The People's Perspective on Medicine


Can you imagine anything more annoying than hearing a mosquito buzzing around your head and not being able to catch it? A dentist’s drill might be a close match. Now imagine what it would be like to have crickets chirping in your ear 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Experts estimate that more than 30 million Americans hear a constant noise in their ears. Roughly one in eight men between the ages of 65 and 74 experiences some form of tinnitus (pronounced TIN-a-tus or tin-EYE-tus). Women and children are not spared the unwanted sound effects, which some describe as hissing, humming, chirping, whooshing, whistling, squeaking, or roaring.

Many tinnitus sufferers hear a high-pitched ringing, while others say it sounds more like steam escaping. Others complain of radio static or an electronic whine inside their head. One person described it this way: “I have an ocean between my ears every day, 24-7.” Whatever the sound, it never lets up–but nobody else can hear it, either.

“My husband has a constant buzz in his ears and also hears a sound he likens to a dishwasher running. This particular sound bothers him most when he goes to bed or wakes up at night, and it wakes him frequently. The doctor says lots of people have tinnitus and the problem isn’t serious, but it has my husband on the ropes.”

According to the medical establishment, “Many patients with tinnitus believe that they have a serious medical problem. This is rarely the case.” We beg to differ. People with tinnitus look normal, but the affliction can be as crippling as arthritis. Some individuals are so distressed by the sounds they hear that they become severely depressed and contemplate suicide. A study has found that even moderate tinnitus can interfere with cognitive ability, making it harder to focus and achieve peak performance while working on demanding tasks.

Tinnitus can be caused by many things, including very loud noises. More than 15 years ago, Joe was preparing to cohost a radio show when a student engineer made an error and created a feedback loop through Joe’s headphones (the kind of screech you sometimes hear through speakers in an auditorium). The sound was so loud and so close to his ears that from that day to this, Joe has heard a ringing and hissing sound. Some days the noise is so overpowering that it is hard for him to concentrate. For people who cannot imagine what you are going through, it is difficult to describe how disconcerting it is to have a fieldful of crickets inside your head all the time.

We fear that millions of teenagers and young adults may be setting themselves up for tinnitus and other forms of hearing loss by exposing themselves to high volume levels while listening to iPods and other music devices. There are so many loud noises in our environment that the cumulative effect can damage our ears and increase our risk of tinnitus. We’re talking about everyday things in our lives like blenders, vacuum cleaners, motorcycles, leaf blowers, and lawn mowers. All of them are loud and can contribute to hearing problems.

Compared to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, tinnitus seems like a trivial complaint. But ask anyone who suffers from it and you will discover that it can have devastating consequences on the person’s quality of life. The constant ringing or hissing not only affects concentration, it also can interfere with sleep. Many people with tinnitus are depressed, and some even contemplate suicide. There is no cure and no perfect treatment. Nevertheless, there are some options worth considering.

  • Avoid loud noise, including common household appliances like blenders, hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, and power tools. Concerts, sporting events, and airports call for ear protection. Noise can make tinnitus worse.
  • Beware of prescription medicines and over-the-counter remedies that can trigger tinnitus or make it worse. Even the quinine in tonic water can be a problem for some people.
  • Some people benefit from antianxiety agents like alprazolam (Xanax) or antidepressants such as nortriptyline. These drugs are not without side effects, however.
  • Seek professional advice about new technology that combines a hearing aid with a masking device. This equipment may help improve hearing and reduce the ringing. Try to negotiate for a trial period to test the hearing aid so you can make sure you are satisfied before shelling out thousands of dollars to purchase it.
  • Give ginkgo biloba a try. Although the research is not very supportive, ginkgo may help and it is relatively inexpensive. Make sure that it won’t interact with any other medicine you are taking.
  • Consider melatonin. This natural compound appears to be quite safe and may help tinnitus sufferers get some much-needed sleep.
  • If all else fails, your physician might prescribe misoprostol. A few small studies have found it useful for about one-third to two-thirds of tinnitus patients. Its price and side effects are daunting, however.
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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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When is some top doctor going to find a cure for tinnitus? Not enough is done.
Wake up world, and go for it!

I’ve been hearing the Crickets in my ears 24/7 for the last two to three months and its starting to drive me crazy. I’ve been on Prednisone for a few months for a rash on my left foot and now that I have this problem I would rather have the rash back than to hear this all day. It never goes away so can anybody help me?

I was prescribed a medication by my doctor and asked for a refill and he goofed and gave me a stronger dosage then what I was taking and within the hour my ears began to ring, he told me the stronger dose would not make my ears ring. I went to a specialist and was told all I could do for the ringing was to retrain my brain. I have had this since 2008, been to numerous ER rooms, doctors and they all say nothing they can do. On occasion especially the past year I get light headed, dizzy my eyes feel weird and I feel woosey. usually I drink a glass of milk and banana and after about 10 minutes start feeling better.

I contracted GBS (Guillien-Barre Syndrone), an incapacitating neurological disorder, which eats away at the protective sheathing around the nerves. My case progressed so rapidly, and severely that after a few days I was a quadreplegic, I have also developed a sound in my head (much like several cicadas) that has been there 24/7. I cant remember the last time I didn’t hear the noise. I have demonstrated this to others (via the internet) and after a few minutes they ask how is it that these noises haven’t driven me insane, all I can think is “I don’t know”. Maybe it has driven me insane I just don’t realize it.

