Is That Ringing Sound … the one in my ears, or cash registers?

Every now and then I will buzz around the Web to see what the latest absurdities come ducking out of the quack pond. There are the inevitable villains that “cause” AD/HD or autism: mercury, food colourings, French fries … I shit thee not! Maybe it’s that theoretical autistic lack of imagination, because I never, never would have associated the consumption of French fries with Asperger’s. <Blogger falls of rocking chair laughing> I won’t give these fools the page hits by linking to them; it’s at autismfries dot com.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

Then there are the oddities in my life that make life less-than-thrilling, such as the tinnitus, hyperacussis, tics, and migraines. The personal testimonial story at tinnituscure dot org is probably one of the longest I have yet to read. They have a homeopathic remedy that “heals damaged nerve endings in the inner ear” and another one that will “actively stimulate the hypothalamus”. Gee, if they can restore damaged nerves, maybe my hubby will no longer need his hearing aids, and then I won’t have to listen to the occasional feedback squeal, either.

Apparently an “integrated” facial massage at Integrative Manual Therapy (centerimt dot com) will resolve hyperacussis “The body is always speaking volumes of information that provide incredible diagnostic tools. Integrative Diagnostics focuses on listening to that information. As a simple example each system in the body has its own unique circadian rhythm–a more subtle version of the way in which the vascular system presents a distinct heartbeat for diagnosis. Integrative Manual Therapy practitioners utilize advanced yet gentle palpation techniques to “listen” with their hands to all of these rhythms. In doing so they determine whether each system is in optimum flow or suffers anomalies and impediments.” How sweet. They also have classes available: “Health professionals come to CenterIMT to learn Integrative Manual Therapy from a wide variety of career backgrounds. Physical Therapists. Occupational Therapists. Doctors. Speech Therapists. Massage Therapists. Chiropractors. Athletic Trainers. Naturopaths. Homeopaths. Nurses. Dentists.” Don’t forget the books, and oh, green tea for sale, too.

(Oops, ADHD moment here – how long has this mug of Earl Grey been steeping?)

Moving right along, lessee… how about Tourette’s being caused by a “phlegm mist of the orifices”? (itmonline dot org) Ooh, this is treated with acupuncture and herbal mixtures, including scorpion. Fond as I am of arthropods, I’ll pass on that one. That reminds me, someone out there was researching Botox for tics – I could imagine someone taking that route for something like a cheek tic, but I’m not a neurologist, so I don’t understand the physiology of how it would help say, my shoulder-jerk tics or nose-tapping tics. (Then again, I don’t think that I’m dx’ed as full-fledge TS; the tics aren’t obnoxious enough. They can make singing along in the car more entertaining, though, especially after a long, tiring day at work.)

Speaking of music, apparently listening to a CD will cure migraines, “Like all our binaural beat recordings, simply slip on your stereo headphones and press the “Play” button on your CD player. The binaural beats will automatically begin affecting your brainwaves, and you’ll soon realize the benefit – no more headaches and a clear, fresh mind!” (binaural-beats dot com) Other CDs are available for balancing your chakra points, taking a power siesta, and more: “Brainwave entrainment is used in treatment of depression, low self-esteem, attention deficit disorder, drug and alcohol addiction and autism, to name a few.”

I’ll pass. When I want to sort out my brainwaves, I take a more traditional method: staring off into space and rocking. The tinnitus becomes less noticeable, the tics calm down, and sometimes I can damp the entrenched sort of migraine. Now there’s an approach to relaxation that merits some serious study.



  1. Sandy Whalley said,

    9 June 2007 at 20:56

    I am looking for a TRT centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. My tinnitus, OCD, Tourette’s and ADD are tolerable. However, my hyperacusis is extremely debilitating and causing me to become a recluse.

    The following sums up what I deal with everyday:
    “over-amplification of environmental sounds in the auditory pathways. Everyday sounds seem too loud, but other people aren’t complaining!!
    People with significant hyperacusis generally don’t tolerate any loud sounds, many moderate volume sounds, particularly if sudden and unexpected, and some soft sounds. High frequency sounds tend to be tolerated less well. This can have a major impact on their lives, limiting their horizons and creating high levels of anxiety. Explaining such an abnormal reaction to sound to other people, including at times health professionals, is difficult and people with decreased sound tolerance often feel misunderstood, isolated and accused of malingering.”

    If anyone can help me find a solution (without it costing me an arm and a leg …mmmm would even give up a limb to solve my problem!!) I would be most grateful….

    Many thanks

  2. qw88nb88 said,

    3 March 2007 at 14:28

    The problem with so many “biomedical” treatments is that they don’t pan out in repeated tests. Children do grow and develop, and it’s the nature of children with developmental delays to do so unevenly. People want to see progress, and it’s a natural cognitive bias to assign that development to whatever approach was being undertaken. That’s why we have double-blind research trials, so we don’t see what we expect or hope to see (even unconsciously).

    Autism is not caused by digestive problems. Nor is autism synonymous by digestive problems — saying so is simply conflating two different issues. Some few autistics do have digestive problems, and some also are nearsighted, but that doesn’t mean there’s any causality or common ætiology. It’s possible that particular kinds of fatty acid molecules improve general cognitive functioning for some autistics (or even in the population in general), in the manner that particular kinds of amphetamines improve general cognitive functioning for some people with AD/HD, but again, that doesn’t mean there is a causal relationship.

