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Finally, a treatment for that buzzing in your ears
May 24th, 2012
06:31 PM ET

Finally, a treatment for that buzzing in your ears

Imagine the incessant, grating sound of buzzing in your ears - or constant beeping, whistling, dripping, or clicking.  Imagine the chatter of crickets or birds resonating in your head all day long.

Then realize that there are no actual birds or crickets. No dripping faucet. No clicking or whistling happening in the vicinity.

That is a small glimpse of life with tinnitus:  The perception of sound, that doesn't exist, manufactured by the brain.  

"I hear tree frogs and crickets and bugs, and really loud noise on top of that," said Ginny Morrell, 60, who has suffered with tinnitus for two years. "It started one day and never went away. It never wavers, 24 hours a day."

Morrell says she fills her life with sound - a radio during the day, a television droning in the background while she sleeps - as a way to drown out the din.  It's a distraction that sometimes works.

"It's not going to kill me, it's not cancer," said Morrell.  "But it might drive me crazy."

But according to a new study, the most effective treatment for Morrell's tinnitus may involve just the opposite of what she's currently doing: Rather than ignoring the sound, focus on it.

"In the study we thought, what if we try to intervene in this avoidance behavior and we expose patients to their tinnitus sounds," said Rilana Cima, the study's lead author and a clinical psychologist at Adelante Centre of Expertise in Rehabilitation and Audiology in the Netherlands.  "If you expose people to something they're afraid of, they actually habituate to this stimulation."

Cima compares the approach, which has its roots in cognitive behavioral therapy, to helping people with a spider phobia to slowly stem that fear.  Intermittent exposure to a spider - or in the case of tinnitus, that annoying buzzing - may temper the fear associated with it.

The study, conducted in the Netherlands, involved 492 patients. Half received an audiological work-up and no other structured treatment, while the other half received integrated care, including tinnitus-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. 

The therapy included having patients perform mundane, everyday tasks, while being exposed to whatever sound is associated with their tinnitus. 

"People usually avoid their own sound," said Cima.  "So they practice paying attention to their sound and what reactions they're having because of that sound."

Among the group who got the therapy, about 70% reported improvements in their quality of life or decreased tinnitus a year after beginning treatment. 

Importantly, for a malady that has its roots in the brain, many patients also reported improvements in tinnitus-related fear and anxiety. 

"The sound didn't disappear but fear reactions did," said Cima.

What makes tinnitus so difficult to treat is that it is virtually impossible to pinpoint the origin of the sound (there is no established neural origin for the condition) and each sufferer's experience is unique.  That makes it difficult to craft a treatment that works for everyone.

The study, published today in the Lancet, is one of the first rigorous trials suggesting relief for the approximately 50 million tinnitus sufferers in the U.S., according to the American Tinnitus Association.

Richard Salvi, a tinnitus expert with the Center for Hearing & Deafness at the University of Buffalo, said the study is important and should be encouraging for people like Morrell.  But, he adds, most tinnitus sufferers are looking for a cure.

"Many tinnitus patients expect immediate and complete cessation of their tinnitus," said Salvi in an email to CNN.  "None of the current treatments meet these patient expectations. Consequently, much more work needs to be done."

Morrell is heartened that a treatment may be out there but, from where she sits in small-town Brockton, Massachusetts, it seems elusive.  She says few physicians in her area understand her condition, let alone how to treat it using cognitive behavioral therapy.

"I had one doctor say to me I should take Klonopin (an anti-seizure/anti-anxiety medication) for my tinnitus," said Morrell.  "He said to take one the first day, two the second, and to keep stepping it up to 12 a day if I needed to. Can you believe that?"

What nags Morrell almost as much as her condition, is the fear associated with it - that it will get worse. 

Mostly, she wants something simple that she used to take for granted:  "My issue with it is not hearing silence," she said.  "I will never hear silence again."

What Morrell craves is a reset button that will make the noise disappear. 

Curing tinnitus may never be that simple.


soundoff (357 Responses)
  1. L. Bock

    I've had tinnitis since I was 17 years old and actually diagnosed with it at 21. Since I've pretty much had it my entire life, I have learned to adapt to it and avoid making it worse. Caffeine, stress, loud noises, tiredness can all make the noise louder. So do what you can to avoid these things. If you like concerts, plug your ears when you go. If you have to wear headphones/earbuds, do NOT turn up the volume. Over time, it will get worse if you don't take care. And, since I've had it for 43 years, I can safely say that mine is only slightly louder, of which, most of the time, I don't really notice it much at all. If nothing else, please make sure you practice "safe-hearing" because what this article does not tell you is that tinnitis sufferers run the risk of losing their hearing. And, none of us wants that. Hope this helps.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Earbuzz

      Yep, that's what happened to me... Pretty much lost my hearing. Luckily the tinnitus is still alive and well, so I can at least enjoy wind through the forest with crickets superimposed...

      May 25, 2012 at 15:09 | Report abuse |
  2. Glenn

    Bottle of rum works great!

    May 25, 2012 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Greg

      Tanqueray works better for me. I always thought Tinnitus was an inner ear problem(?). I was on WebMD trying let someone hear what I. They could hear the high pitched sound, but I couldn't distinguish between what I hear 24/7/365 and what they were hearing even when I turned the volume all the up. Mine was intermittent until I was in a serious car accident in January. Hearing all the time is very annoying. At work all day with music and at home it's the TV.

