Are you Suffering from any of These Symptoms as a Result of Tinnitus? Free 15 Min Phone Consultation.

    Mild to severe anxiety
    Triggered fight or flight

  Negative thinking
  Crying spells

  Suicidal thoughts
  Ringing in the ears

    Do you feel your family and friends don’t understand?
    Are you growing more isolated?
    Do you feel like life will never be the same?
    Are you refraining from activities that you enjoy?
    Are you fearful of losing your job?
    Do you find that your thoughts tend to be negative?

If you answered yes to 3 or more of these questions or symptoms, then we can help.
You may be a candidate for Tinnitus Cognitive Retraining Therapy, or TCRT.  Stephen Geller Katz, LCSW-R, with over 20 years of clinical experience, a New York University graduate, developed Tinnitus Cognitive Retraining Therapy and founded Tinnitus Cognitive Center in response to the growing number of Tinnitus sufferers coming to his private practice. He discovered that by helping people to retrain and reinterpret the thoughts around their Tinnitus, anxiety and depression symptoms began to improve. But even more important so did the Tinnitus.

Call us at (646) 213-2321 for a FREE Phone consultation.

Blog posts are below:

Top Tinnitus treatment Introduction

Welcome to my blog!

My name is Stephen Geller Katz and I have and over the last 10 years I have developed a highly successful therapy for tinnitus which I have named Tinnitus Cognitive Retraining Therapy or TCRT.

Mission Statement

stephen-geller-katz-tinnitus-treatment-nycThis blog’s mission is to provide you with hope.  Maybe you have been told there is nothing you can do or that you just have to get used to it.

I am telling you right now that there is plenty you can do and you don’t have to just get used to it.

If you have found my site it was probably no accident.  You are definitely desperate to get some help for  this disturbing condition.  The good news is that there is hope.  My therapy has been successful in helping countless sufferers of tinnitus to lower the volume and intensity and as well as decrease the depression and anxiety that accompany and team up to actually feed the tinnitus.

Many people who come to me are desperate for hope and are even more stressed by the “doom and gloom” they encounter on the internet and from many of their doctors.  It’s this type of negative information that makes people feel helpless and even increases the tinnitus symptoms.

Case in point

Peter N. reported that he had low level tinnitus for several years which did not seem to bother him.  When he mentioned that he had ringing in the ear to a friend the response was:  “You must have tinnitus.”  “What’s that?” Peter inquired.  “Look it up on the internet,” his well-intentioned friend advised.  You can probably see where this is going.  Our friend Peter went home that very night and spent several hours on the internet and after one sleepless night, he became so worked up and anxious that the tinnitus level hit the roof and his real problems with tinnitus began.  After working with me a short time Peter began to make steady progress.  Early on in treatment he made important connections between his emotions and the tinnitus level.   He then concluded:  “It was my mind that got me here and it is my mind that is getting me out.”

We can help improve your Tinnitus symptoms.  Call us at 646-213-2321 today.


How does hearing work?

Best Tinnitus Treatment NYCThe mechanisms of hearing are complex and our understanding of them is continually evolving. Simplified, the ear translates air movements into nerve impulses sent to the brain. These impulses are then further processed based on things like location to the listener, volume and quality to determine what’s “important” and what can be ignored.

The acoustics of hearing

The intricate process of hearing begins with the ear canal and drum. That little opening in the side of your head has a surprisingly significant impact on how you hear. Like a subwoofer, the canal itself creates resonances which amplify or reduce specific frequencies. This is why even minor blockages can create problems with sound and speech recognition. Voice communications average around the 2000Hz range and the ear canal amplifies this peak. Changes in the shape of this acoustic chamber (as well as changes to the external ear) can alter the location of this peak, causing a distortion in sound.image

Figure 1: Amplification in the ear canal

(Musiek, Frank E., Jane A. Baran. The Auditory System: Anatomy, Physiology, and Clinical Correlates. Allyn & Bacon. March 2006. Page 46)

The anatomy of hearing

BestTinnitusTreatmentNYC2After air vibrations reach the eardrum, delicate bones transcribe them to the fluid-filled chambers of the inner ear. Similar to tapping the skin of a water balloon, the sound ripples through the perilymph to a second fluid-filled chamber containing endolymph where things get really interesting.

