British Tinnitus Association
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Has anyone tried laser treatment?

I am new to this site and to tinnitus. Has anyone tried laser treatment?

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Don't start chasing miracle cures & quick fixes - there aren't any unfortunately. Stick w/ the advice Curly gave in his response to your other post, that's the best way forward.

I've not had laser treatment and I have heard people dismissing it in the past - what are they going to apply a laser to? The problem originates in the brain, not your eardrum, so it's inaccessible to lasers.

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I don't think laser treatment helps Annie and read many negative stories of laser treatment, try accupature it may help you but no 100% guarantee .

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Hello and welcome to the British Tinnitus Association forum. Do feel free to ask any questions, I hope that you find this a helpful and supportive place to help you manage your tinnitus.

There's no evidence that laser treatment for tinnitus works, and the mechanism by which it is supposed to work has no correlation with the state of current scientific knowledge about tinnitus.

One of our professional advisers basically says spend the money on a relaxing holiday, it will do you more good...

We have some resources that you might like to check out in addition to our home here:

tinnitus.org.uk

takeontinnitus.co.uk

Helpline 0800 018 0527 (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm) (outside the UK you can call +44 (0)114 250 9922)

Warmest wishes

Nic (BTA Communications Manager and Forum Administrator)

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i like swimming, gym and today did some gardening at a local charity as a volunteer. i do get tinnitus while swimming but noticed none while gardening today for a couple of hours. i use a sound therapy machine (sea) at night time.

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You sound such a positive person. I am at the opposite end of the scale....the tinnitus is ruling me. Where did you get your sound therapy machine?

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Don’t beat yourself up. This is the stuff of nightmares if it’s severe and 24/7. I got my sound machine off Amazon, cheap Avantek but does the job. I like heavy rain at night and it’s really helped along with strong herbs. Doesn’t unfortunately help the feelings of depression and a life wasted by the constant torment. Just spoke to my GP and she entirely understood my often frequent desire to end my life. She said when she gets fleeting T she panics thinking of us and what if it never stopped. Interstingly she also said severe constant T is very rare. Not one other person with it at a very busy London practice.....We are im afraid the cursed few.

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I am so sorry to hear you are having a hard time. I do know how you feel. I have the Samaritans on speed dial. Have you seen Julian Cowan Hill's videos on YouTube?

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Yeah he seems well meaning. The trouble with all this is it’s so personal. Where you’re at in your life, temperament, support system, how bad the T is etc etc. I think it’s worth remembering before we’re hard on ourselves that ‘normal’ sane people sometimes feel so distraught they cannot go on after losing their job or boyfriend etc. So surviving this is a HUGE deal. Something I was pleased my GP fully understood and didn’t downplay at all.

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Yes, I know what you mean. I think he is right, though. The trouble is where do you start? I am going for hypnotherapy this afternoon to try and put in come coping mechanisms. Does your T go up and down or are you stuck in permanent screeching?

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Permanent screeching. I tried hypnotherapy but had a very bad reaction due to the total unprofessionalism of the hypnotist who should have immediately sent me on my way to the hospital or a psychiatrist but instead happily took my money and literally drove me in to a psychotic state. Remember T is traumatic, the mind is fragile as hell after onset and hypnotism can have very bad effects if done irresponsibly. I have first hand experience of that and very nearly died.

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I am so sorry to hear that. Does it ever soften at all?

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If I’m engaged in conversation in a sound rich environment I don’t notice it but it never softens as such. Trouble is it’s super high so needs multiple competing sounds to even come close to masking it

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Ok....what support network do you have? Who is being kind to you?

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Good question. The problem with this condition is it’s not cancer, paralysis, motor neurone, etc it’s not supposed to be deadly so as you’ll find in due course family and friends patience with your ‘suffering’ wears thin shockingly quickly.

They basically look on the BTA/NHS websites and see the advice and assume it’s not that bad and gets better in a few weeks anyway. When you’re still in hell 6 months or a year or 3 years later the constant expectation of you to be back to your old self feels only exacerbates the isolation, frustration and extreme angst that go with being invisibly tortured and pushes you further away from everyone.