I almost went to Urgent Care because I thought a nest of crickets were hanging out in my ear cannel. Seriously. I actually tried to record the sound until I realized that if I had crickets in my head, I’d probably feel something. It was late at night and I wasn’t thinking clearly. Since I’ve figured out what it was, I’m trying to ignore it, but it’s the weirdest thing ever.

I need help with my tinnitus. I’m 91 and went to hundreds of jazz concerts in my life!!

I’ve had problems with sleeping due to the sound of helicopters and lawn mowers in my ears. I live in north OKC and I was sure that a helicopter was flying over head. Not loudly or close by mind you, but way up in the sky. Then I thought I was being cursed and couldn’t sleep for a week straight. Now that I’ve looked this up I can see it may be caused by TINNITUS? I used to wear my IPOD headphones and turn the volume way up when I was maybe in my early or late teens. There should be a warning about this disease! Luckily I’m taking anti-psychotics and I seem to be sleeping again.

I’ve had tinnitus for 2 yrs now. I take nothing for it. I try to ignore and keep my mind busy. I believe that God will heal me eventually. The steady ringing humming noise is annoying but with Gods grace. I keep going.

I have recently been blessed with the effects of Tinnitus. I believe it started with the new inter-office communication radios my company had purchased. We use a walkie Talkie type radio with an earpiece. I opted for the one that is external instead of the rubber thing that sticks in your ear. I have tried everything from cleaning my ears to now I’m taking Ginkgo Biloba twice daily. I also ordered some of that Lipo supplement from Amazon but want to try the Ginkgo first. The other evening I was flushing my ears and for a second it stopped and you can’t imagine the relief I felt…then it returned.

Everynight in my apartment it starts. I live on a street where the houses are very close to each other and most are two family dwellings. The noise is constant and the frequency pitch is very painful. I also hear cricket noises and humming buzzing and sometimes sounds of chatter. 5 out of 7 nights there are flying drones in my neighborhood which exacerbates the problem. Any help or suggestions would be great. I don’t live alone and I am the only one who hears the noise. It makes me sick to my stomach and drives me crazy. Is it tinnitus or is someone harassing me somehow? I assure you I am not crazy.

I am surprised that you did not mention blood sugar in your article.

Blood Sugar and the Ear
A study published in the September 2009 issue of the “Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology” discovered that 87.7 percent of the study’s participants with peripheral vestibular disorder also possessed blood sugar and impaired insulin metabolism. About 61.7 percent of the people studied had hypoglycemia, while only 27.2 percent had hyperglycemia. In a study published in the 1984 issue of “Acta Oto-Laryngologica”, about 41 percent of the participants had blood sugar levels that were high or low. This suggests that regulating blood sugar levels helps reduce your risk of developing hearing problems such as tinnitus.
Eating Habits
Changes to your eating habits will help manage your tinnitus symptoms if you suffer from the condition or lower your risk of developing the tinnitus if you have normal hearing. Avoid eating and drinking foods and beverages that contain high amounts of sugar such as candy bars and soda. Controlling your sugar intake and keeping your blood sugar levels within normal parameters help maintain the fluidic balance in your ears. Alcohol has a direct adverse effect on your inner ear.

I’ve had episodes of tinnitus for years. Recently, it has become worse and to the point of hearing crickets :( Both of my eardrums always have a very full, almost bulging feeling in them. I use a CPAP machine and it has made the bulging even worse at night. A few months ago, I blew my nose, holding the left side closed. When I blew, it felt like an air bubble traveled from my sinus and bulged in my eye! Any thoughts?

I have had tinnitus off and on for many years but recently, I have had a very annoying episode which has lasted for weeks and this morning I started researching on the web and I came across an article that stated that vitamin B12 and zinc supplements would help. So I took some B12 sub-lingual 2 tabs only, because I didn’t have any zinc and within a hour the tinnitus was gone. I will continue to take the B12 daily now that I know it works, even without the zinc supplement.

I have a history of hypothyroidism and I am on daily medication. I am amazed at this simple solution and just wanted to share hope it helps others with this problem.

Sometimes I get a sort of static in my ears like a radio turned all the way down and not tuned in, or like hearing a faucet run from across the room. I question whether this is related because its not extremely loud or disruptive, and not all the time. If I put my head down though, I’ll definitely get it after a minute.

Another thing which may or may not be related: sometimes when I stand up I’ll get really dizzy, my vision will go blurry and I’ll hear a sharp distinct ringing for a few seconds before I’m back to normal. Are any of these things related to tinnitus? Im 17.

Static in the ears could be a description of tinnitus. Although tinnitus is more common in older people, it can also trouble teenagers. You might ask the doctor about it the next time you have a physical for some reason.

I have had Tinnitus for several years being the sound of crickets in the night but recently while taking antibiotics for a ear infection the noise has included what sounds like a baby crying, chanting, moaning and some melody that is repetitive and all at the same time.
I pray at night to have peace but in the morning it all begins and the volume gradually increases throughout the day. It is hard to ignore but I find that rest and release of stress and no caffeine does help though it is difficult to live daily without some of these at one time or another. Anyone else experience anything like this?

I have the sounds of crickets in both ears and it is beginning to be to the point it’s affecting my hearing. It is very annoying especially when I don’t hear well because of the cricket sounds. I’ve mentioned it to people (not medical) and they don’t seem to know what it is like they’ve never heard of it. If I was to get hearing aids will this help or will the hearing aids make the sounds louder or help me hear. Do hearing aides stop the sounds of the crickets or make them louder?

