When silence is golden
With an exponential exposure to noise in our current society,
the World Health Organization (WHO) is becoming alarmed by the growing number of people suffering from hearing disorders.
According to the last study the WHO carried out,
published in March 2021, 2.5 billion people (1 in 4) across the world will suffer from a hearing disorder by 2050.
What are tinnitus symptoms
Every illness requires medical attention. Only a doctor is qualified to diagnose. Thus, complementarity, openness, shared intelligence, offer better chances for healing than any isolated approach.
For Natacha Chetritt-Bonneyrat, tinnitus is the signal made by the auditory sphere to signal the existence of an answer to an emotional trauma which has progressively reinforced itself until becoming an unconscious and cumbersome habit.
As a preamble, the idea according to which tinnitus symptoms are the expression of an auditory system impacted by an irreversible lesion and that “you will need to live with it” or that “no solution exists” as often bombarded must be refuted.
The symptoms which affect the hyperacusis patient are varied without all of them necessarily manifesting at once in the same subject.
« Dead cells » theory is fortunately inaccurate, otherwise no one would ever be rid of tinnitus.
The symptoms which affect tinnitus patient are varied, without all of them necessarily manifesting at once in the same subject.
Here are the ones most commonly referred to, of a physical nature:
– From hearing discomfort to a sense of hearing loss
– Feeling as if in a fog
– Nausea and dizziness
– Chronic fatigue
– Muscular tensions in other areas of the head or the nape of the neck
– Sleep quality deterioration
– Concentration difficulties
– Obsessive disorder
Those belonging to emotional disorders:
– Loss of ‘joie de vivre’ (joy of life), “ life becomes dark, it loses meaning”
– Behavioral issues « solitude, withdrawing into oneself, physical and mental seclusion” often by fear of bothering
– Relationship hardships « the subject feels rejected, excluded, misunderstood by the medical profession and his/her close environment”
– Anxiety disorders and depressive state “the subject sees himself/herself without any solutions, a lonesome path that many qualify as a descent into hell”
– The person feels overwhelmed, submerged, with the inability to concentrate on anything else.
– Any effort requires a lot of energy, much like running a marathon
– Helplessness is the key word
– The person is exhausted from fighting; he/she is obsessed by an inner anger against this foreigner that has stolen silence away from him/her.
– The person is cut-off from his/her inner self and cannot think calmly and freely
– She isn’t free to hear and listen to those he/she cares about
– She is often obsessed about controlling this intruder
– She feels under-pressure like a ticking time-bomb ready to go off
– She has lost all control over everything
– She control nothing, and she feels even controlled
– Her preoccupations are the preoccupation of the others
– She usually forgets herself
– She gets the impression/feeling to be separated from herself
– She gets the feeling to not be/exist
– She gets the feeling to not be heard
– She doesn’t pay attention to herself and she has the feeling that nobody pay attention to her, despite all the things she does for others
– She searchs herself
– She tends to take for her at face value
– She has usually like a little bike in her headwith the necessity to put it off to stop cogitated or thought in a disorganized way
– She is practically always in action
– She is sensitive or even hypersensitive
– She pays attention to everything around her (Noise, images, smells…)
What attitude adopt with a patient suffering from tinnitus
The arrival of a tinnitus symptom is a matter of medical urgency and it is imperative to first consult ENT specialist services without delay. The pathological reasons might require immediate hospital care/treatment.
It is medically impossible, during the first apparition of tinnitus symptoms, to predict whether we are witnessing a temporary episode or a phenomenon that will set in lastingly to create what we will qualify as an “invalidating chronic pathology.”
We will stress the predominance in this day and age of very high sound levels and the scourge of traumas they create, affecting without distinction all generations.
It is therefore primordial for the subject suffering from tinnitus to avoid being exposed to high intensity level noises, whether they come from a professional activity or from a hobby.
It is advised to use noise-reducing plugs only if exposure to noises is unavoidable.
Besides having a good hearing hygiene, practicing a physical activity enables you to recover the full possession of your body and encourages stress release favorable to a better perception of tinnitus.
It will also be interesting to assess the impact that eating habits might have on tinnitus, specifically by checking whether removing quick-acting and synthetic sugars (cakes, chocolates, candies…) and alcoholic beverages or stimulants (tea, coffee, sodas, energizing drinks…) from eating habits improves symptoms.
It can be recommended to listen to background noises in order to cover tinnitus’ presence rather than staying in absolute silence.
Additionally, it should be noted that it is essential for tinnitus’ patients to maintain a good integrated social life and to stay mindful not to isolate themselves.
Important as well: it is imperative to inform your doctor that you are suffering from tinnitus so as to avoid, if possible, the prescription of any ototoxic medicine or other, which might provoke its frequency increase.