Bathed within the endolymphatic chamber are the hair cells. These marvels of evolution translate fluid vibrations into nerve impulses that get carried to the brain. These hair cells are evolutionally related to neurons, and function in much the same way. The vibration causes change in the intracellular (inside the cell) potassium and calcium levels, releasing neurotransmitters that stimulate electro-chemical impulses down the hearing nerves.

The psychoacoustics of hearing

BestTinnitusTreatmentNYC3These afferent (to the brain) nerves carry impulses through the brainstem to the “auditory belt” which decides which signals are important. The “important” signals continue on to the cortices of the brain and our conscious hearing while others – don’t. This is one reason we can locate sound and “tune-out” background noise like ignoring someone else’s conversation at a party. As a part of this process, the brain also sends impulses back to the ear (efferent impulses) which change how the hair cells respond to sound by physically changing their shape and how they respond to ions.

How does anatomy affect tinnitus?

BestTinnitusTreatmentNYC4Considering this elaborate chain of events, it’s easy to see how a hiccup at any point could create noise. It’s also why tinnitus can be so difficult to treat effectively. When an obvious link in the chain is disrupted, for example with acoustic neuroma, the targeting of treatment is relatively straightforward. When it’s more idiopathic (unknown) things become challenging. Research into both the hearing mechanisms and treatments for tinnitus continue. Every day new and amazing discoveries are made although it will be some time before the mysteries of the ear, hearing and balance fully unravel.

If you’re suffering from tinnitus, there is help. We offer the best staff in the New York area for treatment of tinnitus. Contact us for a free consultation!


Dietary deficiencies and tinnitus

According to the Mayo clinic, tinnitus affects as much as 10% of the population. The constant ringing and buzzing sound can be maddening, and research continues to search for causes and resolutions. Much study has gone into whether vitamins, minerals and other dietary issues can lead to tinnitus. While the jury is still out, there is a growing body of evidence that maintaining a healthy diet with a full complement of nutrients is beneficial.

Can deficiencies lead to tinnitus?BestTinnitusDoctorNYC1

A dietary deficiency is, by definition, when a specific nutrient is consistently low enough that it leads to a disease process. Rickets (caused by a deficiency in Vitamin D) and Scurvy (caused by a deficiency in Vitamin C) were prevented on old English sailing vessels by carrying barrels of citrus with them on long journeys (leading to the – perhaps less than complementary – nickname “Limeys”). Research has looked into nutrient levels as they relate to tinnitus and into supplementation as a solution to its frustrating symptoms.

BestTinnitusDoctorNYC2B12 and tinnitus

B12 deficiency and tinnitus has gotten a lot of press recently. A study published in the American Journal of Otolaryngololgy found a correlation between an existing deficiency in B12 and the tendency to develop hearing loss and tinnitus after exposure to loud noise. While the evidence for supplementation to improve tinnitus was not examined in this particular study, maintaining healthy levels of B12 may be helpful for avoiding the illness and preventing it from worsening.

Zinc and tinnitusBestTinnitusDoctorNYC3

Studies into zinc came to much the same conclusion as those of B12. Zinc is related to neurotransmission and is found in very high concentrations in the inner ear. The studies however have not been able to come to a consensus as to a relationship between zinc and tinnitus. Some studies have shown a strong correlation while others none at all. In these cases, it will take time to eliminate the factors leading to such strongly differing results. However, the trend in zinc studies so far is that (again) an existing deficiency in zinc may leave one susceptible to tinnitus (especially in the elderly) and supplementation in these cases may lead to improvement.

BestTinnitusDoctorNYC4Magnesium and tinnitus

There are few studies on magnesium as a treatment for tinnitus. Most of these were directed at magnesium administration immediately following an acoustic trauma (loud noise) or sudden sensorineural hearing loss (when the hearing goes away suddenly for no known reason). The goal was to investigate hearing loss prevention and the subsequent development of tinnitus.

Individuals supplemented immediately after an event that could cause hearing loss did show improvement. This implies magnesium may play a role in inner ear function; or at least in those healing processes of the ear after an acoustic trauma. Studies regarding magnesium as a treatment for existing tinnitus have not shown much benefit to date but research continues.