Hi there I am also experiencing the same thing. I was wondering if your symptoms have gone away yet since finishing the antibiotics? I was prescribed Otomize antibiotics and I’m convinced they’re what caused these new chanting melodies in my head. It’s so repetitive. I’m finding it hard to cope.

I did and it’s $25 at Wal-Mart. Stopped the noise for about 4 hours nd now it’s worse. Stopped talking it, can’t imagine going 60 days like they suggest.

There is a new Tinnitus Center Specific now in London England.

Sometimes a punctured ear drum can cause the ringing.

“I would almost rather be deaf in this ear than deal with this ringing all the time”
Cheryl, I have complete hearing loss in my left ear. In it’s place came the crickets. Sorry to say even being deaf doesn’t help this situation.

I have tinnitus. I read that it is a problem that is actually a neurological problem that originates not in the ear, but in the brain, involving miscommunication between damaged sensory cells — called hair cells, which line the cochlea, and the brain. People with severe tinnitus typically hear noise that doesn’t exist except to them, much like an amputee perceives phantom pain from a missing limb. This why it cannot be cured.

I m 18 years old and last night I found that my right ear only is ringing. It was like a sound of flowing of a fluid. I’m having constant slight ache. My hearing ability is also little less from past year due to my habit of hearing music all the time but I have dropped that habit since last year. pls tell me could it be tinnitus? Also my left ear is totally unaffected. pls answer
People’s Pharmacy response: It could be tinnitus, but you should see a doctor who can check your hearing and see whether there is infection or some other problem. Tinnitus does not cause earache.

I am 18 years old and last night I found that my right ear only is ringing. It was like a sound of flowing of a fluid. I m having constant slight ache. My hearing ability is also little less from past year due to my habit of hearing music all the time but I have dropped that habit since last year. Please tell me could it be tinniasis? Also my left ear is totally unaffected. Please answer.

A walk-in clinic doctor prescribed Clarithrmycin, Ampiciliin and Lanzoprazole for my H Pylori infection. I had to stop after 4 days because I was getting sick. A few months later, another walk-in clinic doctor prescribed Avelox, Nexium and Ampicllin. Soon after taking it, I started hearing singing, chanting and wailing.
I googled and learned that Avelox can cause a psychotic reaction in some people. Although I stopped taking Avelox on May 8, 2014, I continued to hear the singing, chanting and wailing. Obviously, this is causing so much distress in my life. To get rid of the noise in my head, I was referred to a psychiatrist who prescribed Risperidone 0.5 mg. However, I developed some side effects and had to stop taking it after two days. I went back to the walk-in clinic and the Dr. prescribed Olanzapine 2.5 mg, the same doctor that had prescribed Avelox. The pharmacist told me that Olazapine is a different drug from Risperidone, but belong in the same family.
He printed out the medical information for me to read, and also advised me to find another doctor. Eventually, the Dr. changed the Olanzapine 2.5 mg to Ativcan. I was hoping for 0.5 mg, but she prescribed 1 mg which I now cut it up to two and use 1 before sleep time. I was also diagnosed with hypothroidits and was prescribed Synthroid 0.5 mcg by a very nice and professional doctor, but the walk in clinic Dr. told me to stop taking it as she thinks that I should wait until I see the endocrinologist. What I am saying is that medicines can cause auditory hallucinations, and I am concerned that the walk in Dr. is doing more harm than good for me.

It is wise to confront the doctor if problem persists to see a Specialist so as to find the cause and eliminate any other medical problem that can cause the Tinnitus for they can be a few medical problems that can cause this and one needs to know rather than to self Diagnose. Better safe than sorry. I also suffer from this as I hear my heartbeat loud in my ears pretty frightening I suffer from Sinus problems, cervical problems of my neck, Vertigo, Stress, and quite a lot of pain due to my med problems. Mine persisted for nearly a year my doctor as given me nothing for this But i will go back next time and persist to see a specialist as it is my right and yours. 68 years old Barbara

