Dr. Peng: So we were asked to provide our thoughts about some of these tinnitus cures that we see online and we know that many of these won't be a definitive cure for tinnitus but there are a lot of videos out there that
could be of help and there are definitely some videos with a lot of positive feedback.
So we just wanted to check out a few of these. Let's play this one. Dr. House: He's doing this. Dr. Peng: And his hands are covering his ears there. Dr. House: I think he's massaging his neck. Dr. Peng: Yeah, I think that's part of it – I mean the posterior neck muscles. There's some thought that the posterior neck muscles as well as neck musculature and jaw muscles in general can affect tinnitus or in some cases make tinnitus worse in some cases make tinnitus better. Dr. House: Yeah, I found that in my experience that you know neck
tension shoulder tension anybody who has those kind of problems if you can relax those muscles many times the tinnitus won't necessarily go away but it can get better.
Dr. Peng: Yeah – Yeah, I think that could be that could be the case in these in these patients for whom uh this technique is working and that's not gonna be all patients of course but uh certainly some patients will have some benefit from this. Dr. Peng: So, this video is talking about uh pulling on the pinna which is, you know, the external ear, this part here, to help alleviate the tinnitus and she describes various techniques on you know what direction you can pull it and how hard to pull it.
Dr. House: Boy, I don't know it looks painful. Dr. Peng: It does a little bit, actually. I can see it helping I mean I think anything that alters perhaps a patient's sensation around that area can have some potential benefits to auditory sensation. You know, it could go along with the muscle tension thing that you're talking about because, you know, pulling on the pinna is certainly going to to a certain degree stretch the skin and the muscles in the surrounding area. Dr. House: Well I find patients even just like they just push on their masseter muscle here will get, you know, a change in their tinnitus So it's amazing the amount of central
feedback that goes on in the brain that can amplify the tinnitus or it can reduce the tinnitus.
Are these people selling these things or just Dr.
Peng: I'm not sure we should (laughs) This exercise does look very aggressive. I think you know along the same lines we're talking about muscle tension and neck tension I think it might be acceptable if it's in a supervised setting as it seems like this video is uh demonstrating. Dr. House: Well I think some people find just massage helps. But again, it's just trying to relax the muscles and they have some issues with their neck by reducing that it may help. Dr. Peng: Yeah and even just simple massage I mean it doesn't have to be – it doesn't have to be a fancy massage
even, you know, a very simple massages that you know either somebody who's close to you can do for you even that can be very effective.
Dr. House: Yeah and of course relaxation, it's the key. Dr. Peng: So this video talks about sound therapy for tinnitus. Sound therapy, I think, is a tried and true technique to help alleviate tinnitus. I would say that only a minority of my patients go through with, you know, investing the time and perhaps the money to to try sound therapy but there are definitely
many uh resources that are free of charge available and this video seems to talk
about some of those techniques and you know some of those sounds that can potentially help.
Dr. House: Again, you're putting in a sound from the external which helps helps to make you less
aware of the tinnitus but also with repeated exposures to this type of sound many times the patient's tinnitus tend to just kind of fades into the background so they no longer pay attention to it. Dr. Peng: Yeah so I think it's a combination of desensitization as well as simply masking. So listening to some other sound and taking one's mind off of the tinnitus. Dr. House: Masking is always important. It can be very helpful at night for people who have trouble sleeping when it's very quiet because the tinnitus becomes much more obvious Dr. Peng: So I think this is something that I would actually highly recommend patients at least Dr. House: Oh for Pete's sakes.
I hope you don't send your patients (laughs) I want to see you demonstrating
this to patients in the office Dr. Peng: I think it's possible. I mean I think going back to the thought that, you know, changing the sensation around that area can lead certain patients to get some relief, and maybe it won't work for other patients but
Dr. House: I mean well I think part of it is relaxation this is like a massage trying to relax the
muscles yeah Dr. Peng: And it's taking your mind off of everything else you're sort of focusing on just your motions. Yeah, there's a lot to that. There's so many factors that go into tinnitus and you know anxiety and stress is a huge thing and if there's anything that we can do to relax Dr. House: It's just muscle tension because he's like what he's doing is he's working in this area where you'd expect to see a tension headache You can reduce the tension. Now he's
stressing on the temporomandibular joint Here is the joint. Some patients with
temporomandibular joint issues will have tinnitus.
Dr. Peng: Yeah, absolutely, and trying
to massage that area may be helpful And again, over the temporal areas where where the tension builds up and back in the back of the neck in my experience anything you can do to relax muscles is a little helpful, but you know tinnitus is something that it may not go
away but we want to try to make it better that's why you know biofeedback – I'll mention that i don't know you – Dr. Peng: yeah, sure. Dr. House: That can be very helpful in the proper therapist's hands
uh teaching patients to relax certain muscles and uh stimulate blood flow and their neural feedback which is a brainwave alteration patients can be put into a state of relaxation which will help. Dr. Peng: Yeah I completely agree with that and there are a couple practitioners
in Los Angeles who are good at that and we send patients out their way.
I think the first is uh you know make sure you see a doctor and get your hearing checked out an audiologist
or an otologist or neurotologist like us and the second is that for the vast majority of tinnitus cases it's nothing to worry about it's not the sign that there's anything seriously wrong with the ears or the brain, it's something that the patient might need to work through,
but it's not the sign of anything bad Dr. House: The point is they need an evaluation because tinnitus
is a symptom so they here at the House Clinic of Los Angeles, we see quite a few tinnitus patients and we take a history do a physical examination have a complete audiometric evaluation
and sometimes additional tests are ordered if indicated so I think that's an important thing to keep in mind.
Hi, I'm Erin associate director of Education and Global Hearing Health here at the House Institute Foundation.
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