One source of temporary relief: sucking on papain tablets. They're sold as relief for digestive complaints, but a naturopath recommended them to me for both my tinnitus and my hearing loss (caused by an "esophageal condition"). They're inexpensive, innocuous, natural, and pleasant-tasting.
I took quinine for years for intractable cramps, which turned out to be spasms from undiagnosed multiple sclerosis. I recently found out that one of the many symptoms of MS is tinnitus, so my quinine use exacerbated an existing MS symptom. I now take baclofen (Rx) for the spasms, and the tinnitus is considerably better, though it never goes away entirely.
My tinnitus is a high pitched ringing, like an electronic carrier wave, and it can interfere with hearing by making conversation almost unintelligible. It somehow short circuits the ability to make sense of the spoken word, no matter how simple and ordinary that word may be.
I take Balanced B-100, time release, plus 1000 mg B-12. I also take a multi-vitamin equivalent to Centrum® A-Z (with Lutein and Lycopene), and herbal gingko biloba in capsules at 1000 mg (500 mg BID) per day. I don't know how the latter compares to standardized laboratory produced gingko tabs, but it sure doesn't give me the adverse side effects the commercial version does.
Thanks for the column. It added to my knowledge of tinnitus, and if I can just store that learning in long term memory, I'll be happy. My short term memory is like Swiss cheese...
A. Lisa S.
Thank you so much for sharing the knowledge you have on the health challenge of "ringing in the ears" as a result of your MS and medication. I'm sure the additional information will help others, which is why I decided to publish your "reader response email."
As I mention in the article I found taking supplements of pantothenic acid (B5) helpful to reduce the annoyance of ear noise.... this somehow coated the nerve endings and gave me partial relief.
Update: Since I wrote the article about tinnitus I was diagnosed with POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), which is a form of dysautonomia - in simpler terms: hypotension or low blood pressure/volume. I now take a low dosage beta-blocker prescribed by my neurologist to regulate my heart rate and blood circulation and guess what? I no longer suffer from tinnitus... no more noise in my ears except occasional periods when I'm suffering with sinus or cold flare-ups.
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