Should I supplement for my tinnitus

As with any idiopathic disorder, it’s unclear as to what effect nutrients play in its development and treatment. It’s clear that nutrient deficiencies play a role in the development of disease including tinnitus. Certainly, a healthier lifestyle including improved diet and exercise is always beneficial to those suffering chronic illness. It’s rare that supplementing is harmful and many doctors recommend daily supplementation for improved general health.


Are there foods that can relieve tinnitus?

                                                             TBestTinnitusDoctorNYC2innitus is a chronic condition of constant ringing in the ears. The cause is frequently unknown, which makes treatment a struggle to separate what works from what doesn’t. In cases where the medical cause is apparent – such as acoustic trauma, an inner ear disorder such as Meniere’s disease or infection – the treatment for tinnitus is the treatment of the disease. For idiopathic (unknown) tinnitus, lifestyle changes including exercise and diet are often effective.

Can what I eat cause tinnitus? BestTinnitusDoctorNYC3

Idiopathic means “unknown” and for most of us this also implies, “It could be anything!” – which is not entirely accurate. With the exception of autoimmune or allergic inner ear disorders (which do exist) the answer to “Can foods cause tinnitus?” is maybe…but it’s pretty unlikely.

Some research has shown that people clinically deficient in some nutrients (like B12 or Zinc) may be more prone to develop tinnitus when exposed to acoustic trauma. Hyperinsulemia and unhealthy fluctuations in blood glucose have also been implicated in some inner ear disorders which can result in tinnitus. Whether or not diet is the source, the good news is that what you eat may help improve your symptoms.

BestTinnitusDoctorNYC4How can my diet improve my tinnitus?

When tinnitus cannot be associated with a diagnosable disorder, the general recommendation leans toward improvement in overall health, especially inner ear health. In almost all circumstances, an improvement in one’s general health will have a positive effect on reducing symptoms.

One common suspect in idiopathic tinnitus is blood flow. The inner ear and the stria vascularis are big energy users; needing a constant heavy supply of oxygen and nutrients to generate ATP. Some suspect tinnitus results from restrictions to blood flow, whether from blockage or genetically small blood vessels. Anything that can improve blood flow may improve tinnitus.

How do I improve my blood flow?BestTinnitusDoctorNYC5

Many of the same dietary recommendations for cardiovascular disease are recommended for tinnitus. High blood triglycerides and cholesterol can lead to narrowed and hardened vessels. Reducing these to healthy levels can – at least in theory – lead to improvement of symptoms and a slow-down of disease progression.

Removing vasoconstrictors or foods that aggravate hypertension may help as well. Fewer caffeinated beverages, increasing essential fatty acids (EFAs), and supplements which have been shown to increase vasodilatation (such as Ginko Biloba and Niacin) may also have positive effects. Reductions in salt are a common recommendation for some illnesses such as Meniere’s disease, and may have benefits for peripheral blood flow as well.

Exercise is, of course, one of the best ways to improve blood flow throughout the body. It increases oxygenation to all tissues including the inner ear, creates a more flexible vasculature and an improved circulation overall. The hormones triggered by exercise have growth and healing effects for tissues that have been or are being damaged.

It’s always best to consult a doctor before embarking on any major lifestyle change involving diet or exercise. With your doctor’s guidance you can improve your diet and health, which will likely improve everything else including your tinnitus symptoms.BestTinnitusDoctorNYC1.jpeg

A paradigm shift in thinking creates new possibilities for tinnitus treatment

BestTinnitusDoctorNYC1Tinnitus affects more than 10% of the American population. A constant ringing in the ears, it can vary from little more than an irritation to a debilitating condition. Tinnitus is caused from a variety of problems ranging from hearing loss to injury, and has been the subject of extensive research into both its causes and potential treatments.

New research into tinnitus

Researchers at Berkeley recently published an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences offering insight and new hope into the phenomena that is hearing loss induced tinnitus. In their paper they claim tinnitus is the result of acoustic cortex neurons attempting to “fill in the gap” of missing sound. It is this attempt that results in tinnitus.

