home
RSS
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 (2,558 Responses)
  1. Seo Marketing Company

    http://finanzplaner-deutschland.de/fpdeu/inc/mitglieder_form.asp?nr=24&referer=http://affordableranking.com

    May 10, 2021 at 16:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Internet Marketing Companies

    http://archives.lib.nou.edu.tw/index/link.php?id=1&link=http3A2F2Faffordableranking.com

    May 10, 2021 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Social Media Marketing Company Irvine

    http://www.greatoakenergy.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 10, 2021 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Content Marketing Ideas

    I needed to thank you for this wonderful read!! I certainly enjoyed every little bit of it. I've got you saved as a favorite to look at new things you post…

    http://www.cohen-1918.us/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 10, 2021 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Social Media Marketing Agency California

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful article. Many thanks for supplying these details.

    http://www.ibandata.info/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 10, 2021 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. BbshMile

    generic viagra coupon https://loxviagra.com/ viagra information

    May 10, 2021 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Social Media Marketing Agency Orange County

    https://eurosapience.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 10, 2021 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Content Marketing Orange County

    http://theconversation-dot-yamm-track.appspot.com/Redirect?ukey=1bnvdljWXFrqrHDRSoM_OEPoifgbiPhutMu_eiAUFOeM-329779714&key=YAMMID-99799134&link=http://affordableranking.com

    May 10, 2021 at 21:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Content Marketing Business

    This web site certainly has all of the information I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    http://www.paper.li/SharonLaMothe/1411841847?read=http://www.affordableranking.com

    May 10, 2021 at 22:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Digital Marketing Companies

    http://www.bandbgreatyarmouth.co.uk/out.php?link=http://www.affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 01:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Digital Marketing Near Me

    https://botanicalwonders.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Internet Marketing Cypress

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be exciting to read through content from other writers and practice a little something from their sites.

    https://www.aaavista.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 01:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Google Marketing Job

    You have made some good points there. I checked on the net to learn more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.

    https://www.floridahairtransplant.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 02:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Social Media Marketing Company Near Me

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and also the rest of the site is really good.

    https://www.veritasetlux.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 03:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Content Marketing Brea

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I am going through problems with your RSS. I don’t understand why I cannot join it. Is there anybody else having the same RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    https://www.oligarhia.com/go.php?site=https://www.affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 03:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Social Media Marketing Services

    I need to to thank you for this excellent read!! I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post…

    https://www.epapergallery.com/AuditRedirect.aspx?Country=India&Language=English&RSSProvider=TheTimesOfIndia&Section=General&NewsURL=https://www.affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 04:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. LbsoZisse

    cialis in canada https://ucialisdas.com/ cialis 20 mg from united kingdom

    May 11, 2021 at 04:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Content Marketing Association

    You've made some really good points there. I looked on the internet for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.

    https://www.oxan.info/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 04:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Video Marketing Pros

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It's the little changes that will make the most significant changes. Thanks for sharing!

    http://prosticks.com/lang.asp?lang=en&url=http://affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 04:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Internet Marketing Companies

    I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I came across this in my hunt for something relating to this.

    http://entdeckertouren.com/redirect/?url=http://affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 05:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Content Marketing Studio

    This website truly has all of the info I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    http://premierfund.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 06:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Social Media Marketing Orange County

    Excellent site you have here.. It’s difficult to find quality writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    http://ww17.tschofenig.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 08:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Local Marketing Jobs

    http://www.razorlord.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 08:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Local Marketing Association Near Me

    http://newenergi.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 10:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Seo Marketing Company

    http://finselfer.com/bitrix/redirect.php?goto=http://affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Local Marketing Association Near Me

    http://mbsquoteline.com/newsletter/includes/viewsource.php?n_id=342&token=0&wt=3&cid=9517&url=http://affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Local Marketing Events

    I used to be able to find good advice from your articles.

    http://topkam.ru/gtu/?url=http://getmoneytraveling.com

    May 11, 2021 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Google Marketing Consultant

    There is definately a great deal to know about this subject. I love all the points you've made.

    http://seeyou.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=postfallslocal.com

    May 11, 2021 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Social Media Marketing Contractor

    Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking the time and actual effort to make a good article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and never manage to get anything done.

    http://tidefootball.com/portal.php?url=http://meticulousjessmarketing.com&what=T_Links&rid=05/10/28/9151482

    May 11, 2021 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Social Media Marketing Job Orange County

    http://www.furaffinity.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bestservicenearme.com

