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I suffer from the permanent ear ringing called Tinnitus. I just started giving up as I visited many doctors, but unfortunately, without any remarkable recovery. Most of the doctors I've visited suggested ear wax removal drugs.

After many googling attempts, reading other people cases, I've not even found at least a person who recovered from Tinnitus. Now, I'm just wondering if this malady hasn't actually a remedy.

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    It may have, dependent on the cause of the tinnitus. Trust your physicians though and don't rely on anonymous internet folks. – AliceD Aug 7 '15 at 10:34
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Is tinnitus curable?

No, there is no cure for tinnitus. It is connected to a malfunction in the neurons which turn the signals from the ear into the perception of hearing. The usual cause is that the inner ear is damaged, and nobody knows how to repair this organ. You have to accept the idea that it will almost certainly stay with you for the rest of your life.

What can you do about tinnitus?

The German association for ENT, Head and Neck surgery classifies tinnitus as:

grade I: Does not cause suffering

grade II: Noticed primary during silence, only interferes during stressful moments and psychic load

grade III: Causes persistent impairment in the private or professional life, with interference in the emotional, cognitive and body areas

grade IV: Causes full decompensation in the private area and inability to work

The goal of the existing therapies is not to remove the tinnitus, but to lower it to grade II or I. They usually consist of a combination of relaxation techniques, mental relaxation (meditation, cognitive therapy) which allows you to concentrate on other things without being bothered by tinnitus, and music therapy, which trains your auditory perception to discriminate more between sounds and focus less on the tinnitus sound. After a successful therapy, sufferers of permanent tinnitus can tolerate the tinnitus well, sometimes forgetting it for hours at a time, while sufferers of episodic tinnitus can have less frequent episodes. The subjective loudness of the tinnitus can also go down.

Tinnitus itself is not treatable, but most of its consequences are, for example sleep problems, depression, speech understanding difficulties, hyperacusis or tensions in the neck area. If they occur, don't hesitate to seek help for them.

Where to go for help

Tinnitus requires specialized cross-disciplinary knowledge in ENT, neurology and psychiatry. "Standard" ENT doctors are rarely well versed in tinnitus. Your first place to go with acute tinnitus is still the ENT, who can confirm the diagnosis and exclude other, more pressing problems. In the long term, you are much better off going to a clinic specializing in inner ear disorders, or even a pure tinnitus clinic. This type of clinic can also diagnose other, not yet detected types of inner ear damage. Find out if there is a local patient group for tinnitus or hearing loss, and ask them which clinic to go to. They can give you the best regional advice. Also consider becoming a member of your national association for tinnitus, such as Deutsche Tinnitus Liga or American tinnitus association. They are an excellent source for news about promising research.

Resources

As far as I'm aware, my preferred book about tinnitus is not yet translated into English, but I can recommend it for anybody who reads German. It is written by the director of a clinic specializing in inner ear disorders and his senior physician who is a tinnitus patient himself. If you are researching literature on tinnitus, don't fall for the popular books which promise a miracle healing. I have never met a patient for whom they delivered.

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    No, there is no cure for tinnitus: such a hard statement should be backed up by solid references. Moreover, it is plain untrue with regard to pulsatile tinnitus, which can be cured. Tinnitus is a symptom that can have a host of etiologies. Be careful with this kind of black-and-white answers. I would have downvoted if I could :) – AliceD Aug 7 '15 at 10:32
  • @AliceD I wasn't thinking of pulsate tinnitus, which is a very different beast despite the name it has in common with "standard" tinnitus. The book I mention does not give any cure for tinnitus, and I have never seen another credible source to disagree with it, nor have I met a patient who really got a (non pulsatile) tinnitus cured, all the ones I know still have it. If you know a cure though, I'd be very happy to learn about it! – rumtscho Aug 16 '15 at 11:27
  • +1, it's probably worth editing to mention Pulsatile Tinnitus in the answer however, because without skilled diagnostics/exam, I don't expect a pt to be able discern anything beyond "my ear is ringing." Further, I would give the term tinnitus retraining therapy as a good search term and starting point. The Textbook of Tinnitus is the standard in the US (Google Book Link) – Atl LED Dec 7 '16 at 16:48
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While there is no single treatment to tinnitus as a variety of reasons can cause it some kinds of therapy might help ease symptoms. Tinnitus is a symptom and not a disease so it is helpful to pinpoint the underlying issue itself and then address it. My tinnitus started after I was on a anti-depressants course(Escitalopram Oxalate) and as soon as I found out one night my ears won't stop ringing I discontinued the drug. The following weeks I experienced natural side-effects of the medication and since then the tinnitus has been there. Now I believe my issue is not with the ear but the auditory cortex itself: the part of the brain associated with processing audio signals. Overexcitation of neurons caused by hearing loss over certain frequencies so the neurons associated with those frequencies start generating their own signals and you get tinnitus or even chronic anxiety/depression. Acoustic neuromodulation is a nice effective therapy to combat this type of tinnitus. Watch this to understand what it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_XjYnPooPk

Also this website lets you use your earphones to do ACRN yourself: http://generalfuzz.net/acrn/

The other kind of tinnitus is caused by mechanical issues to the ear and those might require a deep investigation and surgical intervention of the inner ear which I don't believe is safe. Pulsatile tinnitus is one of the variants where there is some blood vessel pressing to the inner ear causing a pulsing sound signal as blood is pumped by the heart.

My best advice would be to find out what caused your tinnitus in the first place and then treat it. Of course while it may not be completely treatable you can still train yourself to ignore it and proceed on with life. If you constantly worry about it (stress aggravates tinnitus) then you're not helping.

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