Tinnitus Safe Alternatives for Headache Relief?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Drachen, Jan 21, 2021.

    1. Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      Lately, I've been having headaches again that have otherwise put me in an even poorer mood due to the discomfort.

      Given how the majority of painkillers for this ailment such as Aspirin, Paracetamol, and Ibuprofen are considered to be ototoxic, the last thing I want to do right now is add potential fuel to the fire.

      Has anyone been able to find worthwhile alternatives or natural remedies to address this problem?
       
    2. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      @Drachen

      Where did you read that small doses Paracetamol, for headaches etc., is ototoxic? I believe it's safe, at least when taken in doses of 1000mg.

      I've used Paracetamol, not often but when "necessary", for 30 years. It never triggered anything for me.

      NSAIDs however, I would avoid.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      It's listed here on the list of ototoxic medications from the ATA. I use this as a standard for determining what medicine I should and shouldn't take.

      My preferred medication for pain relief, especially when it came to headaches, was Fioricet. This is a concoction of Paracetamol, Butalbital, and Caffeine. I used to take it every few days or so to address any pain, but I fear it might have contributed some sort of ototoxicity due all three ingredients being listed on that list.

      It's very possible that the risk is incredibly minor, especially given there's so sort of severity ranking, but I can't really verify that for sure. I might also have some sensitivity of which I am unaware. Everything feels like a risk. This is mainly the reason I want to try other alternatives unless I absolutely have to go with a staple like Paracetamol.
       

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    4. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      That's understandable @Drachen.

      I guess it all breaks down to an individual level.

      There is homeopathic, natural remedies available for migraine, headaches etc - but not sure how effective they are.
       
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    5. twa
      Irritated

      twa Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017- mild /Sept. 2020-moderate
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      meds/acoustic trauma
      I use TheraPearl hot packs ( Amazon) on my forehead and a longer pack behind my neck. If it's really bad, then I place a cold pack on my forehead and take a half of a Tylenol as a last resort. I also take Turmeric and drink lots of water.

      Hope you feel better!
      twa
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 2
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      Nor am I, honestly. I had troubles with constant headaches early last year, and I was trying these alternative homeopathic remedies as well. It seems like when you've got something deep-set, they don't really help that much, but as you said it's all individual.

      I ended up taking Amitriptyline as a solution, and it either cleared up the problem or got me through the waiting period where it resolved itself. I ended up taking it for a bit longer after they went away since it worked really well at getting me to sleep. Unfortunately, with it's ototoxic risks, I don't want to take it at the moment. Sigh.
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      Thank you, twa! I will look into trying things like heat therapy. I didn't mention in the original posts, but showers tend to do well for me. Then again, showers are nice in general because it relaxes me and gives me some reprieve from the noise. If you could take one or two hour long showers, I probably would.

      I will look into TheraPearl and other forms of compress. I definitely need to work on my water intake as well. Much appreciated!
       
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    8. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      I experience the same @Drachen.

      Hot showers / baths are good for headaches. Hot compresses (as @twa mentions), as well as cold, is good.

      May these (tension?) headaches be stress related, in correlation with tinnitus? I have a lot of headaches myself, and stress is making my neck tense and sore, and triggers tension, migraine-like headaches.

      Daily stretching of the neck, and posture awareness , helps.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      Do you know when hot or cold might be a better option? Trying to search "hot or cold for headaches" provides me with inconclusive results.
      Not sure, actually! I am leaning towards no, because the headaches tended to follow a bout of nausea or a general feeling of sickness, but the two occurring together could just be coincidence.

      I do often feel as if I almost get headaches just from listening to the noise alone, especially when I am in a quiet environment and when I have my earplugs inserted. I wouldn't be surprised if these reactions are stress-based. While I haven't had a full-on panic attack in weeks, I can't say my mood has been the greatest since onset.
      Do you have any recommendations for neck stretches? This is something I have been meaning to do for some time now. I would also like to start doing back stretches since I've had back pain for years now, likely thanks to my bad posture and lack of physical activity. I do make visits to the chiropractor weekly, but my relief there is limited.
       