My husband and young daughter both suffer from what seems to be pretty severe cases of tinnitus which is affecting their ability to sleep. I feel if they could sleep better, it may help alleviate some of the symptoms, but they are caught in a vicious circle. I have read online that magnesium supplements can help reduce the symptoms. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Yes to CH. there has been a progression to the tinnitus and like you, only the one ear on the right is effected by about 20% hearing loss also in that one ear. The hearing loss came on directly after an infection which I also experienced a perforation of the eardrum, which since has healed; but actual tinnitus had begun mildly before the infection occurred. I don’t mind the crickets nor the sound of the pretty crystal tones as they are subdued and they are easier to listen to, than the roaring which proceeded the ear infection and had me in a panic state. I can only conclude it is a better state of affairs with the advent of the subdued hissing accompanied by the singing crickets and occasional tones and everyday I wake up grateful, to assume the worst is over as the panic is gone.
It’s helpful with what the chiropractor said about the fluid and the hand over the ear, but it does nothing at all for me of which I can determine. I notice I can’t hear it when I go outside, and it’s loudest in the bathroom. Also I have developed in the right ear hyperacusis. a sensitivity to sounds, like putting a plate down, it seems to be irritating, I suppose because the ear drum hair cells are supposed to do the job of masking sound vibration and because of the damage in there, along with not picking up some high tones, loss of hearing there, the ear is unable to mask what it should.
So far when I do testing of my ears with binaural beats (found on Utube) I find music and human voice can be heard ok with proper volume, but the music tones and voice are distorted just in that ear. it’s too soon to say whether my hearing loss pill will do anything, and they are too costly to continue taking after these 60 ct bottle is gone, I’m on my own again.
I hear there’s stem cell coming into practice also with good results. keep on keeping on, eat healthy, drink lots of cleansing water and know the body has it’s own intelligence and is also trying to heal itself. it just needs a little help.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories. It’s comforting to realize that others are searching for relief as well. I would really appreciate a reply from anyone who has similar symptoms as me.
I lost the hearing in my right ear when I was a child (mumps) and have been living with decent hearing in my left ear for 40 years.
My problems started about 9 months ago. I was at a tavern with very loud music. Afterwards I experienced muffled sounds (like after a loud rock concert or a bad plane flight). Instead of clearing up in a day or two, it worsened over the next 10 days, to the point where I ended up in the Emergency room feeling like I was moments away from total deafness in my left ear. Doctors could do nothing for me and as I waited 2 months to see an ENT specialist, the muffled hearing slowly switched to tinnitus over a few weeks.
Now, I have two different kinds of Tinnitus. One kind is constant and sounds like a hundred crickets in my ear 24/7. The second kind sounds like a crystal dinner bell that rings only when my body is jostled, like when hitting a bump when driving, indigestion, etc. Now after two ENTs, the doctors look at me like I’m imagining things and have no clue as to what I’m describing. The suggested treatment is a hearing aid during the day to amplify noise and block the crickets and sleeping pills and white noise (I use a big fan) for night time.
Now, here’s the more interesting point and test that I learned from a chiropractor studying Functional Neurology. I tilt my head to the left with my hand covering (pressing against) my left ear and making a tight seal around the ear. I keep my head tilted for about 20-30 seconds. Then I straighten my head upwards and pop my hand off my ear at the same time. Strangely enough, the tinnitus disappears completely…but only for about 15-30 seconds (the time it takes for fluid to circulate through he middle ear again). I’ve explained this to the ENT and he looked at me like I described having an eyeball in the back of my head.
Does anyone other suffer from multiple kinds of tinnitus?

Interesting reading about so many experiences with this tinnitus. Although I certainly can relate to some of the sounds, especially the high tones….Wow!!!
I have noticed that 99% of the time it is when I am dozing off for a few minutes in the late afternoon or relaxing on a recliner in the late afternoon.
If I am being active or just not in a relaxed state I am fine. It has gotten to the point that if I find myself dozing off in front of the TV or something, I force myself to jump up and move around. Can anyone else relate to this? I miss napping!!!!

I know exactly what you are saying. Since April, 2014, I experienced sounds, sometimes sounds like running water while other times it seems like chanting. I also wake up with a bad headache, especially on my left side. I feel the sound was coming from above (my landlady’s suite), but she says it isn’t. I don’t know what to think.

I have whistling voice in my ear for the last 1 yrs, I am doing Indian yoga “sarvang aasan & shirshashan”…. I hope it will cure… u also try this ashan.

I have suffered with high pitch ringing in my ears for 4 years now and had a hearing test done for work and could not hear those high pitch tones at all over this ringing which after they told me I have serious hearing loss sometimes the ringing becomes quiet enough it doesn’t bother me but recently I have gotten a cold and the ringing is back louder than before and I cannot hear at all from my right ear I would almost rather be deaf in this ear than deal with this ringing all the time.

I am hearing hissing noise since last one month, it is continous and does not stop. can any one suggest me some good doctor. or treatment please help me out.
People’s Pharmacy response: That hissing noise is called tinnitus, and unfortunately it is not easy to treat. Sometimes it does go away on its own. Doctors occasionally prescribe drugs, but cognitive behavioral therapy and tinnitus retraining therapy appear to be more effective:

I recently heard from a doctor that we have small calcium crystals inside our inner ear chambers that can become dislodged during a bump on the head. Usually they cause dizziness but can cause tinnitus as well. There is a maneuver that doctors and physical therapists can do to manipulate those crystals back into the correct position.

The advice I read here confirms my problem. Cricket in the ear and like a steam train in the other ear. I have had this problem for a long time but only the cricket ear. Of late my other ear gives me grief and when they both go together I find it hard to hear and people get grumpy when they have to keep repeating. Thank you for you the help you gave me.

Darn Yankee..if you are still out there, can you describe the melody of the chants of the male monks? I hear the same thing. It is three notes.. one long note, followed by one note higher, then a lower note. I hear it through my white noise machine with earplugs on. It plays over and over, just those 3 notes.

I too have tinnitus but mine also makes me off balance and dizzy. I’ve also had a few vertigo attacks in the past year. Has anyone else had this combination? Someone told me drinking water with a little honey in it a few times a day helped them, I tried it but it didn’t help me. Someone else told me they drank 3 small glasses of bourbon a day for two weeks and it went away because it thinned the blood. So far I am too afraid to try this and I would have to stay home and not drive. Has anyone ever heard of this cure?
Toby, we do not think bourbon will solve your problems. We encourage you to visit a balance specialist…someone who really understands how to test for the cause of your dizziness. You may also need to see an ENT for the tinnitus.

I developed the ringing 2 weeks ago. I went to my doctor for a complete physical & all was good. I went and saw ear, nose, throat specialist. He gave me a handout on tinnitus he told me to avoid the three “c”s: cigarettes, coffee and colas.
The constant high pitch ringing drives me nuts. I find drinking beer, not wine, not hard liquor, just beer helps. After about 4 or 5 I’m down at least 50% of that horrible ringing. I can’t believe that with so many millions suffering this life altering disease that Docters have yet to find a cure.
Good luck everyone & God bless You

Be careful with the Tylenol….Nsaids etc exacerbate my tinnitus! As does caffeine. Best of luck, it isn’t fun…

I just started to hear a sound like crickets in both ears. The problem is at night when I cannot sleep, the sound seems so loud. I will try to remove ear wax first and take some Tylenols to see if that helps. I will post in the future about my treatment.