      May 25, 2012 at 15:06 | Report abuse |
  3. Andrée

    I am 84 years old and I have tinnitus which started when I was 14 years old when a bomb exploded too close, and I also have Meniere Disease, as I have a balance problem. I had a stroker and these conditions affected being able to regain walking. I hear the cigales singing all the time. I am used to it by now and don't pay attention to it. no silence for me ever.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. yahmez

    I hear crickets. Constantly. I have found that it helps to sit by a creek for a few minutes a day, listening to the water.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sandy

      I also hear crickets, it started about 20yrs ago when I was lying in bed and couldn't find a chirping cricket. I called my daughter into the room to help me and she heard nothing. I made her lay in bed with me and she still could not hear it, it was that moment when I realized if I put my fingers in my ears, the cricket got louder. My chirping friend has been with me ever since and I have learned to embrass the sound. I can't even imagine silence anymore.

      May 25, 2012 at 13:13 | Report abuse |
  5. Lenny

    Another junk experiment by doctors being passed on as 'treatment'. Focus on the sound to eliminate sound? What kinda treatment is that really? I can come up with 10 such voodoo psuedo BS treatments. Some doctors will do anything to make more $. Please don't write such articles and create hope to Tinnitus sufferers. We all have given up the hope that Tinnitus will be cured in our lifetime. We talk so much about how much science has developed, but once we pass the mechanical parts of the ear, once we hit the nerve, its all an engima.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Well

      the thing is it is not a real sound. It is your brain making a mistake. Focusing on it helps the brain figure out that mistake.

      May 25, 2012 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
    • Sandy

      Lenny, you should not be so negative, think of the noise as a friendly companion. Positivity will increase your quality of life.

      May 25, 2012 at 13:16 | Report abuse |
    • Glenn

      I hope you get this problem.

      May 25, 2012 at 14:18 | Report abuse |
    • Lenny

      @ Well. Thank you for enlightening me that there is no sound. There is something called perception of sound. The problem is due to the nerve damage in cochlea due to many reasons. The nerves send the sound signals to the brain. Where exactly do you want me focus on? On my nerves or the sound? How exactly do you do that? What is that going to achieve? If a wound is causing you the perception of pain in your brain, can you mask the pain by focusing on your brain? or the wound? Anyone who says they can is just pure lying. This focusing thing is no different to religious nuts finding 'GOD' during meditation. All make believe BS.

      May 25, 2012 at 14:39 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      I love it when people say it's not a real sound. It's real to me!

      May 25, 2012 at 15:01 | Report abuse |
    • your reaction

      Lenny, your mind is so very closed. I'm a Ph.D. scientist who does research for a living and I'm as analytical as they come. The technique outlined in the article helps people become more comfortable with their tinnitis, it does not eliminate the sounds. If your tinnitis distresses you, you have two options: (1) eliminate the sound (not possible now) or (2) make yourself more comfortable with it. Open your mind, read the scientific literature and realize there are ways to help you accept the problem, which will reduce your distress level associated with it. Some progress is better than no progress. All anaytical minds accept that as true.

      May 25, 2012 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
  6. M Griffin

    I have tinnitis as well, a constant hissing. Mine started about 2 1/2 years ago when I stopped going to the chiropractor and getting my neck adjusted. My chiropractor told me that whiplash often causes tinnitis, and for me, just angling my head differently can change the intensity and greatly alleviate the hissing, until I straighten my head and neck again.
    So....I've recently returned to the chiropractor for adjustments. I'm hoping for at least some improvement.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • docame

      Forget Chiropracters. They are simply state and (for some stupid reason) insurance company sanctioned snake oil. They are total BS. Go see real doctors with real medical degrees.

      May 25, 2012 at 13:00 | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      Griffin:

      FYI, chiropractors are not joint specialists as they enjoy being mistaken for. It is probably coincidence that his claim lined up with some nerve or circulatory quirk in your neck which affects this. However, chiropractors are absolutely NOT qualified to deal with problems in the nervous or circulatory systems, and if you have a real problem in one of those areas, you risk making it worse by subjecting yourself to chiropractic manipulations.

      May 25, 2012 at 13:39 | Report abuse |
    • JustJ

      @docame- My doctors couldn't find what was giving me the feeling that I was hooked up to an electrostim machine after waking from surgery a few years ago. Test after test after test. Nothing. They tried blaming it on my nerves. And this problem also made my tinnitus and hyperacusis worse. It was my CHIROPRACTOR who solved the problem, found the vertebra in my neck that had twisted into my cranial nerves, and gave me my life back. NOT my primary care physician. Your post is ignorant.

      May 25, 2012 at 14:44 | Report abuse |
    • 802direct

      Well..he is a quick comparison to 'regular' doctors vs chiropractors and the like. Years ago I had soreness in my back; the regular doctor suggested I take Motrin and would give me a prescription if I wanted. The chiropractor immediately gave me a deep tissue massage for immediate relieve and adjusted my spine. Like I said, this is quick..maybe review the curriculum of chiropractors before informing other of what they can and cant do.

      May 25, 2012 at 14:54 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      802direct – it was a chiropractor who almost paralyzed my wife. He kept adjusting – the vertebrae that he was adjusting was actually pinching a nerve (doesn't show up on xrays). She followed my advice, went to a doctor and was treated. Isi t cured – no – but she has a regular life now!

      May 25, 2012 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
    • laura

      I am late to this thread but in case this response can help others I will give it a try. You are on to something as I recently noticed that when I turn my head to the side (in the direction of the ear that is ringing) the sound disappears. If I put my head in a normal position, it returns. I'm going to make an appt with doc right away for potential adjustments.

      September 12, 2016 at 02:33 | Report abuse |
  7. A. Laboy

    For about the past 10 years I have had what sounds like a car alarm constantly going off in my head. I have gone to a few doctors. Finally the last one I went to told me it was probably caused by the chemotherapy I got in 2000. As a survivor I can now deal with the constant noise knowing it is the price I paid for saving my life.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • McRinging

      Thank you for putting it in perspective.