    10. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      @Drachen

      Do you have Instagram? Check out ptvitals there for stretches and excercises for neck, back and so on.

      Personally, I use cold compression to supress the pain and bring potential inflammation down. Hot (hot towels / hot packs) some time after for blood circulation and to loosen up the muscles.

      You could also check this link:

      https://www.liebscher-bracht.com/en/tinnitus/3-exercises-tinnitus/
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 2
    11. Bette1969
      Alone

      Bette1969 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Traveling a long way in Taxi with window open next to me.
      This is possibly daft but I also get a lot of headaches and some things I found that really triggered me were pumpkin seeds and eggs. I get less headaches since I gave these up.

      How are you today?

      We are at similar stages of anxiety time wise, give or take a month.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      Hi, Bette! Thank you for posting :)

      I don't think what you said was daft at all, as I'm sure everyone has any variety of potential foods or substances that could cause headaches, regardless of whatever it may be. Considering my diet has been moderately stable (i.e. not introducing much new or removing staples), I don't think this was the case. Fortunately, I have not had any major headaches I've felt was worth addressing with painkillers since.

      As for how I am doing in general, not great. Yesterday was potentially my worst day since onset, and the inability to know why or what might have caused it just further frustrates me beyond belief.

      I am hoping you are doing well, and I am particularly hopeful your symptom clears up soon.
       
    13. Bette1969
      Alone

      Bette1969 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Traveling a long way in Taxi with window open next to me.
      Hello,

      Thank you for all your kind and supportive thoughts for me.

      But oh no, yesterday was not good for you, was it much louder yesterday or was it more the anxiety mounting?

      I stayed in bed all day yesterday under massive weight of blankets and duvets and I had on the sound of the sea or the sound of traffic at a low level. I have not felt like I needed to do that for a very long time.

      Did you see the audiologist yet?

      Betty
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      My pleasure! I continue to hope for the best for both myself and everyone else here who struggles with this symptom.

      It's hard to say exactly why yesterday was so bad, but then again, I feel as if I can never know anything definitive about this problem besides it causes me varying degrees of distress. I'm sure it was a mixture between it feeling much louder and my coming to the realization I have made little to no progress in over five weeks. If anything, I fear I've gotten worse. This was also the first time I cried in a few weeks. I could probably go for a bit more.

      I have been to the audiologist, and I plan to see her again early next month. If you would like to read a more detailed description of my visit, as well as the audiogram, I have this post and that post. They are somewhat lengthy, so I'll provide a recap here: I had my hearing tested, and it was determined to be within the normal range, though there is a dip at the 4 kHz range in my left ear that has given me a bit of worry. It doesn't help that audiometry in general is not very robust, and there are many other areas and frequencies in which damage could be more pronounced that they simply do not or cannot test.

      Taking a bit of a respite as you did yesterday is likely a very good plan of action, as it not only gives your body time to rest and heal but also should calm the nerves and your mind. While this symptom is primarily a physical problem, it will often lead to or exacerbate existing psychological issues. This has certainly proven to be the case on my end.
       
    15. david c

      david c Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2012
      I've taken Paracetamol on and off over the years with absolutely no impact on my tinnitus. It's possible that if you take the maximum prescribed dose of it every day over several months then you may have some limited impact but I doubt very much that a less significant dose for the times you have headaches should cause you any problems.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      Interesting! It does seem to be the case that Paracetamol is popular among tinnitus sufferers. Could you share what you perceive may be the cause of your symptom? I am wondering if it is safer for some more than others.

      I am getting the feeling it should be alright for intermittent use, but as you may understand I am still in that overprotective mode at the moment.
       
    17. Bette1969
      Alone

      Bette1969 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Traveling a long way in Taxi with window open next to me.
      It's interesting that they don't say it's not a fully comprehensive test.

