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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Ringing ears
Posted by: Ger
Date: February 23, 2001 2:32 PM

I have ringing ears. The continuous hiss started about 10 years ago, never stopped and steadily increases. My hearing is also decreasing. I have been to ear specialists a couple of times, but as soon as I tell them that I play in a blues band they seem to be preoccupied and tell me that my problems are due to damage caused by the loud music and they refuse to take into consideration that my mother (and late grandmother) have the same symptoms and never played in bands. The intensity doesn't vary much, although it seems to be less after yoga breath exercises and after playing with the band. It bothers me most when I am tired and/or stressed.

RE: Ringing ears
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: February 26, 2001 7:37 PM

Many cases of tinnitus improve with B12 and folic acid. It usually must be in the injectable form. No medical treatment is 100% effective or can be guaranteed to last forever, but this approach has the reputation of being long lasting and effective in about 50% of cases. By the way, when you play with the band, use ear plugs. The inner ear is just a bio-mechanical device and it is not indestructible. Think of a band concert as little men with big hammers smashing your ear drum for a few hours. Whatever familial tendency to tinnitus you may have will be made worse by such abuse of your tympanic membranes.

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