Tinnitus Medical Treatment


The beginning

"When I started treating people who suffered from tinnitus, in 1981, at the Hadassah University Hospital (Jerusalem) my main therapeutic tool was hypnosis. Results were quite satisfactory for people with mild to moderate tinnitus (see research paper from 1990).The Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem

However, when the tinnitus was severe and prolonged, I found that using hypnosis was no more than a desperate attempt to extinguish a huge fire raging out of control with a glass of water.

First discovery

Since all my patients had already undergone comprehensive ENT evaluation, I decided to check whether additional factors, from other areas of medicine, can be related to the appearance of tinnitus.

My first discovery was vitamin B12 deficiency (see research paper from 1993). 

Turning point

One must remember that until then (and even today, unfortunately) the conventional therapeutic approach was primarily based on suggestive treatments designed to ease the suffering of the patient, without locating or treating the medical factors that caused the tinnitus.

Therefore, the discovery of B12 deficiency as a factor completely revolutionized my medical–therapeutic approach, and inspired me to carry out additional medical research that enabled me to develop my current method of treatment ..."

Zecharya Shemesh, MD

 

Tinnitus Facts

1. For most people, tinnitus is a cerebral-neural phenomenon, and the causes may be many and varied.

auditory fibers2. Treatable medical findings related to Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) can be found only in a small portion of sufferers (Examples: ear wax removal, treatment of ear infections, and surgical removal of a tumor in auditory nerve).

3. Most of the existing treatments are behavioral ,suggestive, or other psychological treatments. these treatments are meant to ease the suffering but not to heal the problem (examples: masking, biofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapy).

4. Although suggestive treatments can be effective in people with a mild to moderate condition, when it comes to severe or intolerable tinnitus these treatments are not effective.

Conclusion

The suffering of the tinnitus patient has a psychological aspect as well as a physiological aspect. Accordingly, beneficial medical treatment must address both aspects.

Frequently asked questions

What is the probability that my tinnitus will go away by itself?

When we tested Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers who complained of acute tinnitus that lasted about 1 month, (aged 18–30 years), after 6 months without any medical intervention whatsoever, 85% of them reported complete recovery.

My conclusion is that there is no need to panic. However, every individual is different, and it is impossible to predict what your personal prognosis is. Your age, your medical history, and the course of your aliment are not necessarily the same as those of the young Israeli soldiers that we tested.

I recommend that you rely on your intuition. If you feel that your medical condition is not getting better, waiting six months is not recommended.

What do you suggest I do, if I suspect that I suffer from Tinnitus?

plugged earThe first step you should take is to see an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist.

A thorough medical examination, followed by objective tests, is important to exclude other causes, such as cerumen (wax) in the external ear canal, infections, changes in ear structure, malfunction of the auditory nerve, abnormal function of the cochlea, etc.

Following a complete medical examination, the specialist will probably offer a treatment.

And if the specialist says that everything's normal? I'm still suffering!

There are patients who report that the interpretation of their examination by their physician was normal, their objective tests didn't find any pathology, but their condition is still severe and is even getting worse.

This is certainly not an easy situation, but it is important to know that the normal results should encourage you, since this means that there is no pathological change in the structure of your inner ear, brain, or eighth cranial nerve (auditory nerve). You should also realize that this is not the end of the process.

My recommendation at this point is to consult your specialist and ask him if there is any medical treatment that he can offer you.

What if the specialist has nothing to offer?

If your condition is severe and the treatments given by your ENT specialists were unhelpful, or if your specialist has no solution at all, it is the right time to contact me and find out what else can be done.



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The treatment

Why do I focus on patients with severe and constant tinnitus?

Follow up on soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) who came to my clinic during the first month of their tinnitus, showed that 85% of them recovered spontaneously within 6 months.

This means that most patients who started suffering only recently will recover with no medical intervention whatsoever.

How was the treatment method developed?

My unique medical treatment method was developed through a series of clinical studies that began in 1981 at The "Hadassah Ein-Kerem" University-Hospital in Jerusalem, and were later (1986) continued as a co-production with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

The first stage in my study was directed towards helping tinnitus sufferers who came to the Hadassah Hospital. The aim of the second stage was to help soldiers suffering from Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) and chronic tinnitus who did not respond to the conventional medical treatments.

In 1990, experts from Tel Aviv University joined as consultants to the research projects in the IDF (see - Clinical Research).