      May 25, 2012 at 13:01 | Report abuse |
    • Lenny

      @ A.Laboy – Have a great life! I have severe tinnitus which is a result of Otosclerosis and only 40 % of my hearing remains in both ears. But you still put things into perspective. Tinnitus doesn't seem like a huge problem after all 🙂

      May 25, 2012 at 14:46 | Report abuse |
  8. Ringing Robin

    I started having ringing a few years ago. It was bad enough to keep me awake at night. It sounds like the squeal when you are trying to tune into an AM radio station. My doctor had no answer for me as he said it is very difficult to treat, you can only eliminate possible causes like a tumor or a disease. I was getting desparate and tired. I tried vitamins, ginko, white noise, etc. So I decided to try a product called Ring Stop. It didn't totally eliminate the ringing, but it lessened it enough I can ignore it. It seems to be worse when my allergies are acting up. I also try to avoid loud music. But of course now that I have been reading the article I am hearing it again. : P

    May 25, 2012 at 12:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      Robin, I have a similar sensation. Perhaps this can also help. I find sleeping with earplugs in helps as the sound of my breathing i is louder than the ringing.

      May 25, 2012 at 14:53 | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      To those who suffer from this noise, which I also suffer from for the last 15+ years. I am beginning to achieve results using a procedure call EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique. I am doing research, as a layman, using different approaches to tinnitus, such as tapping on statements surrounding the tympanic membrane, the cochlea, the ear canal and various variations. I am experiencing relief which started out as a 7 on a scale of 0 – 10, first day use went to 0 the next morning for the whole day, what a relief, then came back to a 4. I have continued tapping using different phrases to bring it to conscious awareness. Today which is four days since my silent day I am at a 1! I plan to create a marketable cd to help people once I experience lasting results. Anyone wanting to learn more or get phone help and additional knowledge may call me at 408-888-9290. Email: bestdealnow65@yahoo.com. Good luck to all of the sufferers of this very anoying malady. Thanks for reading my post. Tim

      May 25, 2012 at 20:25 | Report abuse |
  9. Tim

    To those who suffer from this noise, which I also suffer from for the last 15+ years. I am beginning to achieve results using a procedure call EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique. I am doing research, as a layman, using different approaches to tinnitus, such as tapping on statements surrounding the tympanic membrane, the cochlea, the ear canal and various variations. I am experiencing relief which started out as a 7 on a scale of 0 – 10, first day use went to 0 the next morning for the whole day, what a relief, then came back to a 4. I have continued tapping using different phrases to bring it to conscious awareness. Today which is four days since my silent day I am at a 1! I plan to create a marketable cd to help people once I experience lasting results. Anyone wanting to learn more or get phone help and additional knowledge may call me at 408-888-9290. Email: bestdealnow65@yahoo.com. Good luck to all of the sufferers of this very anoying malady. Thanks for reading my post. Tim

    May 25, 2012 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. johndanger

    I'm seventy years old and I've been hearing crickets since I was in my twenties. For years I thought everyone heard them.I don't feel that the noise has hampered my enjoyment of of life. It's just a part of life that I long ago learned to ignore. But it's always there. So what? Life is good. I don't know anything about the "fear" that was mentioned above. I experience no fear. I'm just living my life in a large field of constantly chirping crickets. Thousands of them. Oh well. It certainly could be worse. I could be living in the middle of NYC.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tendofreak

      Ditto.....had mine close to 45 years too....just part of life and for the most part i either dont hear em or just ignore em. I too always thought the crickets and locusts were going to town till my wife told me she didnt hear anything.

      May 25, 2012 at 14:26 | Report abuse |
  11. notbridge

    I've had tinnitus for 35 years, and the one things that is guaranteed to make it temporarily worse is focusing on it.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tim

      I am experiencing positive results as I write this.
      To those who suffer from this noise, which I also suffer from for the last 15+ years. I am beginning to achieve results using a procedure call EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique. I am doing research, as a layman, using different approaches to tinnitus, such as tapping on statements surrounding the tympanic membrane, the cochlea, the ear canal and various variations. I am experiencing relief which started out as a 7 on a scale of 0 – 10, first day use went to 0 the next morning for the whole day, what a relief, then came back to a 4. I have continued tapping using different phrases to bring it to conscious awareness. Today which is four days since my silent day I am at a 1! I plan to create a marketable cd to help people once I experience lasting results. Anyone wanting to learn more or get phone help and additional knowledge may call me at 408-888-9290. Email: bestdealnow65@yahoo.com. Good luck to all of the sufferers of this very anoying malady. Thanks for reading my post. Tim

      May 25, 2012 at 20:27 | Report abuse |
  12. svann

    Try holding your breath. No joke. Hold it for long enough that the body starts telling you to breath again. Maybe 8-10 seconds. Then catch your breath, then repeat.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. janna millers

    I have had tinnitus three times where it lasted for over 30 minutes. I took large doses of magnesium and it went away within a few minutes. On the last of the occasions I was on vacation and traveling in a car when it started. I pulled out my iphone and found a health food store nearby and bought a spray bottle of magnesium and it stopped within three or four minutes. I now use the supplement as in my case I obviously have a deficiency. I hope this helps other people.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • a chemist

      Janna, that was quite foolish. You should NEVER consume supplements in large doses when you have never even been tested for your plasma or tissue levels. Magnesium has several effects on the body, including closing down a major neuroreceptor in your brain, nerves and some of your tissues. Please stop thinking that substances sold at "health food stores" are either benignly ineffective or effective. Many of the supplements sold there are untested, unregulated and even when pure, can do you a lot of harm. Think you umight have a deficiency? Get TESTED, don't guess and pop pills.

      May 25, 2012 at 15:13 | Report abuse |
    • Leo

      It lasted "over 30 minutes?" Oh, you POOR BABY. It must have been SO AWFUL for you! How did you ever endure such endless audio torture???

