Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘acouphenes

Deadly harmful and useless:  Warning Alarm on Oxygen machines…

There are these supposedly oxygen machines that inject 2% more oxygen for people with lung deficiencies. Actually, it is not the lack of oxygen that is the main problem, but the incapacity of exhaling the toxic gases as accumulated CO2 and CO… The membrane is so thick that the gases do not seep through properly and easily… Thus, this gizmo of three balls to enhance the exhalation… Indeed the 3-ball toy is the best remedy to keep the lungs functional

These machines are not the ones that come with the tall oxygen bonbon for welding… It’s sort of a redesigned hookah inserted in a big gray box with plenty of bells and whistles. Instead of inhaling by the mouth, you inhale through two tiny tubes in each nose. Kind of humidified air with a small extra supply of CO2.

I have this strong impression that the machine is a huge fraud, more like a psychological boost that additional oxygen is entering the lungs.

The worst part in the machine that we rent for $75 per month is that it has a warning alarm when the power is out. Unless you shut off the machine, there is no way to stop or control the timing of the duration of the loud warning horrible noise. I started hearing noises inside my head.

Every night, at 4 or 5 am, the alarm goes off. Everybody is sound asleep and dreaming. Dad wouldn’t extend his arm to turn off the machine, and mother didn’t learn how to turn it off.

I am hearing warning alarm in my dream, and it takes a while before I realize that it is a fact. I slowly and reluctantly grab the battery powered light and descend very slowly the stairs, holding on the rail to switch the interrupter to the proper provider. And feeling lucky if one of them providers is working.

Otherwise, the alarm will go on indefinitely. A few times a I faked I didn’t hear the alarm and the problem was resolved by dreaming even harder of a better life.

In Lebanon, we still rely on private power providers to supplement the public utility, and I have to descend one flight of stairs to switch the interrupter to either provider.

Last night, after switching the interrupter, I tried to go back to bed and resume my dream, but the buzzing within my head  was noticeably louder than usual. The inside noise seemed stronger in the right ear side. I closed my ear, but it didn’t work. I closed the left ear, and it didn’t work. I tuned to my sides, hoping the pillow is a better alternative for outrageous noises. The pillow failed me.

Sleeping is now out of the question. I got up and tried to watch TV. I figured other kinds of sounds will override or cancel out what I hear within. It didn’t work.

I prepared coffee and had a smoke on the balcony. The birds are not chirping, not yet. The inside noise or acouphenes (medical prognosis term) is still in the “alarming” mode.

Three hours later and the buzzing didn’t vanish. If I attend to it during the day, I can mildly hear it, but it is there.

I think that I heard the inside sound a couple of days ago, but I must have falling back to sleep right away.

The worst part is that everytime dad switch on and off the machine, it emanates the same noise for three seconds, enough duration to excite my memory and drive me crazy.

I am worrying that acouphenes might set in.

I am not a musician, never listened to loud music and songs, don’t live near an airport or a train rail (Lebanon used to have trains in the 20’s, linking Beirut to Tripoli, to Saida, Tyr, Haifa…)

So what are the alternatives?

1. Throw the machine out the window

2. Learn sign language to communicate? Since it takes two to tango, and my elder parents are not willing to learn anything new, particularly a language that require flexibility in the fingers, arms and shoulders… a condition not welcomed in arthritics conditions…

3. Show mother how to turn off the machine

4. Warn dad to make the effort of stretching his arm and turn off the machine, otherwise…

5. Jump off the balcony…

You might suggest to check with an expert physician for ear ailments:

1. I have no health insurance

2. I have no money and transport facilities

3. I have written a post that demonstrates that there are no effective cure for acouphenes, and all the money and effort will go down the drain…

You might figure out a definitive solution: 24 hours a day power supply, like in developed States and most developing States. Again, this is Lebanon. The minister of energy and water has promised that the 24 hours thing will become a reality in 2016. Should I believe the minister? Should I eagerly look for 2016?

1. We have been flooded with thousands of promises since our independence in 1946, as the UN officially recognized us as such in the San Francisco conference…

2. Dad has no longer any need for this machine

3. I go completely deaf, and I wouldn’t care

4. I confront all the ministers and the political system for serious damages done to me and the citizens…

5. Throw myself off a cliff. Since there are no nearby cliff, most probably I’ll go up the roof, take off my parachute, remove my helmet, and enjoy the dive in the void…

PS: I’d rather learn to dive in water, but it hurts my ears, and I land on my back…

Note 1: A solution is to purchase a 10 ampere from the private provider instead of the 5 amperes that only lights a few bulbs and the TV set. Although what we might effectively get is 7 amperes, at least it will support an automatic interrupter. This worthy resolution is worth $150 per month, an amount that I cannot afford.

I must find a job. Better, win the lotto. First thing first: Purchase the lotto ticket.

I am hopeful and positive about the future.

Note 2:

Recklessly abused your ears: And suffering from “Acouphenes”?

What they share? Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend (the Who guitarist), Barbara Streisand…all suffer greatly from hearing noises, an irreversible hearing ailment called “Acouphenes” in French.

All these musicians and singers attended countless extremely loud concerts, as loud as jet taking-off at 130 dB, and they spent at least 10,000 hours in practice sessions wearing directly loud earphone-kinds over their ears, and ruined their ear physiology…

At least, these famous musicians made plenty of money in returns for “hearing noises”, but why most youth are engaged in ruining their hearing, listening to loud music, full volume, via their MP3-type earphones, for hours on?

Acouphenes has becoming an epidemic in the last 3 decades, and increasing exponentially. A patient started hearing voices after a visit to his dentist. The metal mixture of his tooth filling played the role of radio antenna

Maybe there are other  “antenna culprit” in a few of these noise hearing cases that physicians never had taken seriously or occurred to their one-dimensional minds, but hearing noises is a debilitating phenomena that drive people mad, and eventually to committing suicide…

Any cures for hearing noises?