Darlene, I have had chronic gum issues for years, as well as tinnitus, and recently saw a periodontist who seems to genuinely care about his patients, rather than how he can earn his next boat payment. I clench my jaws regularly, which he said was contributing to the gum stress, so he had an appliance made to hold my upper jaw in alignment.
Within three weeks my tinnitus, normally at a level I can ignore, went through the roof, to the point of distraction, and my calves swelled to where my slacks were tight….apparently sucking on plastic is not healthy.
Stopped using the appliance,the swelling disappeared, and the tinnitus went to normal levels. I now use an essential oil called Peace and Calming to relax my jaws….amazing stuff! The tinnitus was caused by too much aspirin for achy knees while waitressing. It fluctuates with stress, allergy meds, the occasional NSAID.
BTW, I have cured toothaches, & what probably were gum infections with Thieves, another essential oil, and using coconut oil as a toxin pull [swish for 20 min, find something to do to distract you, and then spit out]. I also use hydrogen peroxide as a mouth wash at night, hold for at least 30 seconds. I believe my underlying gum issues are caused by an overgrowth of candida in the gut [confirmed by my functional medicine doctor], which caused lack of nutrient absorption, and bone loss.
I’ve changed my diet, lost 50+#, have a whole new set of non brittle fingernails, and will find out next month if the gums are healing, jaws growing stronger.

I’m sorry you feel so saddened by this very horrible disease which I too suffer from. However, you should find strength from within yourself, if you think god will cure your tinnitus you will be waiting a very long time. I have learned that plenty of rest, good nutrition and reduced stress levels really help a lot. I have heard also that some peoples conditions are so bad that nothing really helps. If you fall into that category, I am truly sorry. Prayer can be soothing, I just hate to hear anyone who thinks there might be a miracle in the works just for them. If I believed in a god, I sure hope he’d fix things more important than my blasted ringing ears. Best of luck.

I have had it off and on since I was in my mid teens. I worked a lot on farms with lots of noise and did not use hearing protection until much later. I believe it may be inherited as well. Out of 5 kids in my family I am the only one that has it.
About 3 years ago it started to ring in my left ear all the time and has not stopped since.
It sometimes changes in frequency but not often, the odd time I have heard it in both ears. I repair clocks for a hobby but can still hear the tick tock of them. I am 55 years old and I think it may make my life a little more difficult, as sometimes I get short tempered by hearing this noise all the time.
I hope I am alive long enough to see a cure for it.

Can’t say how glad I am to see these comments; not that I’d wish anyone else this experience but for sometime now it has felt as though I was alone in this… kinda relieving to see otherwise.
I’ve had mine since 2008 (I think) when I was in high school and it hasn’t been fun these 4/5 years. I hear ocean waves and pulses of my heart beat in my right ear. It makes it hard to sleep but I’ve learnt to ignore it (hard as that is). Sleep is sometimes hard to come unless I have some music playing and sometime ago I began to listen to songs with earphones just to keep the noise out; I had to stop that as it wasn’t good for my ears.
Dunno what caused mine, I had a fall in 2004 that has left my right shoulder traumatized, so from reading this article and preceding comments, I’m beginning to think that could be it. Before mine came, I wasn’t one for loud music or noisy places so I can’t blame it on that.
I’ve never been able to explain how I feel to anybody, sometimes it’s really frustrating. I cry, I get angry, I ignore it and eventually I’m forced to listen to it. Saw a doctor last week who prescribed A-Cerumen eardrops. Can’t say they’ve been helpful.
Was crying as I read other comments (especially of the man who took his life) because I know what it’s like. I’m 18 and this is a mystery for me, a misery too. I really wish there was a cure as I can’t imagine living the rest of my life with this.
For now, I compare myself to people in worse situations and I feel fortunate, I also try to stay happy and ignore it by concentrating on better things of life.
Talking helps too (but then, for how long would one keep talking). Well, God is all knowing and can do all things (if He so chooses). I look up to Him.

The ear ringing seems to be a complete mystery to everyone including the ENT doctors. I am a music lover, and did listen to some loud music more in my younger years, but not sure if that’s the problem. Whenever it was really nagging me, I took a Tylenol, and it helped. Lately it has lighten up some, to the point that I forget about it, but when I feel stressed about something it seems to come back for a while.

I have had ear noise following the years we ran a rollerskating rink. It has nearly driven me crazy but I have gotten used to it and am coping. However, after taking zyrtec it got worse over night. So I want to know, is the zyrtec to blame?

I have had depression for about one year and for last 2-3 months I have had the noise of turned on speaker with no music ( the air or something like shshshshshshshshshshshshshhs).
Have any one had the same problem?

I notice the ringing has calmed down in the last couple of months. I am wondering if taking pain medicine might contribute to the problem. I have dental issues, and sometimes bad toothaches. I take acetaminesine when I feel pain of any kind or dizzy headed. Cures for other elements are being discovered, so I hope they will find one for tinnitus. I am hearing the ringing as I type. Sometimes I will go to sleep and the ringing is not there, but when I woke up, it was there. A very curious situation…

Yes, tried them for 1 year and NO they didn’t make a dent in the problem. I have tried every homeopathic cure that comes out to NO AVAIL. This is a horrible, debilitating, ongoing and terrible affliction to anyone who suffers from it. I attribute it to major dental work done in the 80’s that caused both TMJ and tinnitus which also resulted in my hearing loss of high and low sounds.

