Hearing loss is the most prevalent sensory ailment, affecting about 360 million people worldwide. The condition is caused primarily by damage to the hair cells and neurons of the inner ear. In some patients, hearing loss results in tinnitus.
Stem cell therapy for tinnitus has shown some promising results in treating inner ear inflammatory damage because of its multi-directional differentiation potential and immunosuppressive function. Keep reading to learn more about tinnitus stem cell cure approaches, the role of stem cells, and the expected results.
What Is Tinnitus and Its Signs?
Tinnitus, commonly referred to as ringing in the ears, is a symptom indicating an issue with the auditory system, which includes the ear, the auditory nerve connecting the inner ear to the brain, and brain parts responsible for processing sound.
Tinnitus can sound like a high-pitched or low-pitched roaring, humming, clicking, hissing, or buzzing in the absence of any corresponding external sound. The condition affects almost 10% of the adult population in the United States and approximately 90% of cases of chronic tinnitus are associated with some degree of sensorineural hearing loss.
The following causes are associated with the development of tinnitus:
|Other Physical Conditions and Diseases:
Age-related hearing loss
Ear bone changes
|Head or neck injuries or tumors
Eustachian tube dysfunction
Muscle spasms in the inner ear
Problems with the temporomandibular joint
Vascular pathologies (atherosclerosis, post-stroke condition, etc.)
High or low blood pressure
Arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
|Antibiotics (polymyxin B, erythromycin, vancomycin neomycin)
Chemotherapy agents (methotrexate, cisplatin, carboplatin)
Diuretics (bumetanide, ethacrynic acid, furosemide)
Aspirin (at high doses like 8 to 12 tablets a day)
Antidepressants (fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, citalopram hydrobromide, fluvoxamine)
The video below demonstrates the mechanism of tinnitus caused by a very intense noise. Due to the failed connection between the hair cells and the auditory nerve, the nerve fiber does not receive normal stimulation, hence, it starts to self-stimulate, sending signals to the brain which are perceived as whistling noise.
Current Approaches to Manage Tinnitus
Currently, there is no approved way to fully cure the perception of tinnitus in most cases. It is only possible to lessen the severity of the disease and its annoyance.
Measures that improve sleep and reduce stress, and decrease caffeine and alcohol consumption help to reduce problems associated with tinnitus, such as insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
The following treatment strategies may help people manage their condition:
Medications and Dietary Supplements
No medications have been invented so far that can cure tinnitus. However, antidepressants, in combination with conservative management, can be beneficial to ameliorate tinnitus symptoms by improving sleep and minimizing the emotional response (annoyance/aggravation).
Antidepressants and medications that have been studied and approved for relieving tinnitus-related anxiety symptoms include:
- Valium or anti-depressants such as Elavil. It helps reduce anxiety related to tinnitus.
- Alprazolam. Along with a steroid placed into the middle ear, it alleviates tinnitus symptoms for some people.
- Lorazepam. One more benzodiazepine for reducing anxiety and improving signs of the condition.
- Lidocaine. When used intravenously, it relieves tinnitus.
However, some researchers propose that the use of antidepressants and antianxiety medications may lead to decreased neural plasticity, making it difficult for the patients to naturally habituate to tinnitus over time.
There are some indications that Vitamin B12, Zinc, and Magnesium may also provide some tinnitus relief.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be one of the most effective treatments in reducing the distress caused by tinnitus and increasing the patient’s quality of life. Relaxation techniques and exercises as a part of CBT may also be helpful in relieving stress and decreasing anxiety, which can exacerbate the perceived intensity of tinnitus.
Some patients find relief by using hearing aids, specialized tinnitus maskers, and white-noise generators. They can mask the phantom sound by amplifying ambient noise or generating background noise.
There are also some experimental therapies, such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), that use electric signals to mitigate the activity of brain cells, which generate phantom noise.
How Can Stem Cells Treat Hearing Loss and Tinnitus?
Recent developments in stem cell technology have offered new opportunities to treat deafness. In tinnitus stem cell trials, researchers used human stem cells to restore damaged hair cells and repair damage to the auditory nerve in deaf animals, restoring their hearing.
Based on this and other stem cell research tinnitus studies, a methodology was developed for implementation in clinical practice.
The current method of stem cell application for tinnitus is intravenous delivery and postotic injection (local introduction in the area behind the ear) of adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). These cells are derived from different sources which include:
- bone marrow
- adipose tissue
- umbilical cord
Mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to differentiate into neural cell types which makes them an excellent candidate for stem cell tinnitus. Studies have shown that systemically injected MSCs preferentially migrated to the cochlea and improved recovery by structural reorganization and repairing of the hair cells and spiral ganglion cells to improve auditory function.
MSCs work by producing several bioactive factors (cytokines, chemokines, growth factors) that are involved in key biologic processes, such as tissue regeneration, wound healing, angiogenesis, modulation of the immune system, and others.
