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Millions of people around the world suffer from tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. There are several different types of tinnitus products that may make living with this condition more tolerable. These tinnitus products can be divided into five different categories: natural medicine, cognitive, prescription drug, non-surgical medical devices, and surgical procedures.
Natural tinnitus products include herbal remedies, vitamins, minerals, and homeopathic remedies. Black cohosh and ginkgo biloba, for example, are commonly used herbal tinnitus products. Vitamin or mineral deficiencies that are causing ringing in the ears can sometimes be helped by magnesium, zinc, potassium, and vitamins A, B, and C supplements. Chininum sulphuricum, calcarea carbonica, or salicylicum acidumare are often included in homeopathic remedies for tinnitus and can be purchased off the shelf.
Biofeedback, neurofeedback, and hypnosis have successfully treated tinnitus. Using a biofeedback machine that monitors muscle tension, temperature, and galvanic skin response, a person learns to control responses to tinnitus. Neurofeedback teaches a person to alter brainwave states to better cope with the ongoing head noise. In hypnosis, a person's subconscious mind is given a suggestion to respond in a particular way to the sound of the tinnitus; when hearing the ringing, the individual will feel empowered rather than fearful and out of control. A large percentage of people report that they are more able to cope with the tinnitus after these types of treatments even if the loudness of the ringing remained the same.
Chronic tinnitus sufferers may be prescribed a prescription medication. In one trial, more than 80% of patients got relief after receiving intravenous lidocaine and a perfusion of lidocaine and dexamethasone; unfortunately, the relief only lasted about 30 minutes. Anti-convulsant, anti-anxiety drugs and antihistamines are other prescription meds commonly prescribed to treat tinnitus and tend to have a longer lasting effect.
Non-surgical medical equipment, including hearing aids, tinnitus maskers, and a hand-held, ultrasonic device are other tinnitus products that have brought much-needed relief to people with ringing ears. A tinnitus masker works by blocking the tinnitus with white noise or other pleasant sounds. People who have high-frequency hearing loss as well as tinnitus may need to wear a hearing aid in order for a tinnitus masker to work. Approximately 70% of people who have used a tinnitus product called the Inhibitor say that it is effective. This device emits a painless, one-minute ultrasonic sound wave when the unit is held just behind the ear.
Surgical procedures for tinnitus are usually appropriate only when there is obvious structural damage causing the condition. Shunts, jugular vein ligation, and 8th nerve surgery have been tried on some patients, but have very limited uses in the treatment of tinnitus. Surgery carries more risk; although some procedures have a success rate of about 50%, many also come with a 100% chance of deafness following surgery. A deaf person with tinnitus may be helped by a cochlear implant and electric nerve stimulation.
Someone experiencing tinnitus should seek help from a qualified physician. The doctor may be able to rule out any physical reason for the tinnitus. No tinnitus product is 100% successful, but a physician can suggest tinnitus products that have worked for other patients in the practice.
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