I had a bump on the head and this caused mine. Riding my Harley with a little helmet on doesn’t make it any better!!!
Really pisses me off

I feel like some faint mosquito sound in my ear and head. Sometimes for a while that is is flying over or near my head. I hear it when I give attention to it. can anyone help me?

Talking might help because I don’t notice the sound when I am talking. The funny thing is, when it stops for a while or goes down to a real low hissing, you forget that its there. It’s a real mystery to me, lately I notice when I go to sleep and wake up the sound is there, but I didn’t hear it much before I went to sleep. I have been dealing with a lot of stress lately, but not sure if that’s a contributor.
I was living two blocks from a railroad track, and the train was loud, and came 2 to 3 times a day. The noise didn’t bother me, but I’m wondering if that noise was to much for my eardrums. Tinnitus is a mysterious problem that no one have a real solution for. Hopefully some mad scientist is working on a remedy, and eventually will come to our rescue…

Does the ringing/ humming with tinnitus stop if u start talking ? Or while you are talking? Mine started two or three months ago and is driving me nut it goes away when I talk.

I have had tinnitus for over 30 years now, I am 66 now. I still have the noise in my ears but they are very soft now. back when it started it sounded like a touch tone phone. I would try to cover my head with pillows but it didn’t work. I keep on hoping that there will be a cure for this soon. As I would like to live out the rest of my life without noise in my ears.. good luck to all who have this. it can drive you nuts.

I started experiencing ringing/sizzling in the about a year ago, I was 57. I also found out that I had a thyroid issue at the same time. I have since been taking my thyroid pills, and the ringing has quiet down a bit, but not totally gone. I also went to the ENT, but they could not recommend anything to do. My mother(82) also was diagnosed with a thyroid imbalance when she was in her fifties, and has experienced some ringing in the ears. I smoke and have listened to loud music over the years, but my mother didn’t do neither.
Maybe it could develop from other medical issues, or inheritance. The sizzling sound comes and goes, it seems to be worst for me in the winter. I forget that I have it when it stops for a while. I don’t know of any sincere remedy to share or use. I guess I will have to learn to live with it, until whatever…

When my hearing was tested it was determined that my tinnitus had nothing to do with my hearing loss. Unfortunately, my hearing aids do not block the tinnitus as I hoped they would.

My 88 year old mother is hard of hearing and has had tinnitus for years, as do I (I’m 62). We both hear “crickets”, but recently my mother told me that she has started hearing “music” that sounds similar to what you describe.
I’ve read that tinnitus is the result of our brains creating sounds in the frequencies that our ears no longer transmit. I know my hearing loss is mostly in higher pitched sounds. I’m wondering if my mom’s hearing has changed again, and the new tinnitus symptoms are due to that.

In 2010 after a severe inner/outer ear infection I developed Tinnitus along with complete hearing loss in one ear. The noises I was hearing at the time changed, ranging from a hum to music, all loud enough to prevent sleep. After seeing a local ENT I was told that I still had an inner ear infection and given a prescription. This doctor asked me a lot of other questions (which surprised me at the time, they seemed unrelated ) He gave me a handout on Hypoglycemia, explaining that they had found that many patients with these issues had blood sugar control issues.
I was diagnosed with Reactive Hypoglycemia (non diabetic) and a low carb diet was recommended. Within two weeks the unwanted noise was gone and my hearing had returned. After a few months I noticed that a whole laundry list of symptoms (many of which were covered in my initial interview with the ENT) had also disappeared.
I would encourage anyone to consider their diet! These days we all to often put more thought into the gas/oil/coolant levels in our car than what our bodies need and don’t need.

aspirin/BC Powders/Goody’s (Nsaids) will increase the noises, regardless of what you
hear, in my case sometimes it is a high pitched whine, sometimes it sounds like
crickets or spring frogs. the above makes it worse.

I have gone to a Chiropractor/Naturopath Practioner and he worked on me, and I was able to have some relief, but only for a short period of time. Also one time with a Massage Therapist when she worked on my shoulders and neck, this too only lasted a short time, (a few minutes). I have to get up out of bed as the noise is so bad.

Sure wish I had an answer for you. Perhaps you are one of the people that could be helped with hearing aids. I’m not one of those people.
The ringing in my ears is getting louder.

About 14 years ago I was in a bad car accident where I suffered a severe concussion and a neck injury. Ever since then I have had the constant 24/7 crickets in my ears. sometimes its not too bad and other times it is extremely loud. I cannot sleep without a radio or television on just trying to drown out that sound. I have been to an ENT. I was told that there are certain pitches of sounds I cannot hear and my brain is just trying to fill in those pitches. Any body have any suggestions?

I am able to ignore the sounds more easily when I’ve had sufficient sleep; but it never goes away. Until there is a cure, I will be happy to be able to ignore it when I can.

I don’t hear music, but at times I hear exotic birds. The first few times I heard them, I asked if anyone else could hear the birds; I thought they were outside the house. Then my husband reminded me that they wouldn’t be chirping at night. Most of the time I hear the power line hum. Sometimes if I focus on that my body will relax. I dread the tinnitus getting louder. Going off medications is not an option for me. I have constant sinus infections and I think that is what caused tinnitus.

