Monday, July 24, 2017

Tinnitus: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones

Years ago, I mentioned that people who suffer from subjective tinnitus and hyperacusis can benefit from using Bose noise cancelling headphones to prevent triggering a flare up at movie theaters. If any of my readers took my advice then by now you know that the ear cushions on the headphones crack and wear out over time.

You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars replacing the original headphones that you purchased. You can purchase replacement ear cushions at the following link:

Bose QuietComfort 15 ear cushion kit, Black

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tinnitus: Bluetooth Hearing Aids

Bluetooth hearing aids are also known as bineural hearing aids. They shall be referred to as such throughout this article. These hearing aids are different than the ones that where being used just a year or so ago. They are a major leap in technology. Bineural hearing aids interact with cellular phones using bluetooth technology. When I asked an audiologist about how these wireless hearing aids work she replied, "They talk to each other and to the cellphone. You can control the hearing aids from the cellphone."

Let's pause and really consider the implications: The hearing aid is sending a signal through the brain that reaches the other hearing aid and both in turn communicate with the cellphone. The problem lies in the fact that most of these hearing aids, if not all of them, are operating at 2.45GHz which is also known as 2450MHz.  This is the same frequency as your microwave oven. Therefore, neurological changes could occur as a result of using bineural hearing aids. In the past, in various studies on rats, monkeys, mice, and rabbits some ivy league scientists noted harmful brain responses to 2.45GHz.

I've personally tested some of these hearing aids using a plasma ball (similar to how the brain works). I placed one hearing aid on each side of the ball and I watched a blue plasma bridge form from one hearing aid to the other across the interior of the plasma ball. The bridge remained until one hearing aid was removed. Therefore, it is entirely feasible that the plasma bridge would cause neurons to tighten and for some neurons to die. In the worst case scenario, I suspect that lymphocyte cells would begin to attack the unrecognized neurons thinking they are foreign bodies in need of removal.

If you are using bineural hearing aids and you've noticed an increase in your tinnitus or other neurological abnormalities then you should consult your doctor immediately. While the physical damage may occur immediately, the symptoms of the damage may take years to present. When in doubt...opt out. Ask for the older hearing aids that do not "talk to each other". Ask for hearing aids that are not in the 2.45GHz range.

Starkey still makes some nonbineural hearing aids. Sadly, Resound is phasing out all nonbineural hearing aids. I like Resound. I wish they'd leave us all an option, especially since the World Health Organization has approved Electromagnetic Sensitivity as a genuine medical condition.

One of the greatest deceptions that I have ever seen is a (not-to-be-named) company stated that their bineural hearing aids are certified for use by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). By stating this they are giving their customers a false sense of safety. The FCC does not determine whether the product is biologically safe to use.

The FCC determines that the product does not interfere with other communications sources that are operating near or in that frequency range. In other words, the FCC is saying, "This will not interfere with aircraft, military, radio, or other communications systems. Therefore it is okay to sell." There is no regulating agency that oversees the biological safety of human beings in relation to wireless transmissions.

Take Charge:
As a customer, you have to make the call for yourself. You have to take charge of the management of your condition and protect yourself as you deem appropriate. Take a stand. You have a choice.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tinnitus: Emotive Reader

Most of the time I receive positive feedback from readers who are glad to have some straight answers. I realize that stating facts can cause people to respond emotionally. Tonight I received a very emotional demand from a reader for me to stop telling people that there is no cure for tinnitus.

I believe this reader to be well intended. The reader explained that, "There is a cure for every disease." Tinnitus is not a disease. Tinnitus is the result of damage to the auditory system. There are parts of the auditory system that are, at the present time, not able to be repaired or regenerate. There are two types of tinnitus, chronic (long-term, usually lasting more than six months to a year) and acute tinnitus (short-term, less than six months to a year).

Acute tinnitus typically will cure itself without any assistance from drugs. People who take drugs during the acute phase are likely to correlate the "cure" to the drug. What really happened is that the cilia cells that were matted down regained strength over time and naturally stood back up. Amputated cilia cells cannot regenerate and therefore cannot stand back up.

If someone losses an eyeball, we all know that no miracle cure will regenerate the eyeball. Why is it so hard for people to grasp that parts of the auditory system cannot regenerate? I believe that it is because tinnitus is a non-visible disability. Everyone can see when a person has no eyeball. No one can see that a tinnitus sufferer has lost cilia cells inside of the cochlea. It would be cruel to continually promote miracle cures for eyeball regeneration to a person who has lost an eyeball. It is equally cruel to do the same thing to a person with tinnitus.