    May 11, 2021 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Video Marketing Specialist

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe this site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the advice!

    http://turnusy.rehabilitacyjne.pl/index.php?inc=banner&action=forwardTo&bid=262&goto=http://internetmarketingsupply.com

    May 11, 2021 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Countertops Los Angeles

    https://www.gdmossassociates.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=

    May 11, 2021 at 19:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. oc trailers & rvs inc

    I was excited to uncover this website. I want to to thank you for your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely liked every part of it and i also have you bookmarked to look at new information in your web site.

    http://rs.rikkyo.ac.jp/rs/error/ApplicationError.aspx?TopURL=https://ocrvcenter.org/rv-repair-shop-pomona-california

    May 11, 2021 at 19:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. 2006 Sprinter Tank Fuel Pump Repair

    http://www.proteinaute.com/lib/request/redirect.php?url=https://commercialvanrepairshop.com/truck-windshield-replacement-shop-near-me

    May 11, 2021 at 20:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. rv slide out water damage repair

    Very good write-up. I absolutely love this site. Thanks!

    http://www.gmwebsite.com/web/redirect.asp?url=https://

    May 11, 2021 at 20:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. bus ac repair

    http://ssomgmt.ascd.org/profile/createsso/CreateSSO.aspx?returnurl=https://ocrv.vip/rv-repair-shop-el-segundo-california

    May 11, 2021 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Chassis Repair

    https://www.triathlon.org/?URL=https://boxtruckrepairshop.com/sprinter-van-frame-repair-shop-near-me

    May 11, 2021 at 22:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Wraps Near Me

    Everything is very open with a really clear clarification of the issues. It was truly informative. Your site is extremely helpful. Thank you for sharing!

    http://mart.walcost.com/visit?url=http://yelp.com/biz/ocrv-center-anaheim

    May 11, 2021 at 23:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RebfZisse

    cialis over the counter in spain https://rcialisgl.com/ cialis shop in australia

    May 11, 2021 at 23:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. orange county trailer repair

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you so much, However I am encountering issues with your RSS. I don’t know why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having the same RSS problems? Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    http://services.nfpa.org/Authentication/GetSSOSession.aspx?return=https://youtube.com/watch?v=6xsAPLNQ4Jk

    May 12, 2021 at 00:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. trailer body repair

    https://eao.rtrs.ru/go/?q=https://ocrv.vip/passenger-bus-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 00:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. c and o body shop

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Best wishes! Where are your contact details though?

    http://ms.zzedu.net.cn/link.jsp?url=https://ocrv.rocks/western-star-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 00:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Myron Tauber

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusuf-hanafy-82493b183

    May 12, 2021 at 02:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. rv tire repair near me

    This site was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Thanks!

    https://www.are.na/go?redirect-to=https://ocrvcenter.org/rv-repair-shop-banning-california

    May 12, 2021 at 03:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. rv remodeling supplies

    Good post. I definitely love this site. Stick with it!

    http://uk.youtuberepeater.com/watch?v=eUh5OI9R52U

    May 12, 2021 at 03:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. motorhome interior remodel

    Saved as a favorite, I like your website!

    http://kasugai.genki365.net/gnkk06/common/redirect.php?url=https://ocrv.today/box-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 04:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. shop for seats rv

    Hi there! This blog post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I'll forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a very good read. Thanks for sharing!

    https://sc.devb.gov.hk/TuniS/youtube.com/watch?v=KFCzmFXP4R8

    May 12, 2021 at 04:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. remodeled rvs interior

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn't fail me as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read, however I truly thought you would have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something that you could possibly fix if you weren't too busy seeking attention.

    http://ads.timesindonesia.co.id/network-1/www/delivery/ck.php?oaparams=2__bannerid=23__zoneid=33__cb=7f6aba05b4__oadest=https://ocrvcenter.mobi/rv-repair-shop-studio-city-california

    May 12, 2021 at 04:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Seats Orange County

    https://www.f4.hqlabs.de/Helper/LinkHelper.aspx?mailingId=2847766&href=https://www.yelp.com/biz/ocrv-center-yorba-linda

    May 12, 2021 at 05:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. rv alignment

    This site definitely has all the information and facts I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    https://web28.werkbank.bayern-online.de/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?url=http://youtube.com/watch?v=gN9pJJv9kYQ

    May 12, 2021 at 06:48 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49

Leave a Reply to Hairstyles


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.