Over-excited neurons may lead to tinnitusBestTinnitusDoctorNYC2

Co-author Shaowen Bao and his team support the idea that neural cells of the auditory cortex strive to maintain a constant rate of firing regardless of the level of sound. The balance between this constant rate and the actual input from the inner ear is part of hearing homeostasis. In hearing loss induced tinnitus, the sound transcribing hair cells of the ear are destroyed and stop sending their signal to the brain. In the brain’s attempt to reconcile this loss the cortex neurons become hyperactive – creating the sensation of constant sound (tinnitus). Bao describes this phenomenon as similar to “phantom limb syndrome” where amputees continue to feel sensation from the missing limb. It’s this last observation that leads to the first of two exciting new possibilities for treatment.

BestTinnitusDoctorNYC3A new therapy for tinnitus?

Re-training the brain to ignore or otherwise minimize tinnitus is a long standing therapy. However, this new information has created a paradigm shift in the way hearing specialists view the process.

“We changed our [brain retraining] strategy from one where we completely avoided the tinnitus domain [of the cortex] to one where we directly engage it and try to re-differentiate or reactivate it; and we seem to be seeing improvement…” said Dr. Michael Merzenich, professor emeritus of otolaryngology at UCSF and chief scientific officer at Posit Science.

The idea is that the overactive neurons can be convinced to “calm down” by offering them input from alternative sources. This is similar to treatments for phantom limb syndrome where the brain is convinced to substitute different input (such as from a finger next to the missing finger) to correct its sensory gap.

Activating GABA may help tinnitusBestTinnitusDoctorNYC4

This new research has also opened the way for a second, pharmacological solution. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain which both excite and dampen neuron signaling. Serotonin and glutamate are well known excitatory neurotransmitters, with GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) being one of the common inhibitory neurotransmitters. In the brain, these inhibitory and excitatory actions are in constant debate. Signals from one source attempt to excite a neuron while contradictory signals dampen it. The analogy here is a balance scale, where sand is constantly being added and subtracted from both sides and the overall activity of the neuron being the weight at any given moment.

Bao’s experiments have shown that tinnitus is out of balance with GABA. “There are a lot of things we can do to change GABA functions, some of which could potentially alleviate tinnitus with fewer side effects.” He and his team have begun applying for research grants into way to modify GABA levels in the auditory cortex. Some of these include enhancing GABA receptor function in the auditory cortex, increasing GABA synthesis, and slowing re-uptake or enzymatic degradation of the neurotransmitter.

Stop letting the ringing of your ears distract you from life. Contact our New York specialists for help and answers.


Tinnitus, A Holistic Approach. Cognitive Retraining (Part II)

Over-the-counter supplements for the treatment of tinnitus?

BestTinnitusDoctorNYC1In recent years much discussion has surrounded micro-nutrients’ and the essential fatty acids’ role in reducing degenerative disease. Arguments can be made that foods with less processing and a more organic lifecycle may be richer in these. While the effect on chronic illness of the steroids, antibacterials and artificial feeds often found in factory farming is still unclear, choosing to avoid these can be a healthy precaution. Blood flow restriction and inflammation are common suspects in tinnitus and a number of vitamins and lifestyle recommendations address this. Avoiding vasoconstrictors (which make blood vessels contract) such as caffeine is common, as are supplements such as the bioflavinoids and ginko biloba which both have a vasodilating effect.

Free radicals and tinnitusBestTinnitusDoctorNYC3

Free radicals (reactive oxygen species or ROS) have also been implicated in damage to the sound producing hair cells of the inner ear, and use of radical scavengers such as Pycnogenol and other antioxidants may be beneficial. N-acetylcysteine has received quite a bit of attention for its protective capacity from sound induced hearing loss which can lead to tinnitus. Other anti-inflammatory nutrients under investigation include turmeric, ginger, dandelion, oregano, garlic and green tea.

Are vitamins helpful for tinnitus?

