Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘labyrinthine”

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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