      I was most concerned about that I had killed the little hair cells in my ears, but she said absolutely not.

      For you, I am thinking the anxiety is really not helping but I completely understand, how are you meant to just stay calm. I do take to heart all the success stories on here though and hope you can too.

      It is hard talking to friends especially as everyone has worries of their own right now, magnified by COVID-19.

      But you are young, so I am hopeful that is hugely in your favour.

      But my goodness I EMPATHISE so much with the fear and the shock of this thing happening.
       
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      With an optimistic tone, audiologists are just using what they feel are sufficient mechanisms currently available that are also cost effective and time sensitive. With a more cynical tone, they are only using whatever they need to validate their need to prescribe hearing aids. I'm sure the truth lies somewhere more in the middle, and it will vary from clinic to clinic, but there is currently no definitive way to actually show someone has "perfect hearing".

      I have always been prone to anxiety, so something like this appearing out of nowhere and attacking me almost relentlessly is certainly a sore point for me. I would like to think that my age will have a helping factor both in terms of recovery and the ability to "fight it out", but I can't ever be sure. With every passing weekly milestone, any sort of hopefulness I have built up takes a punch to the gut.

      Talking to others has indeed been challenging, and it feels like many of those in my social circle who are not afflicted are either growing tired of my complaints or simply moving along with their own business. Are you familiar of the concept of "sonder"? It is an understanding that everyone else in the world, including those you see on the street or talk to on a forum, experience a life just as complex and rich as your own. I think this situation has really opened my eyes to that, as while I understood it before, it has really hit me now in the sense that everyone simply has their own business to go about. As you mentioned, the pandemic has not made things any easier in this regard, among other things.

      It is a shame anyone is able to empathize with this sort of mental duress. Nobody is prepared for this, while I vaguely knew what tinnitus was beforehand, I most certainly did not know the extent to which it can be debilitating.
       
    19. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      destroy all creatures. they cannot be regenerated.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      For me, headaches are always a result of one of the following (in order of frequency):

      * dehydration
      * muscle tension from TMJ and/or forward head posture
      * insufficient sleep
      * caffeine withdrawal
      * shingles (only happened once)

      The top 4 can all be dealt with, without drugs, with patience. I like to have coffee every morning, so I make sure to have a glass of water first and a can of seltzer after. I sleep with a night guard for my TMJ, and I have a standing desk and do some behavioral hacks to try to keep my forward head posture in check.

      Cannabis generally makes sure I get a decent sleep (and takes the edge off the stress & headaches when I don't).

      I generally distrust and dislike NSAIDs, they don't agree with me and they're all correlated with hearing loss. When I have a particular kind of illness with fever, APAP is about the only thing that makes me feel better, so I use it really sparingly, probably 5-6 500mg tablets or less each year. (I haven't taken it at all in 2020, because COVID-19 lockdown also meant I didn't get any other sicknesses).
       
      • Like Like x 1
    20. Bette1969
      Alone

      Bette1969 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Traveling a long way in Taxi with window open next to me.
      I am a member of the Anxiety (especially where health is concerned) Club too so I feel you.

      I had not heard of Sonder but I LOVE the word and what it means. It's somehow both beautiful and sad.

      This forum is helpful in that we can support each other and we seem to be treading similar emotional reactions and mental anguish. Regarding reading too much, I say to myself I will ONLY read the Success Stories on here, but it is so easy to get pulled onto other threads and down the rabbit holes.

      In 2009, after a break up, I developed Blepharitis, another condition that is hard to treat and with 'no cure'. I used to be on a Blepharitis forum and this past week I LOOKED AT MY OLD POSTS and saw how frightened I was. It took me two years to find a way out of that pain and be able to be symptom free. I did go back on in 2014 to say I had found a way to manage. And I went back when I had a relapse. I can see from later replies that reporting my experience was helpful to people, especially as I had managed to be symptom free for two years. And over the past years, though I have had some relapses, I know how to get back to base quite quickly so it does not cause me the despair it once did.