What treatments and solutions are there to heal tinnitus
As Doctor Bruno Pannetier underlines, “it is difficult to speak of drugs for tinnitus which is first of all a symptom. Yet, treating a symptom does not mean treating the reason. Indeed, it is possible to relieve the patient using drugs, but it does not mean that he/she is cured…I encourage you, if possible, to consider drugs to treat tinnitus’ consequences only as an aid: the rule being minimal prescription.”
We will quote Professor Bruno Frachet on his view on drugs as “temporary crutches”. (source France Acouphènes)
To traditional treatments, within which figure drugs such as vasodilators, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, antiepileptics, anxiolytics, we also find surgeries reserved only for operations on the acoustic neurinoma (auditory nerve cancer) or on reachable vascular anomalies and specifically on otospongiosis (middle ear).
The use of the hyperbaric chamber should also be taken into consideration, an immersive treatment in oxygen enriched air, a process whose efficiency has been demonstrated especially within the first hours following the appearance of tinnitus.
Associated to already-average hearing losses, especially on lower pitched sounds, hearing aids can be enough to get rid of the “tinnitus” signal through a concealing effect, this only when they are worn, and sometimes in rare cases, they can make it disappear completely.
Some subjects will turn towards natural and energy medicines such as: acupuncture, auriculotherapy, reflexology, osteopathy, homeopathy, hypnosis, phytotherapy, kinesiology, chiropractic, Tomatis method, whose benefits haven’t been assessed but nevertheless allow the subject to better comprehend his/her stress levels.
Hasty treatments or therapies can, at best, play a role in stress management, defocusing or even reducing the perception of the symptom, and only, in a few exceptions, make it disappear because it only attacks the visible part, the symptom or its consequences.
On the other hand, the ØREBLUE® therapeutic protocol developed by Natacha Chetritt-Bonneyrat acts on the cause, the “field” as Pasteur would say by using the symptom, because, as Carl G. Jung affirmed “illness holds the Gold you will never find elsewhere.”
Let’s use an iceberg comparison: the tip of the iceberg is the visible part which corresponds to the symptom warning you something is wrong. As to the submerged part, invisible but much wider, it represents the cause, the famous “field” according to Pasteur. Both parts are inextricably linked. Therefore, thanks to the “gold” of the disease, we find the root cause and the indissoluble bond that unites them.
It’s by taking into consideration the elements as a whole that Natacha Chetritt-Bonneyrat gets very high satisfaction rates in the reducing, even eradication of tinnitus symptoms, using the ØREBLUE® therapeutic treatment.
What is a tinnitus
The French word for tinnitus is ‘acouphène’ which comes from ancient Greek (Akouein “to hear” and Phainein “appear”). The English speakers refer to the word ‘tinnitus” of Latin origin, meaning “to ring” (noise).
Tinnitus is a clinical symptom indicating an abnormal stimulation of the auditory system characterized by a chronic sound perception, in the absence of any exterior sounds, that only the affected subjects perceives in an intrusive way.
Its presence can manifest independently unilaterally or bilaterally or be described as felt in the center of the head and heard continuously or intermittently on varying scales of intensity and frequency.
Furthermore, cases of patients suffering from multiple frequencies tinnitus on the same ear are frequent.
Tinnitus can assume different tones described as: a sheer whistle, the chirping of a cricket, of a cicada noise, or even the buzzing of a bee, the hissing of a pressure cooker, the swooshing of the wind, the roaring of a waterfall, the crashing of the waves, the buzzing of an electrical appliance, the ringing of bells…
It should be noted that tinnitus most commonly have a very low intensity, inferior to 10 dB, a fact which contrasts with the psychological impact that can sometimes be very important in some subjects.
Here is a definition of tinnitus received by Doctor Joël Waterkeun from one of his patients (France Acouphènes/special issue / state of play on tinnitus 2010/2011) which describes tinnitus in all its power very well.
Tinnitus is “a silent pain” hard to describe, to share, source of intense concentration from our brain, destabilizing, destructuring, with its flock of neurological, psychological and sometimes even psychiatric signs. Tinnitus causes severe psychological instability in some patients.
What type of tinnitus are there
We distinguish two types of tinnitus according to whether they can be detected by a doctor, using a stethoscope (Objective Tinnitus) or only heard by the subject (Subjective Tinnitus).
Objective Tinnitus are excessively rare and express either a vascular anomaly, we then refer to Pulsatile Tinnitus, or an abnormal contraction from the muscles of the ENT sphere or of structural defects of the inner ear. We then refer to Non-Pulsatile Tinnitus.
Objective Pulsatile Tinnitus
They are connected to the increase or the passage modification of blood flow in vessels located close to the ears, thus following the pulse and cardiac rhythm. They are also often increased by the practice of a physical activity, by head movements, or states of anxiety, and are perceived as murmurs or clinking sounds at regular intervals. They can be the result of arterial lesions, venous anomalies, arterial or intracranial hypertension, otospongiosis, or can originate from tumors, and must, consequently, result in extensive researches.
