Tinnitus (Ear Ringing) Relief With Local Anesthetic
May 28, 2000
Severe tinnitus, or "ringing in the ear",
is a common but difficult-to-treat problem. Study results suggest that
injections of the local anesthetic lidocaine, both into the ear and intravenously,
may help the problem in most patients. These injections, repeated on three
consecutive days, resulted in partial or complete relief of tinnitus in
70% of patients.
The cause of tinnitus is unknown, but it is thought
to be due to disorders affecting tiny "hair" cells in the inner
ear, or affecting the nerve pathways between the inner ear and the brain.
Tinnitus can be associated with hearing loss. Patients with tinnitus deriving
from conditions involving disturbed hair cells such as Meniere's disease,
positional vertigo and aspirin intake, as well as those with hearing loss,
respond well to the lidocaine treatment regimen.
Meeting of American
Otological Society Orlando, Florida