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Phylameana lila Desy

Multiple Sclerosis: Another Cause of Tinnitus

By March 10, 2005

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Reader Response to Tinnitus Article - Lisa says: Two more causes of tinnitus: multiple sclerosis and certain medications (quinine sulfate, for one).

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.

Hi Lisa,

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.

More Reader Responses
July 10, 2010 at 11:48 pm
(1) Patricia says:

I am relieved to hear that tinnitus can be associated with MS. My Neurologist will not admit it and the Ear Nose & Throat MD says that I am losing my hearing. Its hard to hear when there is a constant sound of crickets chirping. I am 50 years old and diagnosed with MS when I was 32. The tinnitus began about 5years ago best I can remember and has worsened over time. I hope it is at its peak. Unless one has experienced it it can’t be explained nor understood how annoying it can be.

October 1, 2010 at 12:34 pm
(2) Len says:

Interestingly, I have been started to develop MS like symptoms along with tinnitus. I am waiting to see a neurologist so I can get some sort of diagnosis. The tinnitus seems to get worse just before and during a relapse of my symptoms. I just assume there is a connection as I never had either of this problems until I went through about 6 months of oral surgery and infections. Now I am left with all of these symptoms and it seems no one can help me.

October 14, 2011 at 12:40 pm
(3) Virginia says:

I am so frustrated. I just went to a new primary physician for symptoms I was very concerned about. Vertigo, fatigue, excruciating muscle aches, and like a shaky weakness, and like electric shocks around my mouth and tongue that’s been going on intermittently worsening for the last 10-12 months. When he asked me if I had tinnitus and I started to reply yes (mine is in both ears but the left worse than the right), he immediately said “oh, you don’t have tinnitus that’s the MRI machine downstairs you hear buzzing”. I’ve been so upset about this and feel he’s chalked all my symptoms up to stress or depression. Was happy to read this and think I wasn’t crazy after all. I’ve had it for quite a few years so just chalked it up to being “normal”. I thought everyone had SOME ringing in their ears?

October 24, 2011 at 9:38 am
(4) Sharyl says:

All of these comments have been quite helpful. I have experienced ringng in my ears for a couple of years. I was just diagnosed with MS a few months ago, but apparently I’ve had it for a couple of years and didn’t know it. My other symptoms are fatigue, tremors, short term memory loss. My local neurologist keeps telling my that my symptoms aren’t from my MS, but are separate and unrelated. I also see a neurologist a few hours away twice a year , who specializes in MS, who disagrees. It’s all very confusing and frustrating.

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