Measuring How Bad Tinnitus Is

When research to see who benefits from the therapy, we want to use a scale that have proven to work repeatedly for many others.  We call those scales “standardized.”

Most people are familiar with ratings like the one below, asking how bad it is.  This is good for all sorts of conditions.  It has the strength of being easy to understand, but the weakness of not being at all specific.

So, we move on to 2 others, the THI and THQ.

The THI, the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory, is likely the most widely used.  Here is a sample on the American Tinnitus Assoc website.  This is a 25-question scale that gives a total possible 100 points.  It is simple and specific to tinnitus.  Part of the questioning is about how much you suffer or how irritated the tinnitus makes you.  Those answers can depend on MANY factors other than than the loudness of the tinnitus.  So, it is good to combine this questionnaire with a VAS question about how loud it is.  But, either way, reducing the suffering,  irritation, or loudness of tinnitus is a good sign.

Finally, the THQ is the last commonly used scale.  The strength of this one is that it has 3 separate components:

Factor 1 – Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Tinnitus Effects:

Factor 2 – Tinnitus and Hearing:

Factor 3 – Outlook on tinnitus:

For that reason, this is my favorite.  The tricky part is that it requires for calculation — nothing too fancy, but harder for people to get an immediate feedback.

What do you think about these scales?  Which do you think serves you best?

What’s the Latest Tinnitus Technology – Trial Recruitment

The NIH (National Institute of Health) is the big, government-funded organization of the United States that provides money to get research done.

One of the newest ideas out there is to use stimulation of the vagus nerve (cranial nerve 10) at the same time as some other therapy to improve the results.  That is exactly  what is being proposed by one group.  See the details here: www.microtransponder.com/en-gb/tinnitus/physicians/clinical-experiences .

The good news:

  1. Overall, 56% of patients experienced 20% or greater change in their Tinnitus Handicap Index (THI) score.  That compares to our study of Tinnitus Synergy which showed the average of 100% of patient receiving 28% improvement, and the following year which showed 39% improvement in the THI scores. It’s hard to compares the 2 studies easily since the new study did not report the average. (They report the median, or mid-point between best and worst, after improvement)
  2. The study is continuing, but they are not accepting any new recruits:  clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01962558?term=tinnitus+vns&rank=1

The bad news:

  1. This new study uses a microtransponder…implanted and attached to your vagus nerve. And, it is not approved for sale yet in the US of Europe.   (See whole article on the implant…for epilepsy, but similar procedure.)
  2. The therapy is done for 2.5 hours per day for 12 weeks.

I hope you  find these updates helpful.

Keep the review requests coming, and I will try to add them to my upcoming posts.

How do I know what approach is right for me?

We get inquiries from around the world about how to reduce tinnitus.  Of course, most of you have seen our videos on:

– The most common cause of tinnitus:  https://youtu.be/a8KGvGBcSeU

– And our very popular video on how to evaluate for the simplest correction for tinnitus:  https://youtu.be/KLEZ2H1qeoM

It has come to our attention that some people are confused by the 3 options on our TinnitusSynergy.com website.  A common question is, “How do I know which one to choose — The Healthy Brain, the Trigger Point Therapy, or the Auditory Discrimination Training-synergy(ADT-s)?”

The simple answer is that you can to the entire program, Tinnitus Synergy, which includes all the approaches or you can try them one at a time.  Each takes about 30 days.

But, wouldn’t it be nice to know ahead of time which one is most important or if you need them all.  The science hasn’t reached the level where we can give a bullet-proof answer, but I wanted to know your opinion on some tools we are developing.

These new tools will each take less than 5 minutes to use.  Right now, we have a very accurate and very powerful (predictive) tool for the Healthy Brain program, Healthy Brain Scorebut it takes 30 minutes to complete.

It is called the Healthy Brain Score.

Honestly, it can’t get shorter and be VERY accurate, but the shorter version can be helpful to know if you should look further in that direction.  Just in case it is not apparent, even though I developed the Healthy Brain Program for dementia and Alzheimer’s, it addresses root solutions for tinnitus as well.

I will introduce the possibilities for the other tools in upcoming days or weeks.

Please hit “Reply” in your email, and let me know 2 things:

  1. Have you used the Healthy Brain Score that we have now?
  2. If we had another free assessment tool that works faster (3 instead of 30 minutes), would it be of MORE interest to you or those you may interact with that have tinnitus than the one we already have?

Have great day.

Are Supplements Good for Tinnitus?

I wanted to share the findings of new research with you.

The study is titled “Survey on the Effectiveness of Dietary Supplements to Treat Tinnitus.”  Anytime you analyze a study for useful information you need to consider how the study was done.  This one was a questionnaire on a website.  So, there was no control group and the results were simply the opinion of the person taking the supplement.  That makes the conclusion of this study VERY limited.  With that in mind, let’s see what the results were.