I’ve found you can be incredibly close to people before this and within months the relationship is dead, you and your situation have altered so dramatically so much they and you just can’t handle the changing dynamic. You try to put on a brave face but it’s like smiling while someone pulls out your toenails with a pair of pliers. Your heart and will to go on are broken.

Sadly nobody however much they loved you previously wants to be around someone who is tortured, suffering and irrevocably altered by this soul sucking disease.

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So, the answer is there is no-one around you at the moment who is understanding you? I know that that feels like and I am taking Julian's advise and starting to build/get support around me. If we are going to continue living then we are going to need something. I am starting with a hypnotherapist and I'll let you know how that goes (I know you had a horrible experience). Even if it is having a short conversation with the Samaritans in the morning. I know exactly what you are feeling inside and out. Can I habituate to it? Will I kill myself? How much can I take? The thing is..and this is the hard part...not to sit at home and stew in it. Easier said than done...I know that...you're in invisible pain the world can't see and your frustration/fear/rage is fuelling the T even more. I get it...I do. What is your daily routine?

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Wow! You already have an amazing handle on this. You’re going to be fine. At your stage I was basically a dribbling incoherent basket case on anti psychotic meds and being chased around the police trying to avoid bring sectioned half the time....no kidding.

Unfortunately I lost my business early on in this due to my breakdown and I’ve never ever worked for anyone else so it’s hard with all this going on and my mental state to think about finding a job when I’ve never really had one before. Hard to believe now but I was a successful entrepreneur. Like most blokes my interaction with people was mostly through work or going out drinking. But really I most enjoyed just being at home reading or watching movies. I was a reluctant extrovert. I never ever felt lonely in my life. I loved my own company because I felt at peace with myself. Now I just feel turmoil 24/7.

Although I still own my house I can’t afford to live in it so it’s rented to pay the bills and when I am back there it doesn’t even feel like my home anymore. It’s like someone built a replica world and only I can see that none of it is as it was before.

These days as you can imagine it’s hard to have a routine but I walk a lot with my dog and through him I engage with people but I feel hollow and empty. Again it’s like the world has irrevocably altered and I no longer recognise it in anyway. It looks different, smells different, everything.

As I told the doctor this morning as long as my dogs alive i’ll try and keep going....however impossible that seems. The thought of leaving him in this world without me and him not knowing why I’ve suddenly disappeared breaks my heart every single day..... It’s a bit like tinnitus in that respect..

My initial frustration with the BTA is their version of how this is supposed to go down bears no reflection to the tsunami of devastation I’ve experienced. But I fear I’m not alone in my enormous suffering.

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Are you kidding, I have a handle on this? Five phone calls to the Samaritans today? I am a freelancer who can't work. I don't have a home to rent out and I don't have a dog, so you at least have a financial lifeline. Now, I don't want to turn this into a pissing contest of who has it worse - I don't believe it that...but I am not handling this well at all. All I can do is try and look at the prognosis and see that unless I set up a network now who can help me adapt to this, I am going to die. So...no, I do not have a handle on this at all. I do believe that a fired up central nervous system fuels Tinnitus and so I have to find a way to calm down my CNS so I can cope. Some people can cope and my God, I admire them. I really do. My brother has had severe Tinnitus for years and my admiration for him has gone up. I have no idea how he has dealt with this. His tinnitus was so bad he had musical hallucinations.

We are not meant to cope with this alone, this is the point. Some people have large, loving families and they take huge strength from that. I do not. Some people are passionate about a sport, or have an amazing career and they plough on and good for them. So....you...and ME are going to have to do something IF we are going to survive. Traumatized loners is not going to work for either of us. So..I know the pain you feel - I do....if you can get to some body based therapy where you are physically soothed it may help and expand from there because that is what I am going to try and do. I don't know if I am going to survive any of this and I will probably be in the phone to the Samaritans later.