      Seriously, everyone gets occasional ringing in the ears. People with a real medical condition have it last a long time, either nonstop or with enough episodes and severe enough intensity to mess with quality of life. I have Meniere's disease, which causes tinnitus as one of its symptoms. Luckily, there ARE treatments for Meniere's, and it's under contol now, but before that? It was so loud that it would keep me awake. I'd go through periods of partial deafness, then periods of hyperacusis, and I'd get sounds of rushing/whooshing, high-pitched ringing, low-pitched ringing, and thrumming. It would be loud enough to keep me awake at night, or drown out real sounds. Milder episodes would keep tricking me into thinking I was hearing phones ringing.

      So don't act like your few 30-minute episodes are something on which to base medical advice. Also, overdosing with supplements? Seriously? You're advising other people to do this? *sigh*

      May 26, 2012 at 17:04 | Report abuse |
  14. RRMON

    The noise is a cosmic intelligence (vibration) channeling through the brain, listen to it carefully, decipher what is being transmitted, most of the time its just to align you (energy) to a particular place and time, the purpose.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David

      You obviously have never experienced this malady. Your "input" is either meant as trolling or you have a whole different set of issues to contend with.

      May 25, 2012 at 13:02 | Report abuse |
    • toto

      My cosmic intelligence is telling me you're missing a few planets upstairs..

      May 25, 2012 at 13:47 | Report abuse |
  15. Drew

    Great article. My eyes grew looking at the link, thinking that there was an actual pill or herb to take for a cure. As I started reading I noticed that curing the problem was exactly what I learned to do...focus on the ringing. I crashed hard snow boarding in a snow storm when I was 19. At first it was just my right ear ringing all the time and very loud. About a year later my left ear started ringing softly and over time it grew louder. The noise was almost unbearable from 21 to 22, I would spend countless hours awake at night trying to sleep, but there was only loud ringing. I started drowning out the ringing with a fan by my bed, and this seemed to help. However, over time I found a love for the ringing, some sort of solace that helped me fall asleep at night. This did not happen overnight, it took many years. when I have trouble sleeping I just focus on the ringing in my right ear because it is loudest and slowly bring both ears to focus; next thing I know I am asleep. I am now 29 and don't mind the ringing anymore. If the noise or ringing is new to you...good luck in finding peace with it.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mark Sailors

      There is an herb that is good for treating tinnitus, but is Federally illegal, and a schedule one drug...It is called Cannabis.

      May 25, 2012 at 12:55 | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      I am currently doing an investigative protocol to find a cureitive for this really harmful malady. Enjoy my post.
      To those who suffer from this noise, which I also suffer from for the last 15+ years. I am beginning to achieve results using a procedure call EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique. I am doing research, as a layman, using different approaches to tinnitus, such as tapping on statements surrounding the tympanic membrane, the cochlea, the ear canal and various variations. I am experiencing relief which started out as a 7 on a scale of 0 – 10, first day use went to 0 the next morning for the whole day, what a relief, then came back to a 4. I have continued tapping using different phrases to bring it to conscious awareness. Today which is four days since my silent day I am at a 1! I plan to create a marketable cd to help people once I experience lasting results. Anyone wanting to learn more or get phone help and additional knowledge may call me at 408-888-9290. Email: bestdealnow65@yahoo.com. Good luck to all of the sufferers of this very anoying malady. Thanks for reading my post. Tim

      May 25, 2012 at 20:30 | Report abuse |
    • Testosterone

      Funny you say that I had my ringing start 24/7 from a trial pack of staxyn (ed drug) I wanted to be 18 again for my anniversary with my wife and after finishing I have had a faint buzzing in right ear that gravitated to left ear over time this has been going on for about seven months now. However, on a recent trip to Colorado a group of us traveling decided to sample the now legal marijuana as a way to remember the 70's again! Two things shocked me one cannabis is much stronger these days and second the buzzing went away for about six hours and I slept like a baby that evening! Of course when I woke up the buzzing was back however after breakfast tried a single puff of canabis and surprise the buzzing was gone... Obviously not a cure as you can't walk around stoned all day and in many states it is illegal still however where it is legal it may be worth a small puff before bedtime to sleep without the buzz. Bedtime is when I hear the buzzing the loudest.

      April 20, 2014 at 09:44 | Report abuse |
  16. MikeS

    I have had a ringing in my ears which started about 3 weeks after the doctor changed my blood pressure medicine to amlodipine. Has anyone else noticed a possible connection between tinnitus and blood pressure medication?

    May 25, 2012 at 12:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David

      Not directly. However I do know that when my heart rate is increased through stress, etc. the ringing gets worse and almost immediately. I'm wondering if your new prescription isn't elevating your blood pressure somewhat. As a side note, and even though it increases the heart rate, I've noticed that when I exercise the ringing decreases. This is backwards of what one would expect. But for me it works.

      May 25, 2012 at 13:05 | Report abuse |
    • Rosemary Peppercorn

      I was diagnosed with tinnitus long before I was prescribed blood pressure medicine. The BP meds did not affect the tinnitus.

      May 25, 2012 at 14:28 | Report abuse |
    • David

      @Rosemary Peppercorn, one of the listed side effects of this particular blood pressure medicine (almodipine) is tinnitus, your own FDA reports this side effect.

      So yes Mike, it could be the cause. Talk to your doctor with your concern, and hopefully he will switch you to a different medication.

