British Tinnitus Association
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QUESTIONS and ANSWERS -by Prof David Baguley,

When will there be a cure for tinnitus?

Major efforts are underway around the world towards really effective treatments, new spirit of collaboration, but I can’t put a timescale on this.

Can tinnitus be related to Pernicious Anaemia?

I don’t know of any direct link, but any medical condition that makes you feel unwell, tired, or stressed could make tinnitus more intrusive or burdensome.

What relief can I get?

Present evidence indicates benefits from counselling, sound therapy (hearing aids / sound generators), relaxation therapy, addressing any anxiety/depression.

What is your advice on taking Ginko and what dosage should I be having?

Several trials have been done with Gingko Biloba, and unfortunately none produced evidence that is has a significant benefit.

Why does the tinnitus fluctuate in levels and ears?

This is very common, and very interesting. It indicates the dynamic role of brain processing in tinnitus rather than just the ears.

I have a low caffeine and salt diet. Is there any other diet i could try or supplements that have been known to help?

Some research done on deficiencies of magnesium, zinc, vit B12, but this is an area where more research is needed. Don’t exceed recommended dose of any supplements.

Is it normal or to be expected that it will increase as I get older and will it keep escalating? Is there anything I can do to quieten it? I am totally deaf in the ear with tinnitus so masking aids are no good.

Recent research indicates that in many people, the impact of tinnitus reduces rather than escalates over time. Clearly there are some people in whom the opposite is true. Despite your deafness some technology options may remain and an Audiologist could discuss.

I’ve seen some tinnitus patches advertised, you wear them behind the ear, but you can only buy them privately and are fairly expensive, the question is, do they work or is this just another scam?

The question to ask is ‘Is this therapy supported by independent randomized controlled trial evidence?’ I personally haven’t seen any for this therapy.

What progress has been made between the BTA or ATA in battling tinnitus?

Both BTA + ATA making huge efforts to raise + maintain interest from clinicians /researchers, and are in close touch on efforts to develop effective therapies.

Is there any proof or trials on Nortryptaline in helping tinnitus? Since my doctor put me on it my head tinnitus and deep drone has gone and took the edge off my high pitch tinnitus.

There have been some research trials on a very similar drug (amitriptyline), suggesting some benefit for tinnitus, though the studies were not robustly designed.

Besides white noise does any noises like nature sounds if played just below your tinnitus have the effect to reduce your tinnitus noise?

Using environmental sound can be very helpful indeed: many people like rain or ocean sounds.

If you are waiting see audiology for white noise generators would a white noise app and earphones on the lowest setting set below your tinnitus help in the day and at work until you got them?

There are lots of tinnitus apps, and many include white or pink noise, and nature sounds. I am sure some people would benefit.

Should white noise generator's continue to be worn once tinnitus becomes less intrusive or when habituation has occurred? Are they for life? Thank you.

It is really a matter of personal preference, there are no specific rules of guidelines.

Is it always possible to find a cause of pulsating tinnitus?

It is sometimes possible, and pulsatile tinnitus does need a medical opinion.

Why does my new sound generator which has sound that gets softer and louder seem to drive my pulsating tinnitus in one ear mad and make it compete, yet it is wonderful for the screeching/tonal tinnitus in the other ear?

Interesting. Some tinnitus responds well to sound generators, whilst others are exacerbated. Reason is not known.

What helps to reduce the sound when it's bedtime?

Many people find using a bedside or pillow environmental sound generator beneficial. These have a timer so can switch themselves off.

Is there any point going to see my GP? Can I be helped?

It is certainly worth speaking to your GP about this, both to exclude anything that needs medical treatment, but also to find what therapy is available locally.

I know I have it as my doctor has confirmed it, what is the process from then?

Your Dr may choose to refer you to an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist, or an Audiologist.

Why do I experience a strong metallic taste ahead of bouts of tinnitus and peeling gums?

Best to get a medical opinion on this.

I know I have it as my doctor has confirmed it, what is the process from then?

If your Dr is happy to refer you, you would be seen by an Ear Nose and Throat doctor or an Audiologist. Hearing tests and clinical history and examination would follow, and then a review of options for therapy.

Can tinnitus be linked to labyrinthitus? I recently had a really bad bout of vertigo, which has taken some months to totally recover from. The doctor gave me betahistine. I have had the occasional incidence of vertigo since my teens and since this latest spell I wondered if it could have always been linked to the T, or even caused it in the first place. Thanks.

Best to get a specialist opinion on this.

My husband suffers with tinnitus his snoring is getting much worse is this connected?

It is unlikely to be linked.

Why have I got tinnitus in one ear and can I calm it or even get rid of it?

Best to seek specialist advice on this.

Can tinnitus be caused by excessive noise in your workplace?

It certainly can, and much noise-induced tinnitus is preventable with good hearing protection.

My husband’s tinnitus is taking over our lives, how can I help him?

Sorry to hear this. Encourage him to get expert care and attention as soon as possible, and accompany him to appointments. No cure yet, but help is available.

What have been the best particular cases achieved with a sound therapy in terms of inhibition?

Results vary: some users have no benefit, others benefit whilst the device in use, and some have wider-ranging improvement. I have not observed permanent worsening.

Related topics: TAW2017

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