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Hey sorry Annie you seemed so with it. Far better than I was. If its really bad and your climbing the walls maybe ask the doctor for/take some Valium. It’s not good to take all the time obviously, but it really puts the T in the background for me, dampens it right down and gives you breathing space when you’re desperate. I take half a 5mg one or twice a week. The doc understands I probably wouldn’t be here without it.

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Well, I came back from my first hypnotherapy session and I have to say that there was an improvement in my feelings and there was a reduction in my tinnitus. Of course, I was looking for it so it has eeked back in but am feeling a sense of some improvement. I will be practicing her hypnotic recordings until I next see her and I hope it goes some way to giving me relief.

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That’s great news. Fingers crossed it keeps getting better. Stay strong and if you need a good sound app there’s one called relax melodies where you can overlap different sounds for masking. Best I’ve found.

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c.1% of the population have T bad enough that it affects their quality of life. That's us unfortunately.

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Having had this discussion with my GP i suspect it’s more like 0.1% or a tiny fraction of 1% who have it so bad they genuinely consider suicide frequently or would consider assisted suicide if it were an option like in Holland. She said she had never in her career come across anyone before me but having read my report on T loudness and pitch she fully understood. She says most people distressed and complaining of tinnitus only have it one ear and only hear it at night or in very quiet rooms and it’s very rarely above 8000hz.

I’m not saying for a second she advocated suicide but she seemed very understanding of it as an option. I’m also not saying i’ll always feel like this but right now I 100% do. Don’t get me wrong I’ve seen improvements in many areas like sleep, anxiety, normal behaviours returning but I’ve seen NO improvement at all in the actual noise. NADA!

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Getting sleep in incredibly important. I have two week's worth of sleeping pills and last night I actually had sleep and it has made me feel stronger. I remember my brother having the musical hallucinations when his stress level was so high but he now has his tinnitus under control. So much of tinnitus is related to stress levels it cannot be understated. I would also suggest you try hypnosis again but not with that person you tried before, obviously. I believe YOU can get some improvement if not completely better. I do understand the suicidal feelings. When mine T screeches through my head I know it can come down because hypnosis has shown me that but the panic and the fear go up - which fuels the T and around and around we go. It is about calming the central nervous system which has gone onto red alert. Also what you focus on you get more of. So the T screams, you focus on it...and notice it and notice it...and on and on it goes. The fear goes up, the adrenalin goes up and fuels it. Also...if you drinking caffeine, alcohol or taking sugar or anything that has sugar in it like most processed foods, get rid of them - they fire up the CNS. Look up ways to calm down your central nervous system, if you can. I know you have a task ahead of you but I believe in YOU. YOU are bigger than this.

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Glad you’re okay Annie. Was a bit worried about you. Great you slept. Luckily I sleep really well, the stress and anxiety are no longer an issue. Now it’s just good old fashioned depression and how to accept my new ball and chain. I actually tried a keto diet along with cycling several hours a day and went on a water fast in my quest for a cure a few months back. Sadly no changes in T. Although I do agree with the nervous system argument at onset, I also think , once T takes hold on the brain and the neurons become hyperactive, even once you calm down and accept your new reality, it’s very unlikely to move out. It’s such a strange condition, unfortunately with the way mine responds to movements and touch (head, face etc) it’s very much ‘brain’ tinnitus or to be more precise ‘brain damage’. For example my BF’s sister in law got T at 25. Freaked out at first but wears a hearing aid/masker. Now it’s been 20 odd years. She has zero anxiety over it and has a great life, never even mentions her T, but, and heres the rub, it’s still very much there. It’s never faded or disappeared. It’s locked in. And like Buddie in this forum, similar story. So that’s where the whole Cowan Hill, calm the system down and it will go argument tumbles down. This of course doesn’t mean you’ll be like them or me and I do think you’ll calm down soon and fingers crossed find your friend buggers off or at least quietens down.