      November 26, 2014 at 12:19 | Report abuse |
  17. PAUL

    I've had tinnitus in my right ear for over 10 years. My greatest fear was that it would get worse. It hasn't. I was also fearful it would go into my left ear. It hasn't. My ENT assured me the odds of my getting it in my other ear were miniscule. I believe him. I also fearedt it would eventually drive me craz. It hasn't. Although the noise is constant 24/7 I've managed to ignore it most of the time. My wife had breast cancer around the same time I got tinnitus. That was 1000 times worse.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • docame

      Hmmmm, interesting. I never gave much thought to it being restricted to one or the other ear. I've aways experienced it binaurally – both ears. My ears are always congested from allergies, but the noise seems to eminate from somewhere midway between both ears.

      May 25, 2012 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
  18. Mark Sailors

    The sound I hear is the classic ECG "flat line" sound...all day every day, since I was 6 and had "tubes" put into my ears to deal with hearing loss...I can hear and am not deaf so I guess putting up with the constant ringing is the price I pay for being able to hear at all...It does bother me that it is so loud sometimes that I have to ask people to speak up to hear them over the ringing.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scott

      That's what my is.. Like a Flat line! I could never describe it until you said Flat line. Thanks!

      May 25, 2012 at 14:41 | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Everything within the body is fixable because we are all energy. A 5,000 year old discipline, acupuncture, is at the core of this amazing tool called EFT. I am working on developing a protocol for Tinnitus, here are some results
      To those who suffer from this noise, which I also suffer from for the last 15+ years. I am beginning to achieve results using a procedure call EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique. I am doing research, as a layman, using different approaches to tinnitus, such as tapping on statements surrounding the tympanic membrane, the cochlea, the ear canal and various variations. I am experiencing relief which started out as a 7 on a scale of 0 – 10, first day use went to 0 the next morning for the whole day, what a relief, then came back to a 4. I have continued tapping using different phrases to bring it to conscious awareness. Today which is four days since my silent day I am at a 1! I plan to create a marketable cd to help people once I experience lasting results. Anyone wanting to learn more or get phone help and additional knowledge may call me at 408-888-9290. Email: bestdealnow65@yahoo.com. Good luck to all of the sufferers of this very anoying malady. Thanks for reading my post. Tim

      May 25, 2012 at 20:34 | Report abuse |
  19. Debra Paquin

    I have had ringing in my ears since I had thyroid surgery about 5 years ago. The ringing seems to get worse when my ears are plugged up due to a cold virus. This makes me think that maybe some forms of tinnitus are caused by narrowing or inflammation of the ear canal or eustachian tubes.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alexander Elzinga

      Hi Debra, I've read this older article with your comment and I have the same impression you had at the time. In the morning I.m all clogged up and the tinnitus is driving me crazy. It started off with a cold that is going off and on and isn't really going away. How are you doing today and have you found a solution for this crazy going desease?
      Best regards, Alexander

      February 27, 2017 at 01:09 | Report abuse |
  20. AngelaD

    I have had mine for 20 years now and it came out of the blue. No loud music, no deceases, no tumors. At first I thought I was going crazy, then I tried every known treatment including oxygen chamber and acupuncture needles in the ear, blood thinning infusions and steroids. Nothing helped. I have learned to live it but I am sometimes afraid that it will get louder. Luckily I can sleep and I like to lay on my T-side. I recently have tried the Flavenoid vitamins and they do seem to help a little but you have to take huge amounts of it for a long time so I now only occasionally take them. They are expensive but make me feel good in general (Viitamin B). Every 3 or 4 years I go see a doctor in case I have missed the cure and to make sure nothing is growing in my head 🙂 But the thing that has helped me most was a great doctor who told me that my tinnitus is a syndrome not a sickness. I can become 100 years old with it, I just have to learn to live with it instead to fight it. And I agree with many here, I don't like to focus on my Tinnitus. It gets louder if I think about it but goes "away" when I ignore it. Good luck to all my fellow sufferers...

    May 25, 2012 at 12:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. JOH

    The article name was listed as "finally a cure..." and the article says the cure will never be taht simple. I would for ONCE like to hear unbiased, un-spun, factual article.

    May 25, 2012 at 13:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • milman

      you are right there. someone is getting paid for this, nothing in there that is new. There is no cure. period. This is not psychological but physical damage to the nerves from loud sounds like drums, music, cars, hammers, trains, repeatedly, without ear protection. could also be from medical issues or infections but my is gun fire.

      May 25, 2012 at 13:30 | Report abuse |
    • David

      Sorry JOH, but you are at CNN, factual reporting isn't there forte. But if you want political propaganda and spin straight from the White House, you are at the right place.

      November 26, 2014 at 12:24 | Report abuse |
  22. docame

    I agree with some that this is total junk science. I've had tinitus for the last decade. It ranges from white noise hissing to a real tone ( ranges from F' to A") and from very soft to very loud. It's not frightening. It is just very annoying. The only thing that has worked for me (aside from drugs) is listening to music. It helps me to ignore it. I think that's what it comes down to, is ignoring it.

    May 25, 2012 at 13:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Lisa

    Thank you for the advice L.Brock!

    My husband has tinnitus and prefers to have very little external noise, since he has so much noise in his head already. He just started taking gabapentin for daily migraines (an antiepileptic medication), which the neurologist said could help with tinnitus. He has a patient that takes gabapentin specifically for tinnitus. In the first couple days on the medication, his tinnitus level lowered drastically. Hopefully it will continue to help and the positive affects won’t wear off as he gets used to the medication.

    I have to put in a plug for magnesium, too! Most people are deficient, which can cause many illnesses (head aches, depression, diabetes, heart disease…). Reading the book reviews on Amazon is the best place I’ve found to learn about it.

    May 25, 2012 at 13:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Beam48

    I get the ringing in my ears...I never heard that people were afraid of the noise they hear though! I don't understand that. But then mine isn't like the persons in the article either. I think my response would be wondering if I was 'hearing things'...as in having a auditory hallucination...that would be my fear I suppose. But once knowing I wasn't...I wouldn't be afraid. But everyone is different. I find the ringing...which isn't constant by any means...very annoying for sure but I am not fearful of it because I know what it is. So what do you do with those not afraid of it? Would this behavior therapy help?