BestTinnitusDoctorNYC4In addition to the herbal supplements, vitamin deficiency may also potentially lead to tinnitus – with reduced B-vitamins being particularly suspect. B12 is critical for maintaining the nerve’s protective myelin sheath as well as for the production of Epinephrine, Creatine, Methylated Nucleotides and Phosphatidylcholine for cell walls. B12 is also a cog in the creation of Melatonin, which may improve tinnitus symptoms and provide better sleep. B6 is well known for its role in energy production, while the other B-vitamins are needed to assemble proteins and nucleic acids.

While vitamin supplementation is likely only valuable in cases of medically identifiable deficiencies, there is no evidence that an excess of B-vitamins have harmful effects and some argue the recommended levels may be too low. There is a rising body of research into the efficacy, and potential hazards, of supplementation for tinnitus. It’s important when beginning any regime of holistic medicine to do your research and investigate both the good and the bad. With this said, many non-traditional treatments are showing solid potential for relief of your ringing ears.

Tinnitus is not something you have to endure alone. Contact us, the top tinnitus treatment center in the New York area, for answers and treatment options to quiet the ringing.


Tinnitus, A Holistic Approach. Cognitive Retraining (Part I)

What causes tinnitus?

BestTinnutisDoctorNYC2Tinnitus affects as many as 10% of the U.S. population and there is little agreement as to its causes or treatments. As with most idiopathic nerve problems, the cause of one person’s tinnitus may differ completely from another’s. For this reason therapy plans are usually dictated by the underlying medical condition leading to tinnitus – whether from injury, an inner ear disorder or any of dozens of other pathologies.

What can be done about tinnitus?

When an underlying medical cause cannot be found the approach of improving general ear health is usually taken, although “healthy” can become an area of debate as different researchers come to different conclusions. Some of the suspected causes of tinnitus include blood flow disorders, inflammation, mechanical disruptions (such as in the neck, jaw or ear), chemical contact and prolonged exposure to noise. Treatments directed at each of these causes can be found in traditional and holistic medicine – the benefits of which are subjective to the sufferer.

Do holistic therapies for tinnitus work?BestTinnutisDoctorNYC3

There has been research into many supplements and non-traditional therapies for tinnitus, each showing varying levels of effectiveness. Some are anecdotal and others quite well supported. As an example (and to our great fortune) aspirin (salicylic acid) was discovered in the home remedy brews made from willow bark. Also fortunately, the benefits of blood-letting were found to be less effective.

Where do I start with my treatment of tinnitus?

As with all chronic illness, improving a person’s overall health is always recommended. Weight loss, a more nutritious and balanced diet, and exercise will reduce inflammation, increase blood flow and improve overall functioning of the whole body. This is always positive for anyone suffering from an idiopathic disorder.

Tinnitus is not something you have to endure alone. Contact us, the top tinnitus treatment center in the New York area, for answers and treatment options to quiet the ringing.


Vitamin B-12 and tinnitus NYC

What is Tinnitus

BestTinnitusReliefNYC1Tinnitus is a frustrating, chronic disorder that can – at times – make a person feel like they’re going mad. It can be related to a diagnosed medical condition or be completely idiopathic; and when the cause is unknown finding solutions is an exhausting process.

Nutrition and Tinnitus

Nutrition and dietary deficiencies can play a very real role in heath and the progression of disease. The herbal and vitamin market abounds with claims, both supported and anecdotal, for the benefits of supplementation. Vitamin B-12 has been getting a lot of press lately regarding tinnitus and it’s hard to make sense of all the new information.

What is a vitamin anyway?BestTinnitusReliefNYC4

It’s actually hard to define a “vitamin” as they’re classified by what they do in the body vs. their composition. They function as enzymatic co-factors; meaning they’re needed by an enzyme to do its job. Enzymes and their co-factors are not destroyed when they do their work, nor are they added to the final product, so they can be reused until they break down. Many vitamins incorporate a metal atom (cobalt in the case of B-12, A.K.A “cobalamin”). Some are water soluble while others are fat soluble. Some can be manufactured in the body, while others come only from food.

What is vitamin deficiency?

Vitamin deficiency is when the levels of available vitamin, as measured in the blood, are below a standard set by the medical and biochemistry community. Generally, these standards are based on the levels below which people begin to get sick. The recommended blood concentration of B-12 is between 200-900 pg/ml (picograms/milliliter). Being below this level for long-term can lead to symptoms including megaloblastic anemia and neurological symptoms like numbness in the hands and feet, gait disturbances (problems walking) and even changes to taste and vision.