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Cowan Hill had his T for 20 years and he has also worked with people who have had it for over 20 years so maybe everyone is different. I think it is an on-going process and dieting for two weeks or something is not going to do it. Tinnitus goes hand in hand with depression, anxiety, supressed rage, anger, grief, frustration, poor diet. We have to be kinder to ourselves in every single angle - that includes what TV, films, music you listen to - what images and thoughts you put inside your head. I have had mine for a short time but I notice the difference in it when I rest, what I eat, what thoughts I have. Eating well but having angry, depressing thoughts is not going to help. I have good moments, terrifying moments, frustrating moments and moments I would take a pill and end it. I am delighted you can sleep because without a pill, I can't. All tinnitus is in the brain....people who are completely deaf with no ear-drums etc, still can get it. Anyway....I have made myself go for a walk and tried not to listen to the high-pitched shriek......

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Are you masking at night? I found that along with the herbs I had to get used to heavy rain mixed with hissing white noise before I could sleep well. I use relaxing melodies app and/or a sound machine. After a few weeks I sleep fine with the speaker pumping it out. It takes time but now it’s just the sound of nighttime. I also use it when walking the dog anywhere quiet or watching TV.

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No, I'm not and I will need to do that very soon - just not earning so no dosh so etc etc etc...

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Relax Melodies app is free. Job done

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The recent BTA survey suggested that c.25% of all respondents have considered suicide as a result of their T. We're far from alone in this. I understand where you are - I'm there right now. You've said your dog is the only thing keeping you going - I have 2 kids aged 10 & 7. I'm fighting the urge right now, as I'm typing this. I can't live with this misery ad infinitum.

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I’ve always had massive sympathy for those with young children battling this nightmare. It’s beyond unfair and cruel. All you want to do is give your kids a fun, joyful upbringing they deserve and you’ve got this stamping all over your happiness relentlessly. I can only imagine your torment. I pray it gets easier for you, for me, for all of us and we find the strength and will to overcome.

As per the survey I’m guessing only the severe 1% bothered enough about T would have seen let alone responded to a BTA survey, so 25% of the 1% kind of matches my theory regards suicidal T. It’s rare. But as we’ve discovered not rare enough.

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Hi, AnnieST,

Laser treatment sounds expensive and I suspect the only thing it will successfully reduce is the size of your bank balance. I understand the desperation but if you come across anything that claims to be a cure I suggest you take a healthy dose of skepticism and ask yourself this question - has it been offered by a GP, ENT Dept or any other medically trained practitioner? If the answer is no, then there must be a very good reason why not.

As a rule of thumb I would say if it's not recommended or promoted on the BTA website (whose mission statement can be summed up as the eradication of tinnitus) then it's probably not worth considering.

Respectfully submitted,

Keoni

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To be honest, having known many people who work in big medical industries, they are only really interested in managing illnesses and not cure, as there is more money in management. I am curious as to what people have tried and what has helped, even if psychologically. If this is a nervous system problem - an over stressed central nervous system (not including sound trauma) then anything that helps, is good. Depression and anxiety seem to be heavily linked to this condition, which sends the central nervous system in constant fight or flight and fuelling the condition. So anything that calms down the system....so no caffeine, alcohol, sugar and some kind (If possible) relaxation is going to help calm down the CNS and help the tinnitus.

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It is a sham. I have tried it.

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Where did you try it?

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Annie if you want to try anything along the lines of a ‘cure’ that’s isnt absurdly expensive, maybe go for HBOT. They have them at MS clinics across the Uk. They can help early onset. It’s about £30 per session and can help the inner ear by flooding with oxygen rich blood. Alas it did nothing for me but it can definitely help some, in Germany it’s the first line of attack after T onset. I did 20 sessions back to back over three weeks at varying depths. Although I didn’t get T relief it calmed me down, being around other people and getting out of the house helped with my PTSD which I got from being hit hard with T.

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So sorry to hear about the isolation and the PTSD, I can relate to that. This can be very isolating and the one thing you really need is human contact - a hug - so here is a huge hug from me. I believe we CAN get better. I think Julian is right but how to start. Being a bit kinder to ourselves and each other. So...I am here for you...you take care.

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Thanks Annie. You too. You’ve only just got this and your already helping others. I think with your positivity you’re going to make T fear you! Keep it up.