    May 25, 2012 at 13:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Barry G.

    Would somebody please get that phone!

    May 25, 2012 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ethandy

      Just did. It's busy.

      May 25, 2012 at 13:41 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      ...just someone always trying to fax something to me!

      May 26, 2012 at 11:38 | Report abuse |
  26. Whatever

    My ears have been ringing for 4 years to the month. I remember when it started because it was just a few days before my daughter was born. Mine is a constant sound like someone has stuck a tuning fork except this sound never ends. I have tried everything I can think of to get it to stop and at times it drives me crazy. Mentally it's like someone taking a rolling pin and using it to flatten my brain like bread dough. I have always had it on and off ever since I can remember but until 4 years ago it would go away in a week or two. The constant ringing makes it difficult to sleep at night.

    May 25, 2012 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • milman

      yes. the best thing to do is to have other noises in the room when you sleep, sounds stupid, but it works. Put in a DVD that you have seen a hundred times, and you are a sleep in minutes, have a running fan on low that works, taking a glass of wine before bed that works, taking one of those little red pills for allegry works with the wine that works, taking a hot shower before bed and some of the other things here and that works,

      May 25, 2012 at 13:28 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Try sleeping with earplugs in too. Focusing on the sound of your own breathing can be very relaxing, and louder than the ringing without causing a distraction to others or forcing you to deal with inconsistent white noise like a tv.

      May 25, 2012 at 15:01 | Report abuse |
    • Otosclerosis

      Have you ever been to an ear doctor? I have had ringing in my ears since I was 14, and it got louder,along with hearing loss after my son was born... Turns out I have otosclerosis, a hereditary hearing loss tied in the the birth of children. It is seem among cousins and I have several cousins that have it! Maternal grandmother had it, too. I had surgery to improve my hearing, and, while the hearing improved, the ringing did not go away. But it was worth it to be able to hear my son's sweet voice again, along with the sound of rain on the roof and birds singing....

      May 25, 2012 at 15:13 | Report abuse |
  27. Mike S from Indiana

    Mine would get much worse after a cigarette. Now that I've quit smoking the roar of the tinnitus has throttled back a lot.

    May 25, 2012 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. milman

    gun fire caused mine. You have to learn not to listen to your ringing, sounds hard but the brain does it good. it is just like being around noisy kids, you just put them out of our mind, only if you think about the noise do you hear it. I once tried a hearing aid to hear sounds that were being blocking by the ringing but then I heard so much that it was upsetting to me and therefore having nothing was the best solutioin.

    May 25, 2012 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. evankrobinson

    "I had one doctor say to me I should take Klonopin (an anti-seizure/anti-anxiety medication) for my tinnitus," said Morrell. "He said to take one the first day, two the second, and to keep stepping it up to 12 a day if I needed to. Can you believe that?"

    Why is no comment made in the article that Klonopin (clonazepam) is a well-known treatment for tinnitus and IS effective in some patients? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14763236

    May 25, 2012 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. ethandy

    Tinnitus. Where to I start. I am 54 and I cannot remember a time when I didn't have it. In my case I can only surmise that the onset of the condition struck when I was 5. I was running down a hill outside school and ran straight into a big kid. Then I woke up in the hospital about an hour later. Later I played hockey and had my bell rung more than once. That probably contributed to the problem. The thing is though, I don't really remember becoming conscious of it until I was well into my 20's and I was with my girlfriend. "Do you hear cicadas? You know, those big bugs?" She didn't. "Really," I said. "You can't hear anything? It's completely silent? That's what you're tell me?" She said she didn't hear anything but that she heard of tinnitus. That's the first time I even knew there was a name for it. It doesn't bother me because I have apparently adjusted to it. At times like these, when I am writing, it's there, but I am so damn used to it. I guess I am lucky; I adapted, though not consciously like this article suggests. One thing I have noticed that is really quite pleasant, is when I get a legitimate ringing in my ears – like when you get a moment or two of the kind of ringing in your ears that a non-tinnitus muggle would get. When I get that kind of ringing, my tinnitus DISAPPEARS! Even though there is some faint ringing, the sensation of having NO tinnitus for that brief period is heaven. The author also suggests other noises like moving water helps balance out the annoyance of tinnitus somehow. I have always loved watching and listening to the washing machine fill up with water and start running. Hmmm. A connection?

    May 25, 2012 at 13:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jannio

      I, too, have a few seconds of relief from my 22 years of tinnitus when I have the "non-tinnitus sufferer" type of ringing in my ears. Boy, do I cherish those few seconds! I think my tinnitus was caused by strong drugs taken for back pain. I also have hearing loss which started earlier than that. Probably a combination. I tried Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, with special hearing aids, but it didn't seem to help. I just wear regular aids now. My sound is like the fax machine tone 24/7, with a different and higher up and down modulating tone. What a nuisance.

      May 28, 2012 at 00:27 | Report abuse |
  31. diamond14

    Bogus headline. If you live with this like most of the people who have posted, you do not find this headline accurate, cute or helpul.

    Just bogus.

    May 25, 2012 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. mattski

    I'm 51, I was a stagehand for about 20 years. I have it in one ear which continuously makes a kind of electricity noise, which every so often grows into a loud very clear tone like a tuning fork that lasts for about 10 seconds, then fades back to the much quieter electricity sound. Otolaryngologist – Brain MRI – weird experience – comes back normal, a round of steriods did nothing to help it. I have had people tell me to cut back on my caffiene intake, but even on days when I've had no caffiene the sound is still there. I'm not even sure it's truly tinitus. It's accompanied by a loss of high frequency hearing in that ear. I can live with it. The high frequency loss is far more aggravating than the noise to me.

