Intro

In my quest to put as many options out there as I can for therapies and help channels, I wanted to look at Hyperbaric oxygen therapy and if it can help you as a tinnitus sufferer. I think that before you read on, that you consider that any therapy that you may try won’t work unless the headspace is right and that you have and enjoy a good diet and lifestyle. In that, as I’ve written on numerous times before, smoking is one of those no no’s that will affect the success of therapies including this one.

Getting the body to heal itself

The theory of getting the body to heal itself is not new. It’s nice to think that this is something that we’re all capable of doing. In the case of tinnitus, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is one possible way to do this and it has a nice bit of science around it also!!

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy revolves around a chamber which provides 100% pure oxygen to be inhaled by the patient in pressurised conditions. The goal is to enhance the body’s ability to heal itself naturally and quickly.

Tinnitus therapy type

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

The science

Unfortunately, it’s not everyone who would ‘qualify’ based on tinnitus type or the length of time that the patient has had tinnitus. Treatment should start as soon as possible and ideally within the first 3 months. I’ve written also in the past on the importance of blood flow and the dissemination of key nutrients in this blood to this area. This therapy promotes increased blood flow and this reaches the cochlea.

Cochlea position

Location of Cochlea and tinnitus focused region.

However the following may mean that some people reading this may want to look further into it.

In all other 50 studies evaluated here with a total of 4, 109 patients suffering from idiopathic sudden hearing loss, acoustic trauma or noise-induced hearing loss and/or tinnitus, HBO therapy was administered as a secondary therapy, i.e. following unsuccessful conventional therapy. If the onset of affliction was more than 2 weeks but no longer than 6 weeks, one half of the cases showed a marked hearing gain (in at least 3 frequencies of more than 20 dB), one-third showed a moderate improvement (10-20 dB) and 13% showed no hearing improvement at all (fig. 2). 4% no longer experienced tinnitus, 81.3% observed an intensity decrease and 1.2% an intensity increase of their tinnitus condition. 13.5% remained unchanged (fig. 2). If HBO therapy was administered at a later stage, but still within 3 months following onset of affliction, 13% showed a definite improvement in hearing, 25% a moderate improvement and 62% no improvement at all. 7% no longer suffered from tinnitus, 44% reported an intensity decrease, a similar percentage noticed no change and 5% a temporary deterioration of their tinnitus condition. If the onset of affliction was longer than 3 months up to several years, no hearing improvement can be expected in the majority of patients (fig. 3); however, one third of the cases reported an intensity decrease of tinnitus, 60-62% reported no change and 4-7% noticed a temporary intensity increase (fig. 4). In conclusion, it may be deduced that HBO therapy is recommended and warranted in those patients with idiopathic sudden deafness, acoustic trauma or noise-induced hearing loss within 3 months after onset of disorder. Courtesy https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9547879

You may or may not have deafness (quite common as a link) along side tinnitus but this therapy seems to be good for those who may have both. Another study, this time in Germany seemed to pose similar positive results.

Evaluations of 7766 patients in 13 publications show reduction of molestation and intensity of Tinnitus by 50% in around 70% of the cases if treated within 3 months of the onset. Around 30% lose their Tinnitus completely. Chronic tinnitus with duration of more than 3 months or bilateral manifestation shows improvement rates of 50% and around 30% of the cases after ineffective conservative treatment. Courtesy http://www.oxygenunderpressure.com/acute-tinnitus-treated-w-hbot/

Another interesting one;

Six patients had a reduction of tinnitus and accompanying symptoms, eight patients did not notice any change and two patients experienced an adverse effect. Any outcome persisted with minor changes until one year after treatment. HBO may contribute to the treatment of severe tinnitus, but the negative effect on tinnitus should be weighed carefully. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10384896

Discomfort

Some users have recorded some discomfort whilst in the chamber i.e ears popping, feeling the pressurised air a little like in an aeroplane.

Cost

There seems to be a big disparity in terms of cost which differs from country to country. This seems to be related to the amount and number of chambers in the country so check out the hospitals in your city/country.

Some very interesting feedback from some people who’ve tried it out and ideas of price disparity.

https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy.211/page-2

I hope that this helped a little and may inform you of an option that you may not already have known about.

Regards,

Ciaran

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