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You can remove ptsd read up on Human givings. They use a technique called teeing and it’s amazing. I’m only on this site as I’m trying to find answers for my husband tinnitus. I think he’s maybe connected to his chronic back pain. I feel so sorry for you all 😢

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The problem with ptsd caused by T is that it’s actually ‘permanent traumatic stress disorder’. Not sure how long your husband has had this or severity but I wish you and him luck. Good on you for educating yourself but remember some of us have it BAD, hopefully your husband doesn’t.

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Yes he has it bad unfortunately but what I find really strange is that sometimes it completely goes and I mean for months at a time. At the moment though it’s screeching in his ears. His back is chronic after two back surgeries that offed no pain relief. I truely think that if I gave him the rope he would hang himself.

If Dereks can come and go then there just has to be something that he either does or doesn’t do for this to happen. He’s way out of his misery is in the evening he smokes marajana. It’s been so upsetting reading everyone misery. Maybe it’s worth trying the Rewind technique🙂

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T is really sneaky and insidious. It keeps you constantly guessing and on edge hoping that something you’re doing or not doing will help or hinder you. And really it’s bloody random and weird. I mean there’s people that hear the Friends theme tune over and over in their heads. And they’re told they have to just live with it. Can you imagine?

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Mine too was caused by unresolved chronic pain, neck in my case. To think a decent chiropractor could have literally saved my life is heartbreaking. Never even knew it was possible to get T in this way.

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Just tragic truely feel for you all. I have watched Derek suffer from appalling back pain for 22 years and it’s only the smoking that gives him any relief

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Thank the Lord he has sound some relief. Also the fact that it often goes away for months is AMAZING! I could have this for a few months a year, no worries, but that’s only because I’ve experience it 24/7 for 8 months so understand why it’s distressing for Derek. I know he’s going to be miserable and testy but trust me you cannot imagine, the true horror of this when it’s constant and loud. All the habituation crap goes out the window. It’s no life and it makes me genuinely angry there’s not an end of life exemption in the UK for something incurable and torturous as severe T.

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It’s just so sad that if you can get down time from this then there must be something to be studied because he will have six to eight month on and then silence. Maybe they could put wire on his head and find out why the noise starts again. Hope that made sense.

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I think maybe the best way forward for him is try and be grateful - as hard as it seems- for the ‘off’ times. I would trade with him in a heartbeat and I know that’s not alleviating his suffering but perhaps he should try and adopt an attitude of it could be ‘on’ all the time.

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Oh boy is he grateful for those down times. When he first got T he had it for 4 years non stop making him vomit and unbalanced and then one day it just up and left but only to return a few months later with vertigo in the mix. It drives him crazy as he can’t get up and walk because of the vertigo. He’s just waiting to go into St Thomas in London to have a spinal chord stimulator fitted and praying this resolves his chronic pain in his back then in turn reducing his T 🙏

Wishing you all well🧡

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If you’re struggling on the sleep front I take Valerian, Hops, Passion flower, Californian poppy, and lemon balm. All in tincture form- About 20 drops each. I buy them in industrial doses from a company called Bristol botanicals. I do have a couple of bottles of strong IPA too- never drank regularly before but I prefer this to mirtazapine Which I was on for 2 months and didn’t enjoy at all.

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Thanks....I have some sleeping pills and it was wonderful to actually have over 8 hours sleep for once in a long time - like a wonderful gift and it's nice to know I will be able to have a sleep later...does make a difference to me but I will take note of your concoctions. I do have Valerian in the cupboard. (20 drops of each at the same time?)

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Yeah 20 or even 30 drops of each all together. You will appreciate the fact they have a dual effect of calming the CNS and inducing sleep.

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You could add 3mg of Melatonin to that lot too rather than sleeping pills. But I cannot stress enough how important it is to find a new nighttime background noise. That’s the key to getting your sleep back but takes time and perseverance as it’s as annoying as T to begin with. Then slowly you start to accept it.

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Just read your comment regards doe. I appreciate my regimen is expensive. The herbal mix costs about £100 and lasts a couple of months. But I consider this a fight for my life so even if I have to sell a kidney at this point I don’t give a......

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