cost very important.
If this q is appropriate for PP: If I decide to seek assessment and treatment, should I begin with Duke Med or VA?
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Given that the VA may cover the costs we would certainly consider starting there.

I too had occurrences of the “hearing a sound when my eyes moved left or right” each of the several times I stopped using the antidepressant Effexor too quickly. I successfully got off the drug by literally subtracting a few, then a few more, of the little pebbles from the capsule every few days or so. It took about five months, but I slid right out of the habit with no annoying side effects (like the noisy eyeball thing) and NO feelings of scary depression like always before. Recommended this approach to my sister, same problem, same happy result! Hope this helps someone else…

The worst show I’ve heard from you. Neuromonics with all its best intentions is horse pucky. No assistance for the cost and there are no clinical trials of substance, and once the treatment has begun there is no inkling that it is effective over the long term. In addition, there appears to be a constant expense over time if the tinnitus frequency within the patient changes.
The Doctor provided no confidence Both Doctors, while apparently qualified, provided practically no information of value (Dr. Tucci was the better of the two). Their remedy suggestions offered (very) little help except a long term commitment to a multitude of stuff to try for relief with absolutely an expensive trial and error guesstimate.
They gave new meaning to the phrase “Doctor’s practice”. Your show is better than that. Your program would have been better with some industrial audio engineers who produce noise cancelling and “Dolby” style noise cancelling devices that would have at least provided an alternative for relief. Seriously, I can’t believe you didn’t press these “guests” for answers concerning ongoing costs that face patients with little prospect for eliminating tinnitus. “There is nothing we can do” voiced by one physician to a telephone caller was the better answer to the patient. It was honest and didn’t preclude the Doctor providing options that the patient could pursue on their own at far less expense.
All in all, what was a promising hour of information was, in the end, useless, except to introduce what does not work.

I got cut off in the middle of my comment/question so I missed the feedback. Is there anything that I can do to help my brother? He has no insurance. He is on medicaid. Is there any one in South Carolina who I can take him to?
Thank you
in Misenheimer Pr

I went to a homeopathic doctor and got relief–8 hours after taking the remedy– I feel so blessed.

I have had the acoustic neuroma surgery and have lost hearing in that ear. I now have the tinnitus which is annoying. I am a music teacher. arrgh. Are any of the therapies mentioned in your program effective when you cannot hear from the tinnitus ear?
thank you
marsha c.
monroe nc

I have mild tinnitus and feel very lucky after hearing some of the much more severe symptoms described on your show, but I’ve heard that tinnitus can sometimes be so loud that other people can hear it coming from one’s ears. Is this true?

Sounds interesting. Is the process affordable or provided under state medicaid program?

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