Objective Non-Pulsatile Tinnitus
Their origin is mecanical. We will consider the Patulous Eustachian tube and certain articular or muscle contractions.
Subjective tinnitus represents more than 95% of tinnitus and is a whole different set of complexity. Its origin can be located anywhere along the auditory path, from the external ear to the brain, the most common origin being the cochlea.
The origin is a functional disorder located along the auditory path which is interpreted by the central nervous system as a noise. It can be associated to an otological pathology or defined as idiopathic tinnitus in the absence of a diagnosed cause.
Tinnitus can occur at any age, nevertheless, certain studies show the prevailing of tinnitus’ first appearance concomitant with patients’ old age. Tinnitus is then closely tied to hearing loss due to old age (presbycusis).
However, there exists infantile tinnitus whose patients, under a note of normality, have never mentioned it and who attest of its presence only once adult.
What causes have been identified in the appearance of tinnitus
List of the most common causes of tinnitus apparence, drawn up by Professor Bruno Frachet.
|01 – Traumatismes sonores||19 – Boucles V/VIII|
|02 – Otospongiose||20 – Neurinome du VIII|
|03 – Catarrhe tubulaire, otite séreuse, labyrinthite||21 – Problèmes psychologiques en dehors de la dépression|
|04 – Suspicion de dysfonctionnement de l’ATM (articulation Temporo Mandibulaire)||22 – SAS (Syndrome Apnée du Sommeil)|
|05 – Traumatisme crânien||23 – Sténose du conduit externe, exostoses|
|06 – Surdité brusque||24 – Implication des muscles de l’oreille moyenne|
|07 – Anomalie relevant de la médecine interne||25 – Problèmes neurologiques complexes|
|08 – Mauvaise nouvelle, deuils||26 – Migraine|
|09 – Hypo ou hypertension artérielle||27 – Implication de l’aspirine|
|10 – Oreille interne||28 – En rapport avec le cycle hormonal|
|11 – Étiologie cervicale||29 – Souffle carotidien perçu|
|12 – Acouphène post-opératoire otologique||30 – RGO (Reflux Gastro-Œsophagien)|
|13 – Audition normale||31 – Rétraction tympanique|
|32 – Anesthésie générale|
|15 – Suspicion de fuite péri-lymphatique||33 – Anesthésie péridurale|
|15 bis – Problème LCR (Liquide Céphalo Rachidien)||34 – Thyroïde|
|16 – Ototoxicité||35 – Stress|
|17 – Pathologie identifiée de l’oreille moyenne||50 – …|
|18 – Acouphène en position couchée (sieste)||100 – La presbyacousie|
What are the consequences of tinnitus symptoms
The resentment towards tinnitus is extremely variable and subjective from one person to the next, whether it is perceived as a simple inconvenient to a permanently disabling intrusion affecting the quality of daily life.
In affected subjects, the distress induced by tinnitus shows a considerable alteration of the initial life plan understanding they had, which his/her the subject’s partner is often associated with, to which must be added the suspicion and anxiety when faced with a severe illness which will be verbalized by an obsessive questioning of the kind:
« Will I die from it? Do I have a tumor? Am I going to go crazy or deaf? Will this noise increase? »
Indeed, ignorance and incomprehension of the symptom at first, creates the most worrying hypotheses. This feeling is reinforced by the complexity tinnitus takes on and the difficulty for doctors, often stumped, to make a precise diagnosis which would, if not reassure, at least explain things.
Furthermore, the helplessness of some doctors in dealing with tinnitus leads still too often to an answer of the type “It’s not a big deal. We don’t know how it will evolve. There aren’t any treatments available anyways, so go home, you will need to learn to live with it” end of quote.
On the other hand, the extraordinary work carried out by some ENT specialist must be emphasized, multidisciplinary teams and groups searching without rest and informing on this undesirable intruder.
The fact remains that, for some tinnitus patients, already prone to a deep confusion, is added feelings of contempt or incredulity from their family, their friends, and sometimes even from doctors.
This confusion can then turn into resignation, the breaking point, leading the subject into depression. This correlation can also be found in the partner, due to the repercussions on the relationship.
Apart from the obvious changes created by tinnitus, on chores distribution in the household but also on socio-professional relationships, many other “pains”, often more insidious, are induced.
The lack of silence disrupts the subject’s biological equilibrium. Sleep quality is altered and repercussions on eating and psychological behaviors can also be noted. Concentration difficulties and a lower vitality progressively set in, making the tinnitus patient effectively more sensitive to emotions (anxiety, stress, depression, nervousness…)
Worn out and powerless in the face of this unsolvable situation, the tinnitus patient can then develop a low self-esteem and low self-confidence.