71% of the folks said that the supplements had no effect on their tinnitus.  That’s disappointing for them, but then, 19% said they thought it did help.  The concerning aspect is that 10 said they thought it made their tinitus worse.  Here are other details:

  • helpful for sleep: melatonin (effect size, d = 1.2) and lipoflavonoid (d = 0.5);
  • helpful for emotional reactions: melatonin (d = 0.6) and lipoflavonoid (d = 0.5);
  • helpful for hearing: Ginkgo biloba (d = 0.4);
  • and concentration Ginkgo biloba (d = 0.4)

You may not have heard of lipoflavinoid.  It is a specific vitamin combination, including C, a few B’s and bioflavinoids (which are other plant nutrients, including potentially thousands).  This combination will be in any QUALITY multivitamin.  Remember that the there is no quality 1-a-day multivitamin, since 99.5% of them use cheap ingredients — that’s how they get 100% of the RDA for the listed ingredients.  Quality multivitamins will usually have 2-4/day dosage.

Conclusion: Vitamins will help some people’s tinnitus, but not most people.  All vitamins should be added to a good diet, like the Mediterranean or the M.I.N.D. diet, which I recommend for brain and body health.

Have a great day.

Synergistic Approach Best for Brain — What’s your Score?

The journal article says it all:

A 2 year multi-domain intervention of diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk monitoring versus control to prevent cognitive decline in at-risk elderly people (FINGER): a randomised controlled trial.”  (Here’s the link for the actual study:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25771249)

Okay, so that is a bit of a mouthful, but the basically, they found that:

  • a Brain-Healthy Diet,
  • + Physical Exercise,
  • + Mental Exercise,
  • + being careful to regulate your blood sugar, blood pressure, and inflammation…all of which are handled primarily through,…well, a Brain-Healthy Diet and Physical exercise,

helps delay the onset of dementia.  This is showing that you can nourish the brain and perhaps prevent, and certainly delay, the onset of bad brain problems.

This is the information and one of the studies that we took to develop the Healthy Brain Program, which is Phase I of the Tinnitus Synergy program.  Use this link to check your Healthy Brain Score for free.

Tinnitus Sounds altered by Jaw, Head, or Neck Movement

This brief review came for an osteopath who helped resolve tinnitus for one person by burning the nerves of the upper neck.  Well, I suppose that could be a good solution, but I personally prefer the approach of Trigger Point Therapy massage to remove the irritating toxins (www.tinnitussynergy.com).

” A study by Rubinstein et al in 1990 found that

  • 30% of those with tinnitus can modify their symptoms using forceful movements of the jaw and pressure applied to the temporomandibular joint.
  • This is further supported by evidence found in a 2003 study by Levine et al which showed that about 80% of “non-clinical” subjects who had ongoing tinnitus at the time of testing could modulate their tinnitus with head and neck contractions and approximately 60% of those with no tinnitus at the time of testing could elicit a tinnitus-like auditory perception with contractions of the head and neck.
  • These results were also similar in the profoundly deaf patients in the study. This furthermore strengthens the tie between the somatosensory system and its influence on the auditory system.

Our patient was able to modulate the severity of his tinnitus with similar maneuvers” Resolution of Long Standing Tinnitus Following Radiofrequency Ablation of C2-C3 Medial Branches – A Case Report Karina Gritsenko, MD, William Caldwell, DO, Naum Shaparin, MD, Amaresh Vydyanathan, MD, MS, and Boleslav Kosharskyy, MD – 2014

Testimonial – Tamar Weil

When I discovered I was having a problem the doctors informed me it is for life.  At that time the loudness of the humming in my ear was so high I could not sleep at night. Thanks to  the patient  guidance of Dr. Jay Hobbs my condition has improved considerably.  

The overseas treatment I received continued thru time of war here in Israel, a stressful time by all means.  The loudness got worse.  Still on the program, I proceeded with the plan and it helped and lessened  the intensity.

Dr. Hobbs answered every email I sent within hours, always with a good word which makes me calmer.  I’m very thankful to all you have done for me.

I’m looking forward to continue the next level.  I’m sure I can get even better thanks to Dr. Hobbs

Tamar Weil, Israel  Weil, Tamar Tinnitus testimonial

Testimonial – Mark S

I wanted to let you know that after participating in this study I have had noticeable relief and my tinnitus is less bothersome.  I am very encouraged and I strongly recommend that anyone who is suffering with tinnitus participate.  I would very much like the opportunity to continue with the training.  If anyone would like to discuss this experience with me I would be happy to share my thoughts.  Thank you.

Best regards,
Mark Shumow

Testimonial – Eileen L

I have been utilizing the Tinnitus Synergy Program that Dr. Hobbs offered for over a year now. It has made such a difference in the loudness and severity of my tinnitus.

When I began the program I was very suspicious that this would work, listening to the various tones and trying to Testimonial - Eileem Lostetteridentify them, but after a few weeks I started noticing a difference in the loudness and I was surprised that when I would get an attack, it wouldn’t last for days anymore, just a few hours. Dr. Hobbs has been such an inspiration and a miracle in my life.

He then introduced me to listening to the animal sounds with the hidden tones. This was so much more enjoyable and I loved the ease of use of the program.

Now I am on maintenance and doing nicely. This was such a life saver and it is just unbelievably improving my problem. Sometimes I don’t hear any hissing or humming. If I listen closely I can hear some but nothing like it used to be.

Once in a while I will get a bad attack, and I go right on the computer and do a full lesson and the next day, bingo, it lets up. I just am so blessed to come to meet Dr. Hobbs. Thank you so much for your hard work and research. You are a blessing!

– Eileen Lostetter