    May 25, 2012 at 13:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Charlie

    Unfortunately for me it all started with the onset of something called Acoustic Neuroma a small to medium size tumor on the brain stem and on the 7th nerve on the ear canal. My tumor was watched for a 6month to 1 year period and started to grow significantly so to treat it I had Gamma Knife surgery that reduced the tumor from the size of a lemon to a pea.
    However the procedure left me totally deaf in my right ear but awarded me with tinnitus. Which has been treated quite successfully with vitamin B12 1500 mcg everyday.
    I hope this helps because you dont need a brain tumor for B12 just the symtoms of tinnitus....goodluck to all

    May 25, 2012 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mattski

      Interesting. My mother had Gamma Knife on an acoustic neuroma that also got smaller but never went away. Total hearing loss in that ear, and then cioncidentally, a long battle with hydrocephalus which the doctors all assured us had nothing to do with the neuroma or the Gamma Knife. But it required several brain operations to install and adjust a shunt to drain the fluid into her stomach. She's passed away now, but she exressed regret for choosing the Gamma Knife rather than the traditional surgery. Acoustic Neuromas are not hereditary, but I was sure concerned when my tinitus cropped up.

      May 25, 2012 at 13:52 | Report abuse |
  34. Jethro

    Tinnitus is not caused by one main source. Every case is different, thus successful treatment depends on patient history.

    May 25, 2012 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. steven harnack

    That's no cure. That's like saying the cure for cancer is to learn to live with it. I don't fear my tinnitus, it just annoys the heck out of me. I agree with diamond 14. This article is neither accurate or helpful.

    May 25, 2012 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. NJ Hypnotist James Malone

    I find this article interesting as to the idea of treating tinnitus like a fear, which is a huge component in the related suffering. Fear keeps a person focused on the sounds, which increases the stress levels, etc. As I point out in my e-book Calm Your Tinnitus, "the less you fear it, the less you hear it." Perhaps like other fears, facing the tinnitus head on is how you eventually overcome it? Intriguing.

    May 25, 2012 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. susan campbell-webster

    I hope some of you sufferers read this and try rolfing. I had a sound in my ear that was like canada geese. It started as just a squeek and got louder over some weeks. I noticed that it had the exact same rhythm as my heartbeat. I tried all kinds of things. The sound drove me absolutely nuts - it was like Chinese water torture or something. My husband could hear it too! if he put his ear up to mine. After almost a year, I went to a rolfer for help with a stiff neck and he rolfed the inside of my mouth - while he was doing it I noticed the sound changed! We then realized it was a TMJ problem! With 3 or 4 more treatments it was gone. Forever. (so far 7years.) I do have ringing in my ears still - but compared to what I had it is as good as silence. Whenever the ringing gets a bit much, I remember what I had and simply rejoice. ROLFING. It may help some of you. I pray that it does.

    May 25, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rosemary Peppercorn

      Interesting. I have a condition where TMJ also often occurs. I ddn't think I had it until yesterday when I put my elbow on a table, chin in hands - and the pressure on my jaw was so painful - made me see stars! I didn't know I had the TMJ problem, too. I've had tinnitus for decades. I wonder if the two are connected. Is ROLFING painful? I think of it as someone removing your flesh from your bones through manipulation from what I've heard. Sounds scary.

      May 25, 2012 at 14:37 | Report abuse |
  38. pigmore

    Have had this condition since 1968. Vietnam. US govt says it's all in my mind. Go listen to conks dropping ad tell me that. Only thing folks that helps is a health supplement called Gaba.

    May 25, 2012 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. David

    i do not know if the journalist is ignorant or a foll , i found dissapoint the headline : finally a treatment for tinnnitus , it is like saying you have a ilness just learn to live with it and you gonna be fine. come on people respect people with tinnitus

    May 25, 2012 at 14:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Burbank

    Wearing a tin foil hat helps.

    May 25, 2012 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Moon

    Ive had tinnitus since i was about 6 yrs old when an accident left me deaf in my right ear. Its a constant high pitched one toned ringing noise. If i lay on my "good" ear i hear it. It really only gets bad if theres too much loud noise during the day. This study only told me to do what ive been doing. Tho i cant really imagine being fearful or anxious about the noise. I guess thats because it happened to me at such a young age i got adjusted to it easily.

    May 25, 2012 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Rosemary Peppercorn

    Well, that was disappointing to read.

    May 25, 2012 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. leonhl

    Mine is a constant ringing in my left ear and also I hear my heartbeat, or pulse at the same time. Mine was brought on by Meniere's disease and I also have hearing loss in that ear as a result. Tinnitus is often a symptom of hearing loss. When I got a hearing aid it got better, but not completely-probably because my ear had more to hear than just the internal sounds. I believe the Meniere's disease was brought on by a severe Spring allergy reaction one year. One day I woke up with my ears completely plugged and everything sounded like I was undewater. I always sleep on my right side and I theorize that some of the fluid drained into my inner ear which they tell me destroyed the celia (sp?)-the little hairs in the inner ear which are needed to conduct the sound waves. At first the tinnitus really bothered me and that, and the hearing loss, sent me into a depression for a long time. Always keep checking back with your doctor for new treatments-you never know. 15 years ago I was told a hearing aid would not help-that I would only hear "amplified gibberish", but 3 years ago I looked into it and in fact, the hearing aid helps so much and I feel so much less isolated and rarely say "Huh?" anymore!

    May 25, 2012 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. msp

    I hear ringing all time in my head, which is of course not in my ears.. It is annoying but most of the time I manage to ignore it. I am not afraid of it but am afraid that I am losing hearing. The audiologist told me that my hearing will gradually get worse. It is an unsettling feeling to anticipate a world of nothing but hissing sound.