      So, I have hope I can, once I get some strength, use what I have learned and get myself out of the anxiety and fear stage.

      I started CBD old today. Have you tried it?

      And I just spoke to my aunt who has two hearing aids and has had tinnitus for years but NEVER told me, she says she doesn't notice it except when she goes to bed. But she does have the radio on all day to mask it.
      It is a total non issue for her.
      Both my aunts are so bloody strong and resilient. I love them.

      You come across so well in your posts, I feel that this will get better for you in some way. And as we start to get back to normal life where we can hug our loved ones and the sun starts to shine in the Spring... I have much hope.

      B
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      I wish I were able to appropriately evaluate the causes of my headaches as you've mentioned here. Perhaps in my case, the most likely options may be the forward head posture or the dehydration. The former of which I am trying to work on, but given how much time I spend at my desk, this is problematic. The latter didn't used to be a problem because I would almost always be drinking water or tea during the day, but I've since had to pull back from anything caffeinated in fear of spikes.

      I am trying to do better on just drinking straight up water, but it's possible some days I just don't do enough. I also take about 400 mg of Magnesium every evening, which sometimes leads me to wake up with dry mouth, but I still think I drink enough to mitigate that. Perhaps I don't. I wish you could actually gauge your level of dehydration.

      Regarding NSAIDs, I am with you now, though I wasn't in the past. I used to almost always shoot for one when possible because headaches have historically been one of my least favorite temporary ailments. Fortunately, Acetaminophen (Paracetamol) is not an NSAID. Do you have any opinions on it one way or the other? Seems to be the painkiller of choice here.
       
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      I am so sorry to hear that, in addition to this awful symptom, you also had to deal with that condition! I did some research over it, and the set of symptoms preset as particularly annoying. Fortunate to see that it will not leave any lasting damage to your eyes. I hope you are doing well in that respect. You may be able to reformulate some of the strategies you have used there with this symptom as well, at least until it goes away! :)

      I do think it is important to go back and review how you used to be in the past, as you have done with your participation on this other board. It does provide me some relief to hear about how many others were absolutely losing it in the early stages yet ultimately did manage to figure out a way out of the hole. It's hard, as I'm sure you know, to envision a point of normalcy when you're currently under distress. I am very prone to catastrophizing, and while I've had similar instances of depression and worry before, I have never had anything that had constant physical symptoms such as this.

      CBD oil is something I was very interested in trying, but after doing my research and looking at the prices, keeping a constant regimen is likely too expensive for me to attempt with no guarantee of benefit. I am still looking into alternatives, and right now I am trying valerian oil extract. It did nothing for me after two servings yesterday, but that day was already going poorly at that point. Perhaps this is also something that needs to build up over time? Who knows. You don't really know anything for certain when it comes to supplements and herbals.

      I do encourage you to share your experiences, positive, negative, or neutral with CBD oil in this general thread. Considering the medical industry is not working overtime on research trying to figure out what may or may not help people, the best that can be done is have a community like this report their own results.

      I am not too surprised by the story you mentioned with your aunt. In fact, I've spoken with my grandmother, and she apparently has some degree of it as well. Never mentioned it once before. Then again, she also has hearing loss. I guess stuff like that doesn't bother her all too much. I truly respect the strength of your aunts, and given what you've had to deal with in terms of your Blepharitis, you are obviously strong in that respect as well.

      I appreciate your compliments tremendously. I have always enjoyed writing, actually, and it's a shame that I haven't been able to write much of anything at all besides posts here on the forum over the past few weeks. I am hoping that Spring ends up being a season of new beginnings and radical improvements in my life, especially since that is when I will finally graduate from university. I am honestly wondering too if I have some seasonal depression flaring up right now, as I tend to feel pretty low around these times regardless, and some of the worst parts of my life have transpired around this time as well. I hope in the very, very near future to be able to share the same optimism you and others have conveyed to me regarding my ability to overcome this ordeal.