OK – I know this may just be too easy, but over the last month or so, I have noticed that when I get sufficient sleep for three nights in a row, the ringing stops. By sufficient, I mean a good 9 hours.
I run my own company, and usually stay up late working well into the night. It was rare that I was actually afforded the opportunity to sleep for 9 hours for a string of three nightly, as usually I am down to 4 or 5. Have not had the opportunity to test this but once following the initial realization.
Have been wondering if perhaps the ringing simply comes from lack of sleep? Anyone out there that has particularly good sleep habits and still experiences the ringing?

I also have had Tinnitus for years. My ENT told me there is no cure. I got hearing aids due to hearing loss in specific frequency ranges that I was told was due to the Tinnitus. I was also told I might, at some distant time, lose all my hearing BUT NOT THE NOISE. The hearing aids masks some of the noise.
Does anyone know if there is research going on for a cure? It seems that since this is not perceived a life threatening or high profile it is not being taken seriously. I read an article that states Tinnitus is just a symptom and not a disease, so basically nothing is being done to find a cure. To me, once past the cause (loud noise, medicine or whatever) there is the noise. Where is the noise coming from (the cause is gone)? Fix what is making the noise. Sorry about the rant…
Recently I read an ad in the local paper about ammino acid “Gamma-Amino Butyric acid (GABA)” that will CURE Tinnitus. I haven’t got any good information on any of my searches. Does anyone know about this?
Good luck to everyone.

Amazing that millions of people suffer from tinnitus and there is no cure. One ear started gradually and the other months later. Both ears have different sounds, one low pitch and the other high pitch. I heard that a multivitamin/mineral supplement along with vitamin C (bioflavinoid type) helped.
I always took these intermittently but found the strong multi vitamin would make my heart beat very fast. I started crushing the vitamin (or emptying the capsule) and putting it in chocolate soy milk (to drown the taste) and took a little after each meal so I no longer have problems with the rapid heartbeat. I take a vitamin C at lunch along with the drink. It has been a couple of months and I believe it is helping.

I use the Solgar brand of vitamins/mineral and also Solgar bioflavonoid complex C 1,000 miligrams. The Whole Food store multivitamin/mineral is almost an exact replica of Solgar at half the price.

Best of luck to everyone. Please let us know if there is a remedy. Does anyone know the place in the ear where the ringing comes from? I would be willing to have it removed from the loud high pitch ring ear and just rely on the other ear for hearing. I am 68 so I hope that age will diminish it since so many older folks cannot hear very well. I would welcome losing my hearing if the ringing would stop also.

I suffered “Sudden Deafness Syndrome” in my right ear in 1980. I had micro-surg. to see what was wrong… Nothing! Since that day in 1980, I have had unbearable noise in my head/ear. I actually remember the day I consciously committed to living with this, rather than the alternative. I’ve found that MSG, nitrates, sodium, metallic noise, restaurants, loud music, loud movies, etc. make it much worse.
A custom plug was made for that ear and did nothing to help the tinnitus. I did and still do find relief by putting a yellow foam plug in my GOOD ear, thereby reducing the incoming noise that travels through the bone around the back of my head. My heart goes out to anyone who suffers with this. Other people can’t understand because they can’t see it or hear it.

I, too, have had tinnitus for years, and it has gradually gotten worse. I have no idea why I have it unless it could be caused by medications.
Right now I am on Lyrica, Propranolol and HCTZ. The tinnitus now pulsates with my heart beat, which makes me think something is wrong with my heart, but my doctor says no. I can hear it all the time, although, of course, I notice it more at night when things are quiet, and it hinders me going to sleep. I also have headaches a lot and have had an MRI because of that, but no problems were found. Still looking for some answers………

just heard that lipoflavenoids might help. anyone try it yet?

I’ve had Tinnitus for several years now with it worsening the past several months to where it is driving me crazy. I am pretty sure living with parrots initiated my Tinnitus since parrots can be pretty noisy.
My symptoms are pulsing cricket noises in time to my pulse. This makes it extremely difficult for me to concentrate, especially when I am on the computer, trying to read or do some work.
I had an audiology test done last year and was told there is no cure for Tinnitus. A hearing aid was recommended to possibly help mask the “crickets” but I didn’t want to wear a hearing aid w/ no promise my symptoms would end.
I practice bio feedback with little results. I have noticed massaging my gums briefly helps relieve the symptoms.
I am going to try Ginko Bilboa in hopes it helps. Melatonin does help for sleep but there is a hangover effect if it’s taken too late at night, so it isn’t much help.
I’m sorry about the person who committed suicide as a way out of the constant noise.

I am 54 years and have had tinnitus for nearly 20 years. It is a steady high pitched hum. Sometimes I stick my finger in my ears and swoosh them around to calm the pitch. I have seen a chiropractor, physical therapist (who massages the muscle at the jaw line that links to the inner ear), consulted with an acupuncturist, and have seen an ENT.

I am thinking about getting a white noise machine for bedtime. There are Veteran hospital trials for soldiers whose tinnitus is the result of loud explosions and/or stress. The trials involve sending radio/magnetic waves through the brain.

Am thinking of signing up for one if and when it comes to my area. Thank you for publishing all these comments. I am sorry so many people are experiencing this awful condition. My was sudden on-set. I did listen to loud rock-music in the 70’s and did drink pepto-bismal as needed. Did these activities cause my tinnitus? Who knows. Just wish I could get rid of it!