    There are a lot of things that seem initially hopeful in the treatment of many different kinds of problems. Then further research shows that works well for diseases or syndromes in lab animals doesn’t do so in humans, or that what worked slightly well for a few people doesn’t really show much difference in larger numbers of people. (Secretin is a good example of this.) You could say that research also shows developmental delays …

  3. Eric said,

    3 March 2007 at 11:29

    I hope I don’t make you fall of your rocking chair again…but…the theory that fatty acids is linked to autism does actually hold water. Alright, the crap about it being caused by french fries…nah. It does have a link to an inability to metabolise fatty acids though. There are charlatans quacking about in autism treatment, but thankfully (for my son), there are also gifted researchers offering profoundly good advice for bio-med supplement.

  4. qw88nb88 said,

    26 February 2007 at 13:10

    Even so, the plural of “anecdote” is not data. Besides, information is not “stored” in the brain in the form of brainwaves.

  5. Greg said,

    26 February 2007 at 4:22

    Look I have used these brainsync/entrainment cds a lot. They are remarkable and can heal many conditions. However the main problem initially for me was breaking through blockages. I had depression for a long time. Yeah I am qualified in two in demand fields and kept rationalising it as normal. I then got very sick and eventually went on Anti Depressants. best thing I could have done. All the brain cds started working. Six months alter I am off all meds and travelling and working. Hey do not knock brainwave entrainment until you know more about it. It makes sense does’nt it that everything is stored in the brain on one of the brainwave types, alpha etc.

  6. Jannalou said,

    11 July 2006 at 17:25

    I clean my ears every time I wash my face, and it doesn’t really help. At all.


  7. qw88nb88 said,

    6 July 2006 at 17:29

    I would hazard a guess that your right ear has gotten to the point of over-compensating for the typically clogged condition by “turning up” the acuity. Maybe regular cleaning would help resolve that, dunno. It could just as easily be correllative and not causitive.

    I just wish people wouldn’t holler at me when I’m having an APD moment and tell them that I’m having trouble understanding what they’re saying.


  8. Jannalou said,

    6 July 2006 at 0:06

    I remember when I finally had my hearing tested (I said something about this over at my blog a few days ago) and the audiologist was amazed because my right ear was off the charts (literally) for what I could hear. My left was also very sensitive, but closer to the normal range. I have a lot of wax buildup in my right ear – pretty much constantly – and it always feels like I have fluid in it. (That really sucks, trust me.) It’s been like this for 7 years (ever since I had an untreated ear infection in it – trust me, I know why babies cry); you’d think I’d be used to it, but I’m really not. Every once in a while I attempt to get a doctor to really look at it, but they just deal with (or merely comment on) the wax issue and leave it at that. *sigh*

    When the audiologist checked my hearing, she asked me if I heard ringing in my ears, and I said no. Later on (I forget if it was that night or the next) when I was lying in bed, the tinnitus came on strong, and I realised that actually I have a constant low-level ring in my ears and have had for as long as I can remember (so it’s not a result of the untreated ear infection, at least). I just never really notice it anymore because, well, it’s become background noise. ;)

    So I’m sure the tinnitus is a forever kind of thing, and my hearing has definitely been sensitive for a really long time as well, but the wax buildup and extreme sensitivity of my right ear is probably attributable to the ear infection. (My advice is to always go to the doctor when your ear starts to hurt!)

  9. qw88nb88 said,

    5 July 2006 at 18:08

    Shinga, if I recall correctly, TRT is a method to improve habituation, so the person does not so readily notice the tinnitus? I’m not in the UK; there might be someone in the Midwest who does this, but the neither the audiologists nor the ENTs in offices in different cities had a recommendation for one.

    My tinnitus is a 14-17 kiloHertz whine — it’s like an auditory memento of some obnoxious lab machinery I worked nearby for months. Mostly what I have done to deal with mine is to mask it with background music. After a few months I also made a cognitive adjustment by deciding that it was just going to be a part of life, and not to fret about it.

    Generally the tinnitus is not a big problem, although sometimes it gets kind of loud and thus adds more noise to my Auditory Processing Disorder. That’s not really background or foreground noise; “inground” maybe?

    As for the hyperacussis, it’s not disabling, although I nearly jump out of my seat when someone drops a glass at a restaurant (amazing how often that happens). I avoid very noisy places when I can. For my summer job I have the soft foam earplugs I wear when we take herds of children on bus trips to baseball stadiums and such. I can still hear every everything (including speech), but it’s at a tolerable level. Otherwise I don’t wear them, so I don’t end up accidentally training my ears/brain to overcompensate for the sound reduction from the earplugs, and then end up being more sensitive. I’m scheduled for an MRI tomorrow (doc’s worried about dizzy spells since I hit my head during a fall), and having had one of those before, know just how horribly loud they are, ugh!


  10. Shinga said,

    5 July 2006 at 7:01

    Andrea – What do you think of the Jastreboff and Hazell model and retraining protocol for tinnitus or hyperacusis? It’s very popular in the UK. I’m fortunate enough that the severity of tinnitus and hyperacusis has diminished for me, but I’ve been holding this clinic in reserve in case it worsens.

    Regards – Shinga

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