What is the aim of the current treatment plan?

The treatment plan is directed towards creating a normal metabolic environment around the nerve cells in thestem-cell auditory and vestibular systems. Such an environment enables the body's "Curative Mechanisms" to initiate regeneration in a case of mild damage to the neurons (Example of a Curative Mechanism - Stem Cell).

What is the treatment's medical rational?

Our body has the amazing ability to heal itself, without medical intervention. If this healing process doesn't occur, it means that the biological systems that execute this process didn't carry out their job properly.

The essence of the treatment I offer in my clinic is normalizing the metabolic environment which enables the body to repair its damaged systems.

Why is such a comprehensive medical investigation necessary?

The integrative treatment approach I apply is based on medical study performed in conjunction with the Institute for Noise Damage of the IDF. The results indicated that this is a multi-factorial disease.multi factorial disease

In other words, it is a disease associated with injury to one or more various body systems, many of which can be diagnosed by a thorough metabolic investigation.

Is every patient treated the same way?

Every sufferer of tinnitus is different. Each patient has a different medical history, a different symptom profile, and different findings in the medical evaluation. The individual treatment program is assembled based on all the above parameters.

How do you plan the course of treatment?

The treatment program is individual. After completing the first stage of the medical evaluation, I analyze all the data and discuss the meaning of the findings with my patient. The sufferer takes an active part in making decisions and forming the treatment plan.

What does the course of treatment include?

The main part of the treatment consists of collecting data and analyzing the relevant information from the Anamnesis (medical history) and the objective tests. Every patient has a different and unique medical profile that requires a thorough investigation on my part.

The first meeting is the most important session and takes 3 to 5 hours. The results of this intensive medical evaluation unified with the results of the objective tests enable the establishment of an appropriate treatment program. Later, these original data together with progress analysis are used for monitoring the progress and careful adjustment of the treatment plan for the individual patient.

As a physician who fights for the health of his patients, I know that it is important to reach the depth of every medical problem, whether we call it a disease, cluster of symptoms, discomfort or "just" stress, in any patient who sees help.

Why do such a comprehensive workup for "just" an "Ear Disease"?

Tinnitus is not a condition to solely to the field of Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT). It is a multi-system disease that can be linked to many areas. Many sufferers report a variety of ailments and symptoms, many of them unrelated to the ear, such as diminishing concentration and memory, fatigue, heart palpitations that cannot be explained as panic or heart disease, joint pain, and more.

I was pleased to hear in the last international annual conference of the Organization of TRI (Tinnitus Research Initiative) held in Stresa (Italy), that many researchers recognize that every case must relate to the patient as a whole and not focus solely on the ear.

Do you also address the emotional and psychological issue?

In my clinic, there is no such thing as an "interesting case of an ear". There is a "suffering person who's struggling against a severe and demanding disease". I have the utmost respect for these people.

I consider every complaint very important, and listen carefully to every word. I study the patient's medical history and do my best to investigate every problem from all possible aspects in order to find and provide the most effective medical management.

Do you practice Alternative Medicine?

In my clinic I do not use alternative medicine. I practice conventional medicine based on the most advanced western approach. The patient tells me his or her medical history, I reassess the medical documentation and objective tests, perform a complete physical examination of the relevant systems and refer to relevant tests. Alternative medicine is not part of the procedure.

Do you use Hypnotherapy?

There are some patients whom I teach how to apply auto-suggestion (self hypnosis). Most patients do not need it. In the past auto-suggestion was a main portion of tinnitus treatment. Today the practice of hypnosis is limited and used together with the current medical approach, Metabolic Intervention.

What are your success rates?

Many patients ask me "what is the chance that your treatment will be successful?" One needs to realize that in medicine there is no such thing as a 100% success rate, however, based on my experience, in the majority of cases it is possible to achieve a significant improvement and even a complete recovery.

After a preliminary discussion, which includes a series of clinical questions, I will able to evaluate the suitability of my medical approach to your medical condition. It is possible to receive this questionnaire via E-mail.

I have another question...

In this website you can find answers to many of the most common questions.

Based on my experience, the course of the disease and the associated symptoms may differ significantly from one sufferer to another. It is very normal for you to have many other questions regarding your unique medical condition.

I may not have answers for all your questions, but I will do my very best to help.



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