If your acouphenes syndrome is recent, there is a new treatment.  Acouphenes is the symptom of permanently hearing background noises or repeated beats that may drive patients crazy.  The majority of patients hear high frequency noises that become intolerable.

Getting old is one major factor, or a sudden loud bang, or recently the constant listening to the MP3 type gadgets.  It is known that high dozes of aspirin induce temporary symptoms of acouphene:  It is due to the active component salicylic.

The new treatment for recent patients is a first breakthrough in reducing or eliminating background noises for three weeks. A micro-pump is being readied to allow the patient at home to inject the solution when noises reappears.  The solution of gacyclidine is administered to the proximity of the “round window” in the inner ear; then the solution leaks in to the junction of the cochlea and then to the auditory nerve.

A catheter pierces the tympani membrane and then reaches to the “round window”.  A few surgeons actually pierced the “round window” with very thin needles.

Gacyclidine is generally used on patients suffering cerebral trauma; this substance has neuro-protective properties that blocks nerve dysfunctions.

For “ancient” acouphenes patients, electro-magnetic treatments are being tested to stimulate the auditory brain through a process of “re-organization”.  The patient listens to recorded specific sounds for about 6 months.

Refrain from loud close ear direct listening of music, and give your ears frequent breaks.  You don’t need to be listening to music all the time; remedy this music addiction behavior to ward off crazy noises.

Note: For further description of the symptoms and the other treatments link to my previous post Hearing Voices

Are you hearing voices? (September 24, 2009)


            “It hit me by surprise ten years ago. I woke up with a huge racket in my head and permanent whistling. Those background noises didn’t vanish; I wake up and sleep with voices and noises in my head as if I was renting beneath a terribly noisy neighbors. I visited all kinds of physicians but they were helpless since they had no idea about these symptoms; all that they said “You need to find ways to live with; there is nothing we can do to relieve your case.” It is always depressing when physicians say that they are helpless after lengthy consultations.  It dawned on me that my physicians are not treating the causes but are trying to manage the consequences; they fear that I might behave like fools, become a nutcase, or worse a serial killer. What I really miss is my right for silence when I need it; I miss hearing nature’s cacophonies and birds singing.  I am being told that progress in that field is on the way and that I need to be patient two more years” testified one of those ” acouphenes ” from the Greek roots “akourin” (hearing) and “phai nestai” (appear to).

            Are you hearing a mower running while everyone is napping quietly? Has Archangel Gabriel visited you and is ordering you around? Those suffering of acouphenes call these loud background noises “ghost noises”. Physicians are not agreed on the main causes for these symptoms and the patients have to wait two more years for experiments to confirm the causes and the appropriate treatments.

            Have you saved $5,000 with no chance for re-imbursement? Then, you might check in a health institution in Marseille (France) for a thorough check up where half a dozen of various specialized physicians will ponder on the results, including psychologists and psychoanalysts.  This research institute is called “Institue Mediterraneen de recherche et de traitment des acouphenes”.  You check in before dawn; four more acouphene patients are of the group; the nurses take blood samples (just to pile up the account), then the patients chat in the presence of a “specialist” and share experiences of their ailments and troubles. In the next 4 hours the patients undergo a dozen tests such as audited evoked potentials, audiogram, then an acoustic oto-emissions, electrocardiogram, echo Doppler of the carotids, radiographies of the head and the neck, then MRI of a few parts of the body and on.  Next the patients are interviewed by an osteopath (for jaws anomalies), a psychiatrist (for psychic balance). Finally two physicians evaluate the results and suggest treatments.          

            What kinds of treatments are offered? It spans the gamut from removing excess wax, to hearing prosthesis or anything to compensate for loss of hearing. One of the treatments is to tone down or reduce the level or frequency of noises instances; the loss of hearing is stimulated by listening to a CD within the deficient audition frequency so that the audition brain has time to re-organize and be ready to capture the appropriate frequency level.

            The second treatment is to normalize the influx of glutamate (transmitter of signals from the cilia in the cochlea to the brain nerves).

             The third treatment is to appease the brain with magnetic induction so that to interfere with aberrant cortical activities. The patient wears a magnetic helmet that targets the auditory brain; acute depressive patients or suffering from chronic hallucinatory pains are also treated with magnetic fields.

            The fourth treatment is used in the USA since 1960 and enjoying acceptance in Europe.  It is called the neuro-feedback technique and intended to re-organize the auditory brain. The electro-encephalogram machine registers the cerebral activity; then the patient views the activity chart and modifies the tracing using a cursor up or down. It is one of the psychophysical techniques where the subject equilibrates the external signal to his perceived senses. Still, I have no idea how this can treat the patient except by assuming that the brain will undergo a better re-organization by two ways interactions.

            The fifth treatment is the radical cochlear implant that sends signals to electrically stimulate the brain and decrease the acouphenes. Electrodes are planted in the head by the auditory brain and linked to box under the skin. 

Whatever are the causes it all boils down to hearing loss in addition to whatever troubles and discomforts you may be suffering.  You may link to my latest post on the most current treatment

          Note: There is increased rate of cases of dizziness symptoms; people over 50 are debilitated by cases named “labyrinthine” that affect the fluid in the inner ear.  Either the fluid is infected with an accumulation of crystals or dirt that hampers its normal flow in the cochlea or the cilia in the cochlea have degraded by hardening or deterioration. Patients suffer for a week and are treated to dizziness pills until the infection goes away; the symptom recurs within 6 months and there are no cures for the causes.




June 2023

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