One point of debate is whether the current markers for high and low are really sufficient for preventing disease. The aforementioned problems certainly arise when levels of B-12 are significantly low, for a long time. But some argue that more mild insufficiencies may contribute subtly to degenerative illnesses. Definitive answers on this are yet to come.

Why am I low in B-12?ringing ears treatment p01 b12

Vitamin deficiencies can arise from diet, metabolic problems or a failure to absorb a nutrient properly. B-12 can’t be manufactured by either plants or animals, and is actually formed by bacteria. It is stored in the foods we eat, and its absorption is a complex process.

The majority of dietary Cobalamin is found in meat, egg and fish products – and a diet low in these can make it difficult to keep B-12 levels normal. Vegans must pay special attention to ensure their diets have a full complement of nutrients including B-12. Cobalamin must be bound to protein during digestion, absorption and transportation through the blood. In the stomach, dietary B-12 is broken away from its ingested protein and re-bound to “R-binders” (A.K.A haptocorrins, A.K.A transcobalamin I).

These proteins carry it through to the small intestine where the haptocorrins are degraded and the B-12 binds to “intrinsic factor”. Pancreatic insufficiency or a high (basic) intestinal pH can lead to problems with this step. In the Ilium, intrinsic factor receptors bind the protein/B-12 complex and bring it into the enterocyte (intestinal absorptive cell) where B-12 then binds to transcobalamin II for transport through the blood. A transcobalamin II receptor is used by peripheral cells to take it from the bloodstream, with about 50% of B-12 ending up in the liver for storage.

A failure of any of these proteins or receptor complexes can result in a failure to absorb or transport B-12. It’s common for the production of intrinsic factor to diminish with age, which is why we hear so much about B-12 shots for the elderly.

Does B-12 Deficiency affect my tinnitus?

Whether a B-12 deficiency affects tinnitus is a question currently being studied. It is known that deficiencies in B-12 can cause neurological symptoms due to hypomethylation within the nervous system (resulting from an inability to recycle homocysteine to methionine and ultimately to S-adenosylmethionine). Neurological symptoms usually arise only after long-term, significant B-12 deficiency.

To date, there has been one formalized study showing that individuals already deficient in B-12 are more likely to suffer noise induced hearing loss with tinnitus after exposure to loud noise. While one study does not a scientific truth make, this is a good place to start the investigation. It should also be noted that the study did not address whether supplementing with B-12 is protective or restorative, or if deficient B-12 simply left the hearing more vulnerable. These are things that need to be researched.

BestTinnitusReliefNYC2What can I do about low B-12?

What to do about a B-12 deficiency depends on its cause. If your diet lacks cobalamin, improve the amount of B-12 rich foods you eat. If for some reason that’s not an option, vitamin pills are an effective alternative.

If the deficiency is an absorptive problem (which can be confirmed by your doctor), B-12 shots are a well recognized therapy. If the failure is with B-12 usage from the blood stream, there are lifestyle changes that can maximize the value of the vitamin that is being absorbed such as maintaining adequate cysteine in the diet.

It’s important to note that the liver stores enough B-12 to supply all the body’s need for 2 to 3 years. This is why symptoms of B-12 deficiency are slow to develop, and a single low blood test is not necessarily time to panic. While the journals report no evidence that taking excessive B-12 is hazardous, a person is concerned about B-12 should work with their doctor and a nutritional specialist to determine the concern, cause and the need to take action.

If you suffer from tinnitus, call our office today to schedule a consultation with the best tinnitus treatment center in NYC.


Blood sugar, diet and tinnitus NYC

Can Diet and Blood Sugar Affect Tinnitus?

Tinnitus affects an estimated 50,000 Americans and can be a very real source of frustration and stress in their lives. When a medical treatment cannot be found, many turn to holistic and other lifestyle changes to help control the ringing. Recent research has identified some of the potential relationships between tinnitus and diet.

