by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A woman asked:
I saw this in a catalog. Anybody hear of it? The ad reads:
“Bio-Ear $16.95. Stop the ringing in your ears. End that constant hum that’s driving you up a wall. Bio-Ear nourishes nerve endings in the ear, providing natural relief for symptoms caused by tinnitus. Regular use stimulates blood flow and helps relieve annoying ringing or buzzing. Safe, all natural herbal remedy used by thousands for continual relief. It’s fast, easy and effective. Buy a bottle and feel better fast!”
The problem with ads like this is that they are both true and false at the same time.
Yes, it is true that such formulations may reduce or eliminate tinnitus in those people whose tinnitus is caused by a lack of adequate blood flow to their ears. (These people are definitely not the majority of tinnitus sufferers.)
No, it is not true that this kind of formula will help all people with tinnitus. The lie of this ad is making you believe that there is only one “kind” of tinnitus, and that this formula fixes it.
The truth is that there are a number of “kinds” of tinnitus–about 12 or so–depending how you define them. Each “kind” requires a different cure. So this formula may cure one of the 12 kinds, but not the other 11.
For example, this formula will not help the kind of tinnitus caused by wax touching your eardrum. Nor will it help the kind of tinnitus caused by your heartbeat (pulsatile tinnitus). Nor will it help people who have the kind of tinnitus caused by moving their eyes (gaze-evoked tinnitus). Nor will it help the people who have tinnitus, but have their auditory nerves cut–so all the “nourishing the nerve endings in the ear” until the cows come home won’t make a bit of difference. In addition, I seriously doubt it helps people like myself that have tinnitus as a result of severe hearing loss.
To find out if such formulations can produce desirable results, I decided to be a guinea pig. I’ve just begun testing a tinnitus formula (not the above one) that combines both herbals with homeopathic formulations. I want to see whether this formulation can “cure” or reduce my longstanding tinnitus which I’ve had for 35 plus years. I don’t really believe it will help at all–so there’ll be no “placebo effect.” However, I wouldn’t mind being pleasantly surprised. This testing will take 6 weeks to 2 months as such formulations are not harsh on the body, and consequently do not produce results overnight.
Anyway, before responding to ads such as the above one, you need to become an educated consumer and know what kind of tinnitus you have, then seek the appropriate treatment for that particular “kind” of tinnitus.
To learn more about the various kinds of tinnitus and the many different treatments that are available, I recommend you read the book “When Your Ears Ring” Cope with Your Tinnitus–Here’s How.” This book will put you far down the road towards becoming a truly educated person on the various kinds of tinnitus and what you can expect from various tinnitus treatments.