    May 25, 2012 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Saboth

    I'll have this somewhat frequently. I just feel it sort of "activate", and I'll hear a high pitched "eeeeeeeee". I tend to just ignore it and it goes away.

    May 25, 2012 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. genjunk1

    Its really terrible that you would indicate this is some great new treatment. Its just a study of what has been around for many years as one of the possible treatments to manage the conditon. It is truly insensitive to all the people suffering. I wish you would be more considerate in how you word your articles than giving false hope to people with any condition. I don't know how manyt times I've seen articles in magazines or on internet indicating thatr there is a new cure or treatment to only find out its the same thing that is already known.

    May 25, 2012 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Deanna

    I've had ringing in my ears for 32 years. I actually have gotten used to it and have to concentrate to hear it now. Only down side is not being able to determine if it's my ears or cicada's!

    May 25, 2012 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. DJS NJ

    For about the last 5 years Ive had ringing in my ears and once in a while what sounds like a pin randomly tapping a crystal glass... in any case, I've kinda learned to adapt to it... and in a way that leads to ignoring it. Due to allowing it to lose significance. If there is no absolute for a medical cure, I wont be taking any med for it... I began taking Paxil for GAD about 11 years ago, and I also have Anklosing Spondylitis. I dont know if either could have an influence on tinitus...

    lol... oddly enough as I finish this post I'm noticing the ringing picking up... mind over mind? things that make you go hmmmmmm.
    PeAcE DJS

    May 25, 2012 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Mel

    I did work in the US Navy back in 1970. For eight hours a day six days a week I listened to high frequency radio signals. After doing this for six months I started to feel strange and out of touch with reality. The military doctors thought I was suffering from anxiety and gave me tranquilizers. The symptoms did not subside until they gave me a different job. When I flew back from overseas months later I noticed after the flight I felt dizzy. The Veterans hospital checked me out and also told me to ignore the strangeness and blew me off. Ten years later I took a another flight and came home dizzy – i.e. vertigo. This persisted and eventually after seeking treatment and getting no relief my ears started ringing incessantly – and LOUD! It nearly drove me mad because I was loading up on tranquilizers to help me sleep. This contributed to a deepening depression. Finally after two months in a hospital's stress treatment program my doctor found that an old anti-depressant called Doxipin helped me sleep and moved the ringing a bit "away" from me. I was able to get off of tranquilizers and thee depression subsided. This happened thirty years ago. I have never had a quiet moment since but I have learned to live with it although I do have an occasional bad day where the ringing overwhelms me and I have to take a day or two off. I take a small dose or two of Doxepin and in a day or two the ringing subsides a bit and I can function. Four years ago I stumbled across my separation physical taken when I left active military service and found that it showed a 25 decibel hearing loss in both ears at high frequencies. The hearing test I took in the mid eighties showed the same hearing loss but it had worsened, The damage was done to my ears in the Navy and it worsened over time and I went from feeling strange to vertigo and Tinnitus. I filed a claim with the Veterans Administration but they are fighting it since the Tinnitus did not develop till years later. I have read a lot about TInnitus and unfortunately depending on the cause it can worsen with age especially if it was a cased by some type of trauma to the inner ear like loud explosions or prolonged exposure to loud noise. Severe Tinnitus can be life threatening indirectly since it can lead to a deep depression. I have helped many folks who have gotten it by letting them know it is survivable but it did take incredible effort and a bit of medicine to learn to deal with it. Tinnitus is not something to be taken lightly and joked about. It is real and does show up on hearing tests. Your hearing will be greatly diminished at the frequencies of the ringing and that can be different for each ear. Most audiologists who give the hearing exams have no understanding or empathy for Tinnitus sufferers since they have never had it themselves and same is true for most doctors. I was lucky enough to find one in my town that actually specialized in inner ear disorders and he helped me survive it. Unfortunately he has retired. If you have a severe case then seek out a conservative inner ear specialist who will understand what you are going through.

    May 25, 2012 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tim

      Mel, there is a relief for tinnitus. It comes in the form of EFT. Below I offer my study and results for you to look over.
      To those who suffer from this noise, which I also suffer from for the last 15+ years. I am beginning to achieve results using a procedure call EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique. I am doing research, as a layman, using different approaches to tinnitus, such as tapping on statements surrounding the tympanic membrane, the cochlea, the ear canal and various variations. I am experiencing relief which started out as a 7 on a scale of 0 – 10, first day use went to 0 the next morning for the whole day, what a relief, then came back to a 4. I have continued tapping using different phrases to bring it to conscious awareness. Today which is four days since my silent day I am at a 1! I plan to create a marketable cd to help people once I experience lasting results. Anyone wanting to learn more or get phone help and additional knowledge may call me at 408-888-9290. Email: bestdealnow65@yahoo.com. Good luck to all of the sufferers of this very anoying malady. Thanks for reading my post. Tim

      May 25, 2012 at 20:38 | Report abuse |
  50. Sandeep

    The Indian old science of "mudra" might be effective in treating ear related issues, and has worked for me. The word "mudra" means gesture. Holding fingers of the hand in certain postures presses nerve endings that send signals/reflexes back to certain parts of the body, that help bring balance to that part/functionality of the body. The "mudra" for hearing related problem is to fold and press your middle finger aganist the base of the thumb, and then put thumb on the top of the middle finger. The remaining three fingers remain stretched out. To be ideally done for 40 min, with both hands. It has worked for me within less than a min, and worked every single time I had some weird noise in my ear. Can Google "Mudra for hearing" to see pictures of this hand posture.

    May 25, 2012 at 16:41 | Report abuse | Reply
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