BestTinnutisTreatmentNYC2You hear what you eat – tinnitus and diet

Many people have had the experience of ringing ears and dizziness when fasting for long periods of time. Because the inner ear (especially the stria vascularis) is so heavily energy dependent, the assumption is that any reductions in blood flow, oxygen or glucose can result in disturbances to homeostasis resulting in tinnitus. Research has been progressing on this subject and has been coming to some surprising and some not-so-surprising conclusions.

Hyperinsulinemia and the inner earBestTinnutisTreatmentNYC4

One of the most common findings was a correlation between hyperinsulinemia (chronically high blood insulin) and inner ear disorders. Metabolic disorders have long been suspect in diseases of the inner ear, and some recent studies indicate that high levels of insulin may have a strong correlating factor. Of course, this must be taken with a grain of salt.

First, causation has not yet been identified. There is speculation amongst investigators as to whether high insulin is a direct cause of disease processes or just an indicator. But none have come to a consensus yet. Some believe the real culprit is chronic high or low glucose levels with insulinemia either leading to the fluctuations or resulting from it. Others think insulin may be the cause and better blood insulin control will be an effective treatment. Research continues to determine exactly how insulin, glucose and inner ear function are related.

Second, the correlation between insulinemia and inner ear problems is most strongly indicated in metabolic disorders that affect both hearing (auditory) and balance (vestibular). In one study, up to 25% of participants with insulinemia were also diagnosed with Meniere’s disease. It’s difficult to say if insulinemia is related in the same way to hearing loss and tinnitus alone.

BestTinnutisTreatmentNYC3Does diet affect tinnitus

Pró-Fono Revista de Atualização Científica did a direct study on the relationship of diet to tinnitus symptoms. Their suspicion was that triglycerides and cholesterol, as well as glucose and insulin, may have an impact on tinnitus and hearing. Data was collected from self-reporting patients with tinnitus. Volunteers were placed on a diet plan tailored for them individually which was intended to reduce serum cholesterol, triglycerides and maintain more consistent glucose levels. The control group (also with tinnitus) maintained their normal diet while self-reporting. The study was not blind.

In the experimental group, 71.5% of subjects reported an improvement in symptoms. The study also reported a statistically significant number of patients taking the cholesterol drug Atorvastatin showed improvements in tinnitus, although not an improvement in overall hearing levels.

Will changing my diet help tinnitus?

What effect blood levels of glucose, insulin, triglycerides and cholesterol will have on tinnitus is still unknown, however there’s a rising body of evidence that they may have an effect on hearing and balance. The initial research indicates that having healthier serum levels may improve symptoms of tinnitus. Improving one’s diet will certainly have a positive effect on blood flow and energy which is always a positive in any chronic health condition.

If you suffer from tinnitus, call our office today to schedule a consultation with the best tinnitus treatment center in NYC.


Vagus nerve stimulation shows promise for tinnitus treatment NYC

What is Tinnitus

BestTinnitusTreatmentNYC1Tinnitus is an aggravating condition of unrelenting ringing in the ears. It affects an estimated 12 million people in the U.S., with as many as 2 million suffers finding it difficult to lead a normal life as a result of the noise. Researchers have been investigating the possibility that tinnitus may be related to a disparity in the brain’s processing of hearing and tactile (touch) nerve impulses. Treatments based on external stimulation of these nerves have shown promise for a return to silence.

What is the Vagus nerve?BestTinnitusTreatmentNYC2

The Vagus nerve (also known as the 10th cranial nerve) supplies parasympathetic information to and from the medulla. It communicates in one way or another with nearly every part of the neck, face and torso including portions of the Glossopharyngeal nerve (throat and swallowing) and the seventh facial nerve which carries impulses of facial sensation.

What is Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS)?

Vagus nerve stimulation has long been used for the treatment of epilepsy and depression, however new studies have shown that it may also reduce symptoms of tinnitus. In VNS, small electrical pulses are delivered to the Vagus nerve via a pulse generator implanted in the neck. During one study conducted by the University Hospital Antwerp, Belgium, tinnitus patients received two and a half hours of VNS every day for 20 days. The electrical stimulation was paired with audible tones that excluded the hearing frequencies where the tinnitus was active.

