Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tinnitus Treatment and Therapy FAQ

· What do people experience when they take anti-depressants and anti- anxiety medication?

Some people experience a locational change in their tinnitus. (That's the first very good sign I look for, by the way.) Some people experience a temporary increase in volume, which we would expect, and now I simply let the MD’s I work with know that this is actually likely and also almost certain to be temporary (a few days). Anti-anxiety's most common side effect seems to be drowsiness in my clients. Antidepressants most common side effect seems to be sexual reduction of pleasure which happens to about 4 in 10 of my clients.

What is most important is how it changes the brain in the long term. Antidepressants will reduce the amount of obsessing and compulsive checking to see if tinnitus is louder, quieter, different...or just to listen. I suggest measuring your tinnitus five times daily. Other than that, put attention externally. If you do this you are on the right road. Anti-depressants are likely to be a CRUCIAL piece of getting well. Get past the first 1-5 days of increased noise and you win.

Be stubbornly patient.

· Tinnitus is causing me disability. I can't function. Will you help me get compensation for medical purposes?

No. You want to get back to work or to some other work as quickly as possible. (A few days at most.) The people who get well from tinnitus are the people who are most grossly absorbed in major projects that require "spinning a lot of plates." This is part of the lifestyle changes we talked about earlier...

· What about ginkgo biloba?

My rule of thumb is this: If you have tinnitus that varies in volume during the day or is pulsatile, you may want to try ginkgo for a few months. Like the medications, it will take time to "kick in." Two, three months even before results begin. You should know there is no actual evidence to support ginkgo as a therapeutic tool for tinnitus. I am favorable to the use of it because of my personal experience and a few anecdotal reorts from clients. It's expensive. If money is an issue there are better places to invest in your tinnitus reduction. If money is no issue, I would (and did) see what happens over a few months.

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