The buzz stops here

ear 300x150Tinnitus is the medical name for a fairly common problem (in one way or another, it affects about one in five people over the age of 55). Tinnitus refers to a constant singing, humming or buzzing noise in the ears that can be quite disturbing. Imagine having a fly in your ear for a day and you get the picture.

It is thought that tinnitus was at least partly responsible for Van Gogh’s suicide and it’s not hard to understand why.

Tinnitus is a symptom, not a disease. As such, it is caused by various underlying conditions. The commonest cause is exposure to loud noises, even for brief periods. And it doesn’t have to be a rock concert, either, or factory noise. Humble earphones can relay enough energy when played at too high volume to permanently damage the hearing.

There are many other causes of hearing damage, such as medication (aspirin and caffeine are common culprits) or disease (especially high fever or chronic infections). It appears as though hearing loss underlies most cases of tinnitus. In other words, tinnitus can be compared to the phantom pains that some amputees suffer from. The brain begins to imagine fake noises to replace the silence caused by hearing loss.

Since it is a “phantom sound”, tinnitus is very hard to treat successfully. How do you treat something that does not exist? You can eliminate some underlying causes, but what thereafter? Many dozens of treatments have been proposed and patented for tinnitus, but each one seems to work for a small percentage of tinnitus sufferers only.

A series of recent publications by a variety of European researchers gives fresh hope for tinnitus sufferers. In essence (cutting through the scientific clutter), tDCS (transcranial Direct Current Stimulation) seems to work very well in reducing tinnitus in a subset of sufferers (about one third of them). There is some speculation in the research literature WHY only certain sufferers benefit from tDCS, but the fact that stands unchallenged is that those who do benefit, benefit greatly.

In other words, one in three tinnitus sufferers can be helped using tDCS.

I immediately tested these research results in an unsuspecting family member (family members make great guinea pigs and they normally don’t sue you if things go horribly wrong). The results were astonishing, to say the least. My relative’s tinnitus was completely resolved within two treatments (= two days) and the benefit lasted for two or three days afterwards without further treatment.

I have now subtly requested that said (very happy) relative add me to his last will and testament. One has to strike the iron while it is hot.

So, if you (or a family member) want to try using your Elexoma for treating tinnitus, here’s what to do:

* Use programme 2.

* Use one set of MET leads, with the sticky gel pads.

* Treat at 200 uAmp max. If you go higher, you may get a headache without extra benefit.

* Place the BLACK electrode on the LEFT side of your forehead, just where your forehead meets your temple.

* Place the RED electrode on the RIGHT side of your forehead, just where the forehead meets your temple. * Treatment duration: 15 minutes. * Treat once daily.

* Note: If possible, check your blood pressure directly after treatment, just to ensure it remains stable. This is simply a precaution.

If you belong to the subset of tinnitus sufferers for whom electrotherapy works, you should experience benefit by your second treatment (Day 2). Continue daily for a week, where after you can use it every second or third day.

Wishing you a supercharged (buzz-less) day!

(Doc) Frank

Metal matters
Spring has sprung (a leak)