BestTinnitusTreatmentNYC3Four of the patients in the study experienced a clinically significant reduction in tinnitus by as much as 26 decibels. Three of these sufferers had a 44% reduction in the impact the illness was having on their daily lives. Dr. Sven Vanneste of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at UT Dallas was optimistic;

"VNS-tone therapy was expected to be safe because it requires less than 1 percent of the VNS approved by the FDA for the treatment of intractable epilepsy and depression. […] In all, four of the ten patients showed relevant decreases on tinnitus questionnaires and audiological measures. The observation that these improvements were stable for more than 2 months after the end of the 1-month therapy is encouraging."

What’s next for Vagus Nerve Stimulation and tinnitus?

The team is already working on a larger study where they hope to use more convenient implanted pulse generators so subjects need not come to the clinic for treatments. This study is one of many showing that nerve stimulation, when used in conjunction with cognitive and behavioral retraining, may be the golden ticket for new treatments to relieve the symptoms of tinnitus.

Do you suffer from ringing in your ears? Contact our trained team of professionals for help in finding some peace and quiet!


Tinnitus treatment: What causes tinnitus?

What causes tinnitus?

tinnitus treatment what causes tinnitus p01The causes of tinnitus are varied and often unknown. Sound is ultimately a neurological process stimulated by the mechanical movements in the middle and inner ear. By definition tinnitus is a false signal sent to the brain, and as with any complicated biological mechanism there are multiple points of failure that can create the phantom noise.

Hearing loss is often, but not always accompanied by tinnitus and in most cases the ringing is an independent issue caused by the factors that led to the hearing loss itself. While a single sound event has been known to cause tinnitus, it most commonly results from long-term exposure to loud noises, especially “impact sounds”.

Things such as the repetitive pounding of a jackhammer or constant hum of an engine create a sort of blunt trauma within the inner ear, damaging the delicate hair cells that transcribe sound waves into neural signals. It is not clear whether the resulting ringing comes from a malfunction of the hair cell itself, damage to the underlying nerve or both, but the results are the same; a constant, potentially maddening buzz.

tinnitus treatment what causes tinnitus p02The pathology of tinnitus can stem from any point in the hearing chain starting with the ear canal and ending centrally with the brain. The eardrum and bones of the middle ear translate the air vibrations into movements of the inner ear membranes. Problems such as infections, cholestomas (growths in the middle ear) and eustachian tube dysfunction can all lead to tinnitus. Otosclerosis for example is an illness affecting as many as 1% of the people in the United States. In otosclerosis, the bones of the middle ear grow over time to become misshapen and interfere with normal hearing function. It is estimated that as many as 60% of cases of otosclerosis are accompanied by tinnitus.

Illnesses of the inner like Meniere’s disease, perilymphatic fistula and infection often also result in tinnitus. In some cases it arises from interference of the mechanical movement of the inner ear, while in others it directly affects the hair cells or nerves. The nerves leading from the inner ear to the brain may also be directly influenced by things such as acoustic neuroma, a small benign tumor that presses against them. This interference leads to specific frequency of tinnitus that is often helpful in its diagnosis.

Less well understood causes of tinnitus may include blood supply and blood pressure, dysfunction of the brain’s hearing centers, allergy, diet and exogenous chemicals like drugs or alcohol. Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) have a long standing reputation for causing transient tinnitus, as do sedatives, anti-depressants, quinines and over 200 other medications.

Overall, the causes of tinnitus are broad. Research continues into both the reasons and treatments for tinnitus.

Tinnitus Cognitive Retraining Therapy supports the latest research pointing to the role of neuroplasticity in helping to lower tinnitus level and intensity. In other words, changing your thought patterns over time actually has the effect of rearranging neurons. This might seem surprising; however, this is the very same mechanism through which all learning occurs. And Tinnitus Cognitive Retraining Therapy harnesses your brain’s learning power by directing it to follow new adaptive pathways that in turn lead to significant relief from tinnitus symptoms over the course of treatment.

If you suffer from tinnitus call today for a free phone consultation to find the best tinnitus treatment that is right for you.

Tinnitus Cognitive Center

Stephen Geller Katz, LCSW-R
200 W 57th Street, Suite 506b
New York, NY 10019

Call today for a consultation