      I also apologize if my posts get a bit too long or rambling. I have a lot to say, and not very many people to say these things to. Please do stop me if I go a bit overboard. :p
       
    23. Bette1969
      Alone

      Bette1969 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Traveling a long way in Taxi with window open next to me.
      Not at all. We all need to stick together and by writing all this to each other we are sparing our friends all the details ;)

      It is 23:50 in London so time for sleep but I will reply soon.

      B
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    24. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      destroy all creatures. they cannot be regenerated.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      I think the main risks of Acetaminophen (which we also abbreviate to APAP here) are liver damage, but there's also this:

      Arthritis and Hearing Loss
      I don't have links to the actual studies at hand; I can probably find them later if it's useful because I know I read at least one of them.

      My takeaway here is that these drugs probably aren't especially damaging to hearing, but they do all seem to be, to some degree, so I only use them very sparingly. I took Ibuprofen for the first time in several years because of a motorcycle dump last spring, and I take APAP if I have a fever so bad that I can't sleep. A bad viral illness that lays me up for a few days might cause me to take a 500mg pill a couple nights in a row, but often I'd rather just deal with it.

      Mostly I just ignore headaches; maybe they're not very bad, maybe I'm so used to being in pain of one kind or another from myriad problems and injuries that it falls into the background.

      If I have ~80-160mg of caffeine in the morning in espresso shots and then have another ~12oz of water, and then drink ~24-36oz of water/juice throughout the day, I basically don't get headaches I notice, aside from general tension/neck strain / computer use stuff.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    25. Guywithapug
      Dreaming

      Guywithapug Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL
      I see you've had a good amount of support here regarding your headaches. Not sure I can add anything but what about seeing a good chiro to do some neck adjustments? When I have headaches I try a warm rice pack which sometimes helps, otherwise I have to go straight to the Tylenol.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    26. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      Hmm, certainly interesting.

      I did pay particular notice to the line that stated "Hearing loss is often reversible". I'd very much like to know how that's the case. :p
      You are probably right, and it is probably fair that I am just overreacting, at least when it comes to Acetaminophen. I think I've maybe only had one or two that nearly felt as if I needed to take a painkiller to get through them, and it's not like I'd be keeping the drugs in my system for that long. It's just really unfortunate we don't know enough about the pathology behind how certain substances could negatively affect hearing and how much you would actually need for any negative effect to be pronounced. It makes everything come off as too much of a gamble.

      At any rate, what you said in your last line is certainly the best option: just ignore them. This is going to be my plan going forward until I find some natural remedy that's consistently worthwhile or just go for an ice pack. Thank you for all that you've shared!
       
    27. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      I do see a chiropractor weekly, mostly in an attempt to focus on my back. I don't think he's really doing a lot to adjust my neck aside from a cracking. I will need to ask next week if there's more he could do, because I am starting to worry more and more that I have neck problems which require attention.

      I'll have to order me something to serve as a warming mechanism, though we do have so many heating pads lying around in the house. I'm sure one of those would be fine. I guess I'm feeling safe enough to try the Acetaminophen as a last resort. Kinda wish I was more keen on taking Amitriptyline, since I seem to remember those doing well for the nearly constant bad headaches I used to have.
       
    28. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      Really liking this thread. Good posts, guys. Thanks, OP!!

      I get frequent headaches and they're usually bad ones.

      I have sleep issues because my tinnitus is so loud. It's still difficult to sleep through it and it's been almost 2 years.

      I try to drink lots of water and watch my posture. I don't like to risk ototoxicity with NSAIDs either but my Dr doesn't share my concerns so I was prescribed Ibuprofen. :-/

      I don't have much $ so I can't afford most of the suggestions here but I prefer natural treatments so I will figure out a way how to try them.
       
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