I will continue to tell people the truth so that people suffering from tinnitus recognize the need to move forward with a real tinnitus management plan rather than emotionally hang on to false hopes of a cure that will leave them feeling emotionally and financially frustrated.

Stress can make tinnitus worse. The stress of spending a lot of money on products that do not work can cause subjective tinnitus to worsen. Family members and friends can help by not promoting every tinnitus cure that is advertised on TV and on the internet to their loved one who has tinnitus.

Most people like to see a joyful ending to a story. We like to see these joyful endings in movies. Sometimes (for people with a non-visible disability like tinnitus) the joyful ending comes by understanding the limitations and scope of the condition, accepting it, and then learning to appropriately manage the ongoing condition. We all want a cure. If there were a cure the American Tinnitus Association will likely be the first organization to announce it. Until then tinnitus sufferers should remain hopeful and focus on managing the condition. Tinnitus sufferers should always look for new ways to manage the condition.

We should focus on what we can do and not on what we can no longer do.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tinnitus: Information and Technology Update

Here is an update on current events in tinnitus information and technology:

ATA Article
This month the American Tinnitus Association published an article on Mapping the Brain. Fatima Husain, a neurologist at University of Illinois presents a map showing areas of the human brain that are involved in tinnitus. Three of the five pinpoints are in the mid-brain. That is important because it explains why mood can change quickly in response to tinnitus.

Link to article (once the magazine opens on your screen  right arrow click to page 18):

Novacure is a new brain tumor treatment. The company has had some great success. They have treated an olympic athlete and the man's brain tumor shrunk smaller and smaller until it vanished. Skeptical? Don't be. It makes perfect scientific sense.

Prior to the 1970s, human beings were born into the ideal electromagnetic environment, 7-10Hz, emanating from the Earth. Now human beings are born into an artificial electromagnetic environment that is 1 Tesla, which is 20,000 times beyond the Earth's natural electromagnetic source. In short, the human body is confused, because it does not know what planet it is on. Novacure may be recalibrating the brain back to the ideal electrical environment giving the human brain the ability to rid itself of abnormal brain matter and regenerating new nerves. This is not outside of the realm of scientific possibility.

The only concern that I would have with Novacure in relation to tinnitus is that the electrical source may be pulling negative ions from dental fillings like a circuit board up into the mid-brain. This could cause albumin to leak out of the mid-brain and cause tinnitus or even make existing tinnitus worse. On the other hand, Novacure (if operating in the ideal human electrical environment) may actually restore leaked albumin to its rightful place and possibly cure some tinnitus sufferers (the ones with brain damage and not cochlear damage or auditory nerve damage).

Link to Novacure video:

Univ. of Washington
Dr. Gerald Pollack, Physics Professor of the University of Washington, has been doing some great research on gel. Gerald noted that the cells in the human body are actually a gel which is a different state (or phase) of water than ice or tap water. The auditory nerve contains a high viscosity gel that acts like a coaxial cable to the brain. Dr. Pollack and I have been discussing the possibility that the auditory nerve may act like a pump when exposed to artificial electromagnetic field sources. He explained to me that the brain, auditory nerve, and even the cochlear cilia cells are all gel. In fact, to him our entire body is made up of various gels. He and I both agree that the human body is likely more sensate to electromagnetic fields than originally thought.

You can find and purchase Gerald Pollack's books:
Cells, Gels, and the Engines of Life
The Fourth Phase of Water

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tinnitus: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

I just read an article about how if everyone with tinnitus would just focus on other things, besides our tinnitus, we can rewire our own brain and cure our tinnitus through deep breathing exercises.

It would be nice if it were true. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been used successfully to relieve some tinnitus patients from feelings of despair and hopelessness that come with tinnitus grieving and flare ups. The treatment is helpful but it is not a cure. The treatment has to be practiced often to keep the negative emotions that come with tinnitus to a minimum.

People who claim that CBT cured tinnitus are likely people who have a depressive disorder. Naturally, if CBT works it will reduce the release of stress reactive serotonin associated with the disorder and reduce the tinnitus to a point that the brain can begin to ignore. There is no rewiring of the brain involved. It has to do with serotonin control.

