Editor: I’ve seen several alleged remedies for tinnitus, but have yet to hear from anyone for whom the remedies have worked. So I’m a bit skeptical about treating tinnitus with Botox, but I’ll try to keep an open mind. And I welcome any reports on successful or unsuccessful tinnitus treatment.
Now there is a new health reason to use Botox that may be a good way to hide your vanity use of the product that makes you look better. A preliminary new study says it can stop the ringing in your ears.
Botox is best known as a way to remove wrinkles in the skin. The new research indicates that Botox injections may ease the irritation of tinnitus, otherwise know as ringing in the ears. Researchers caution that more study is needed, but initial results are promising.
Tinnitus, or the presence of noises (ringing, whistling, hissing, roaring, booming) in the ears, is a common complaint affecting an estimated 10-20 percent of the general population. Chronic, persistent tinnitus can affect one’s ability to work, engage in social activities, and sleep. For some, the problem is much more harmful, affecting their mood with resulting mild to severe depression. Five percent of the general population are affected by tinnitus to a severity that it causes them to seek help.
The clinical causes of tinnitus have been explored in an effort to explain why this disorder affects individuals so differently, with some having only mild recognition of the symptom and others having true annoyance and more serious interference with their quality of life. Many experts now believe that tinnitus is affected by the autonomic nervous system.
Botox is well known as a remedy to skin wrinkles and frown lines, but many are not aware it is also used for more serious medical conditions, including strabismus, spasmodic altered voice production, failure of the voice muscles to relax, and cervical dystonia.
More recently, Botox has shown significant benefit through nonparalytic effects for problems including neuropathic pain and migraines. Specifically, in management of migraines, Botox is suspected to block not only acetylcholine, but inhibit release of other neurotransmitters and neuropeptides important in the autonomic pathway.
It was Botox’s proven benefit in disease processes via blockage of autonomic pathways, and that a significant aspect of tinnitus is believed to be effected via the autonomic pathway, that lead researchers to examine whether Botox could possibly impact the perception of tinnitus.
The authors of “Evaluation of Botox in Treatment of Tinnitus,” are Katrina R. Stidham MD with the California Ear Institute at San Ramon, Perry Solomon MD, Director-Bridges Medical Clinic-for Botox rx for Migraines and Hyperhydrosis, and Joseph B. Roberson MD, California Ear Institute and Let Them Hear Foundation, all from California.
Their findings [were] presented at the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, [which was] held September 19-22, 2004, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York City, NY.
Learn more about the specialty and otolaryngic disorders at the AAO-
HNS Internet web site, http://www.entnet.org.