by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A man wrote,
Three weeks ago I started taking Esomeprazole (40mg) 1 tablet daily in the morning before breakfast because of a case of stomach and gastric reflux sufferings. Everything was going well, but about four days ago I started to suffer from strange noises in my ears like bells—very sharp ringing sound. This makes it impossible to lead a normal life, and I can hardly sleep. Yesterday I decided to stop the drug and consult with my doctor. Please, I need your advice because I am concerned that my persistent tinnitus will not go away.
It is interesting that you are the second person in the past few days to tell me much the same thing about this side effect of taking Esomeprazole. A man on the other side of the world from you also took Esomeprazole for three weeks and then began experiencing tinnitus too.
And you two are not the first to report this either. I’d previously heard from another man with much the same story. Furthermore, officially, Esomeprazole causes tinnitus in somewhere around 1% of the people taking it.
Stopping taking the drug as soon as you realized that it was causing your tinnitus was a good first step. The sooner you do this, the greater the chances that your tinnitus will go away.
However, tinnitus doesn’t typically go away immediately after stopping a drug. It can take some days for the drug to get out of your system and your tinnitus to die down. As a rule of thumb, I tell people to give it at least two weeks before they start worrying whether their tinnitus will go away or not.
There are no guarantees that your tinnitus will ever go away—it may or may not. Hopefully it will go away. However, one of the best ways to help it go away is to completely and totally ignore your tinnitus by focusing your mind on other things.
If you worry over, and focus on, your tinnitus, it will just become even louder and more intrusive, and it won’t go away. So treat it as a “non-person”, as though it were a constant inconsequential sound such as a fridge motor running, or a fan, or traffic noise—and just ignore it. Hopefully, it will begin to fade into the background and finally you’ll realize its gone, or it will become very faint and you will only hear it when you really listen for it.
If you want to learn more about tinnitus and the things you can do to help bring it under your control, check out the book, When Your Ears Ring! Cope with Your Tinnitus—Here’s How.