There is a known grieving process over the idea of never having a quiet moment again. That grieving process can be shortened, for some people, by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and medication if necessary. Grieving can flare up with tinnitus flare ups. CBT helps tinnitus sufferers cope with the emotions associated with a flare up and recognize signs of grieving. Identifying the signs can help tinnitus sufferers to navigate the negative emotional waters until the flare up quiets down.

Wait, if CBT works for one tinnitus sufferer it should work for everyone with tinnitus...right? No. There is no treatment that works universally for everyone. There are various reasons why someone may have tinnitus such as cochlear cilia damage, mid-brain damage, traumatic brain injury, brain cancer, brain tumor, brain lesion, PTSD, Parkinson's disease, heat stroke, auditory nerve damage, Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, and serotonin syndrome for starters.

I believe that the threshold for whether CBT could work would be if the internal sound is below 85 decibels (with no brain damage). If the tinnitus is above 85 decibels, for long durations, I don't believe that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy would work. At that point the sound is nearly impossible to ignore without performance declination and or sleep deprivation. At that point anti-depressive and sleep medications may be necessary. Also, if there is physical damage to the pre-frontal cortex and the mid-brain (as in the case of a car accident survivor) the tinnitus patient may not be physically able to ignore the internal sound.

I also believe that it is cruel to try to convince a severe tinnitus sufferer (above the 85 decibels threshold) that he or she can cure the tinnitus through CBT. As I've often said, each of us has our own unique tinnitus. We may share the same types of internal noise but the underlying reason as to why we have tinnitus varies. This is why the treatment regimen for each tinnitus patient is so variable. No treatment works for everyone, yet.

I never discount a treatment. I never discount a testimonial. I encourage other tinnitus sufferers to try anything and everything that his or her individual treatment team recommends. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may be one of the many suggested treatments to try. If a treatment doesn't work then move on. Not every treatment recommendation is going to work. The goal is to manage the tinnitus.

One problem is that a treatment provider can become so fixated and convinced that a certain treatment, like CBT, works universally for everyone that he or she can cause stress for the patient who communicates that the treatment is not working.

No treatment provider, who is practicing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on tinnitus patients, really wants to hear that the treatment is not working. Some treatment providers may go so far as to insist that the treatment does work universally and that the patient needs to just try harder. That is like telling a patient with no eyes to just focus on something else, other than the blindness, and breath deeply and soon he or she will be able to see better.

No treatment provider should tell a tinnitus patient that has serotonin syndrome or pre-frontal cortex damage to try harder. The stress of failure to achieve the desired result of the treatment provider can cause excess serotonin to be released from the mid-brain of the patient which could cause a chain reaction of toxic dispersion throughout the patient's body which could lead to worsening of the underlying condition and even development of other multiple health conditions.

Providers and patients should accept when a treatment is not working and move on to something else. Accept what does not work and find out what does work for the individual patient.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tinnitus: Coping with Christmas

Christmas can be a joyous time of year spent with friends and family. It can also be very annoying for people who suffer from chronic severe subjective tinnitus and hyperacusis. It isn't your fault that Aunt Ethel talks in a high pitched voice that causes your tinnitus to flare up. But what can you do? You don't want to be rude and offend her by asking her to tone down her voice.

Christmas choirs, bells, music, crowd noise, delivery trucks, buses, kids crying in the mall, even the tearing open of wrapping paper can all annoy hyperacusis and tinnitus sufferers to the point of experiencing anxiety. We want to flee to a quieter area. Why? It isn't because we don't love Aunt Ethel, it is because the sound of her voice causes our ears to amplify her voice louder and above what is normal. The amplification can cause the tinnitus to flare up. It is the ear and the brain that is the problem not the relative.

You can avoid all of that. Purchase some high quality Bose noise cancellation headphones and you may be able to cancel the annoying part of Aunt Ethel's voice and yet still hear her. The headphones are pricey but well worth the price.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tinnitus: The Fourth Phase of Water

This post is for tinnitus researchers. After watching the linked videos of Dr. Pollack's research you may want to consider whether or not the auditory system contains EZ water (a.k.a. The Fourth Phase of Water).

If the auditory system does contain EZ water then it may be acting more like a water pump, during electromagnetic radiation overexposure, and less like an air vibration-to-sound translation system (which is the auditory system's normal function).

I rarely recommend products on this site. I have to know the product will benefit the readers. This is a book that I highly recommend. It costs around $30 which is less than a cup of coffee each day for a month. The book is a must read.

Link to Dr. Pollack's book: The Fourth Phase of Water

Dr. Pollack's videos:
Part I
Dr. Pollack, University of Washington

Part II