What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a common condition of ringing or roaring in the ears that usually results from an underlying problem with the ear, including ear infections, hearing loss, disorders of blood circulation and even tumors. Stephen Geller Katz, LCSW-R, a leading Manhattan tinnitus treatment psychotherapist, notes that the cause of tinnitus cannot always be discovered. However, the good news is that there are treatments that can still reduce the symptoms of tinnitus.
Medications to Reduce Symptoms of Tinnitus May Have Side Effects
There are medications that doctors prescribe to reduce symptoms of tinnitus, but these medications sometimes have side effects that are just as unpleasant. Some doctors prescribe anti-anxiety medications like Valium, which result in a tired feeling and may cause you to become sleepy in the middle of the day. Anti-depressant therapies used to treat tinnitus have many potential side effects, including agitation and sexual dysfunction.
Herbal Remedies for Tinnitus
Stephen Geller Katz, LCSW-R, a leading NYC tinnitus treatment psychotherapist, says herbal remedies may provide a safer alternative for reduction of tinnitus symptoms. Although herbal medications are usually gentler, they can interfere with other medical conditions and with medications your doctor may have prescribed. If you decide to try an herbal therapy for your tinnitus, be sure to consult with your doctor.
Gingko biloba is a supplement made from the oldest living tree species. Gingko has been used medicinally for centuries, and recent studies show it is effective when used to treat a variety of medical conditions. People who take gingko have reported increased mental alertness and concentration. Gingko has been successfully used to treat circulatory disorders of the blood vessels, including intermittent claudication. It works by increasing blood flow, and gingko also has antioxidant properties that help prevent and repair damage caused by free oxygen radicals. A study that was published in 2002 in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics found that patients who had tinnitus from noise-related hearing damage showed improvement after treatment with gingko.
Black cohosh (Cimcifua racemosa, Actaea racemosa)
Black cohosh is an herb that has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including pain in patients with arthritis and neuralgia, and in patients with menstrual pain and cramping. Black cohosh causes dilation of the blood vessels, increasing blood flow, which may help with tinnitus, particularly in patients who have Meniere’s Disease. The German Minister of Health appointed a commission to study herbal remedies in 1978, and the commission approved black cohosh as a treatment for tinnitus.
Rehmannia (Rehmannia glutinosa, sheng di huang)
Rehmannia is an herb that has long been used in traditional Asian medicine, and it continues to be used throughout Southeast Asia for treatment of tinnitus and hearing loss. Researchers reported in 2007, in the Archives of Medical Research, that free radicals played an important role in cellular damage that results in tinnitus. They found that use of oral antioxidants resulted in reduction of the noise level experienced by patients with tinnitus. A study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology reported that rehmannia was an effective antioxidant to protect against auditory cell damage, and another study, published in The American Journal of Chines Medicine, found specifically that extract of rehmannia increased antioxidant levels in the auditory cells.
If you are troubled by tinnitus, you are not alone. It’s a common problem, and there are solutions. Call our office today at 646-213-2321 for your consultation with Stephen Geller Katz, LCSW-R, one of NYC’s leading tinnitus treatment psychologists.