About 6 months ago my 52 yr old daughter developed tinnitus (AKA “ringing in the ear”).
This was brought about by her co-worker who blew a very loud whistle right next to her ear while in her classroom. As a result, she has been incapacitated in that she cannot sleep, think clearly and is missing work.
She has seen several doctors, has had an MRI and has been told that there is no cure for it.
Is there any medication to take? She has been told about “maskers” which are very expensive, acupuncture, etc. HELP is there anything she can take or do to relieve it?

About 8 months ago I was attacked by this Tinnitus, only I was hearing singing crickets, I approached my MD just to learn of this disease, he went straight to work getting me to see specialists, just to learn you are stuck with it so get over it. I had quite a few visits to PA Hospital, Logan Hospital and the QEII Hospital, but to no avail. With thanks to your lovely site especially the bit about soap in the hands to help with cramps in the hands and fingers.
Thanks for now

I have tinnitus and wonder if a drug called quinidine started it.
When I wear hearing aids I can sometimes hear a faint like radio in the background. I would rather hear the monks. Try taking your hearing aid out and listen than put it back in. I am now trying putting a little baby oil on a Q-tip and dabbing in my ears to see if that will soften the ringing.
I am now 70 and the ringing mask what people say. If you loose one word in a sentence you have lost the whole meaning of what someone says. So you ask them to repeat and they get upset.
Good luck with your “monks”

Thank you for the update. I still haven’t heard from anyone hearing music in their ears continuously. I read the suggested book, Musicophilia, but that pertained more to people who had lost their musical ability, or had gotten some all of a sudden. I have neither. I just hear “monks” chanting all the time, sometimes loud, other times soft. It starts out in the morning as buzzing and then goes into this chanting. I think I’m coming undone!

I had shoulder surgery in March of ’09 and was put on powerful pain killers. I went off the pain meds about three months later when I discontinued physical therapy.I had frightening anxiety when I was stepped down to the last one which I got off of in 24 hours. I started hearing the sound like power lines hissing. I have had it continuously for a year now. Sometimes I don’t notice it or maybe it isn’t as loud. I have been under stress for about 6 months and it seems much worse. I think it wakes me from sleep, and I know it makes it hard to get to sleep sometimes. I have used a riding mower for years and never had a problem, so I really believe the pain drugs caused my problem. I was taking a Benadryl type sleep aid and I quit taking it because I feared it might make it worse. I need relief.

I’m 82 and wear hearing aids. About a month ago I started hearing ONE melody, continuously in both ears, that I have never heard before. It has no words, and is more like when you hear monks chanting in a chapel. It is not too bad to listen to, all male voices in harmony, except 24/7 is a little too much. I’m either a composer, but nobody else can hear it, or I’m losing my marbles. I suspect it is tinnitus. Does anybody else have an experience with music like this?

I am thirty-one now and have had tinnitus for 11 years. At times it can be downright annoying to have this “tuning fork ring” and “ceiling fan whoosh” in my head; but I can always imagine it to be a lot worse, like no hearing at all. I have been seeing an ENT for years and though there is not a cure, we have found that reducing stress and having at least nine hours of sleep have kept the noises to a minimum.
There are days that it becomes unbearable, but on those days if I play the radio throughout the whole house, it can muffle some of the inside noises and help make me a little more sane for the day.

We had a good friend that took his life yesterday because he could not get any help for Tinnitus. He had been to so many doctors in the Charlottesville area and they dismissed him. It is sad to think that the only relief he felt he had was to end his life.

To LT: I have had tinnitus for many years: Hissing sound, ticking like a clock etc. and view it – for me personally – as a permanent condition without cure.
Found that stress and being tired makes it seem appear suddenly and also can make it worse. Meditation, which I have used since 1980, incidentally helped me to learn to ignore the tinnitus sounds so they don’t bother me. I used Autogenic Training, the precursor of Biofeedback, to learn meditation. I am 70 yrs. old.

I have read the comments from other people and find them discouraging. Mine started in Oct. with no related causes. My doctor put me on antibiotics and decongestant, neither helped. Is there really no cure for this? Do I have to live with this the rest of my life? I an 68. LT

I have learned that tinnitus can be caused by medication, OTC as well as prescription.
HELP! I’m desperate for a cure.

My tinnitus developed from a sudden bump on my head in my car. I’ve had it for three months now and sometimes it is very distressing. I’ve changed my diet, cut out all caffeine, alcohol, overly salted foods, starches and sweets and it still persists. The ENT kind of brushed it off as being common today and said there is a sound in silence.
Yes, there is, but not like this hissing tinsel sound. I am in my 50’s and feel too young to have such a condition. If anyone has any insight into relief of tinnitus from a bump on the head, please post it here. Thank you!

My mom has been complaining of this for several years now – especially the whooping sound or a zipping sound. She is 75. As with gh, as far as I know she hasn’t experienced any loud noises to cause this. I know it is upsetting and frustrating to her, she can’t hear and is often more preoccupied with the sounds she is hearing than what someone is saying. She has been to a hearing specialist, but they haven’t done anything for her.

I started getting ringing in my ears about 2 months ago–Web MD had a blip that said this might be a thyroid problem, another site said my allergy medicine -Zyrtec- might be the culprit. The sound is like a whistling noise. My regular physician said I should see an ENT– does anyone have any thoughts or ideas re: the sudden cause? I haven’t had any head injuries, been to a rock concert, etc., so I’m really puzzled! thanks!!!

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