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Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Tinnitus

December 15, 2010

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Alternative medicine is becoming more readily accessed by patients and chosen more frequently than traditional medicine. This is due to the holistic look at the patient, their family and their life rather than just the symptom. Additionally, alternative treatments look at preventing disease and illness rather than curing the symptoms when they occur. Alternative medicine is just the type of medicine that patients who suffer tinnitus are turning to reduce and hopefully, ultimately cure their condition. 

            Tinnitus is a constant ringing or buzzing in the ear that other people cannot hear. This is abnormal because sounds are transmitted to the brain as electrical impulses. However when the nerves in the ear are damaged this causes the brain to interpret distorted signals, which the brain interprets as sound.  To minimize these sounds alternative medicine tries to heal the damaged nerves and retrain the brain to recognize normal sounds.

            Chiropractic care, acupuncture, yoga and tai chi are all alternative medicines that have been employed to resolve tinnitus. Chiropractic care uses electric muscle stimulation to reduce muscle tension and inflammation before a chiropractic physician adjusts the vertebrae. When the vertebrae are misaligned they can block nerves that come out of the spinal cord. This can cause abnormal noises in the ears cause by blocked nerve roots. Additionally manual therapies such as massage and physical therapy can alleviate pain, muscle tension and restore blood flow and nutrients to the brain and ears. Acupuncture restores blocked meridians through the placement of needles. Placement of the needles is determined by stagnation, blockage and pain.  Yoga and tai chi are great ways to reduce stress and relax. They are forms of exercise, which increase blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

            Although not typically used in the reduction of tinnitus symptoms, a hyperbaric oxygen chamber is one of the more eccentric treatments that has been used. However, there are forms of tinnitus that are caused by oxygen deprivation and a hyperbaric chamber can increase oxygen saturation to the inner ear and cochlea. It has been more effective for recent onset of tinnitus and helps in the healing process of damaged nerves.

            Laser therapy is an up and coming treatment that is being used in veterinarian offices, chiropractic offices and acute injury settings. Low level laser therapy produce a positive biological response in the body. The electromagnetic energy release by the oxidation of nutrients is utilized as a source of primary energy for the production of ATP. Laser therapy speeds up the healing process by increasing the reactions within the cells.

            Vibration therapy is used to stimulate damaged nerve endings in a broadband frequency. By stimulating the damaged nerves to the same frequency as the sound in your ea, you can retrain the brain to stop reproducing the original tinnitus sounds. A probe is placed in front of the mastoid bone just behind the ear so mechanical vibrations can be transmitted into the cochlea.

            Tinnitus retraining therapy is another form of therapy that is based on neurophysiological evidence that a person can habituate to the acoustic sensations in their environment.  Tinnitus retraining is accomplished through direct counseling and sound therapy. The patient is fitted with an ear piece that emits white noise at the same level of the noise.

            All of these alternative medicines have be used to help reduce the symptoms of tinnitus. Remember that everyone who suffers from tinnitus is affected by the condition and the treatments differently therefore what works for one patient may not work for you. It may take some time to find a treatment that will relieve any of your symptoms. 

yoga to treat tinnitus, alternative medicine