Stem Cell Therapy Procedure for Tinnitus
At Swiss Medica, we use both autologous (patient’s own) MSCs or donor cells (derived from the placenta and/or umbilical cord) for treating tinnitus. Stem cell therapy for tinnitus is conducted intravenously through an IV drip.
In the case of autologous cells, the patient biomaterial is collected under local anesthesia and then processed to obtain MSCs with optimal treatment properties. After cells are cultivated to the required amount, they are injected locally for a targeted impact on the problem area.
To ensure the best stem cell tinnitus treatment results, patients may be offered additional therapies, such as:
- Transcranial brain stimulation (MDM)
- Intracellular metabolism recovery (IMR) therapy
- Xenon gas therapy
- Interval hypoxia-hyperoxia therapy (IHHT)
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)
- Other optional therapies
The treatment program is customized considering each patient’s needs and health conditions. Our comprehensive personalized treatment also includes consultations with specialists in neurology, neurorehabilitation, psychology, and nutrition, if required.
Types of Stem Cell Injections for Tinnitus
Most recent studies use the strategies of stem cell tinnitus treatment to heal the damaged hair cells within the cochlea that detect and respond to sound. The only way to regrow these hair cells is by using stem cells’ differentiation ability.
Stem cells are injected into the damaged area by any of the following methods:
Stem cells are injected directly into the patient’s bloodstream with the help of an IV drip.
Local stem cell injections
In this method, stem cells are injected into the tissue at a selected targeted area around the ears.
Inner ear injections
Depending upon the requirement of the treatment, a stem cell injection is administered into the inner or middle ear.
Get a free online consultation to learn about available treatment options for your case.
Potential Side Effects and Contraindications of Stem Cell Treatment
Tinnitus stem cell cure is usually well-tolerated by most patients, with rare local side effects from the cell harvesting or injection procedure. Only 5% of the patients experienced short-term fever post treatment but they made a spontaneous recovery.
There are certain contraindications to stem cell therapy, which include:
- Life-threatening or terminal health conditions.
- Systematic or uncontrolled infection.
- Previous unsuccessful experience with cell products or gene therapy.
- Infectious disease in the acute stage.
- Some laboratory abnormalities in blood tests.
- Psychiatric factors, such as schizophrenia, depression, addiction, hysteria, etc., may affect the ability to adhere to the treatment and follow-up.
What Are the Expected Results of Stem Cell Therapy for Tinnitus?
Stem cells harness regenerative abilities to heal almost any damage to the organ or hair cells in this case. Since each case is unique, the outcomes of the therapy might vary from patient to patient.
There are many health factors that can alter the outcome of your stem cells and tinnitus treatment, for instance:
- Current health status
- Medical history
- The severity of the disorder
The neuroprotective, immunomodulating, and overall health-promoting properties of stem cell therapy can help improve the quality of life for patients with tinnitus by:
- decreasing the bothersome sound;
- improving normal hearing;
- relieving stress and frustration;
- decreasing anxiety and depression;
- providing overall health improvement and psychological relief.
When Can a Patient Expect to See Improvement?
Tinnitus stem cell trials indicate that it takes about 1–3 months for the full effect to manifest after stem cell tinnitus treatment. Initial signs of improvement may be observed even 1 week after treatment. One may usually draw a conclusion regarding the effectiveness of the therapy six months following treatment.
Patient Outcomes and Testimonials of Tinnitus Treatment with Stem Cells
Patient: Aleksander from Serbia, 36 years old.
Diagnosis: Tinnitus of the left ear caused by audio trauma.
Duration: 6 months.
Treatment: Stem cell infusions, neurogenesis-induced therapy, and additional nutrient support.
- Alleviation of tinnitus
- No side effects
“I was diagnosed 6 months ago with tinnitus, which was caused by audio trauma or loud noise on the lateral of my left ear and yeah, after research, I decided to come and to try stem cells in order to alleviate or to solve this problem. Swiss Medica is really focusing on trying to get you better, not just to sell you stem cells, which is a great advantage when you compare it with other stem cell clinics. Staff was great, very professional, with a lot of experience and I felt that every day they were actually trying to solve my problem, not just to give me stem cells and send me home. Yeah, I would definitely recommend stem cells. So, it’s not just stem cells, you’re getting some other nutrients, amino acids, some special medications for inducing neurogenesis and fixing the neurological problem, which tinnitus is.”
How to Enter the Treatment Program?
At Swiss Medica, we aim to provide the most holistic care to target the condition beyond stem cell infusions. Our therapies are adapted to the patient’s requirements, objectives, and medical condition.
To enter the stem cell tinnitus program, contact our facility via phone or email. Our free consultation services will answer all your queries regarding the expectations from the treatment, cost, and duration.
Our personalized treatment program involves:
- Preliminary consultation with the specialists, where the patient and doctor may discuss the treatment program and decide on the specifics of the course of action.
- Appropriate testing to confirm the patient’s full medical history including previous treatment history.
- Evaluation of the patient`s physiology including the state and severity of the disease.
- A complete treatment information pack that includes details like the type of therapy, mode of injection, and amount of stem cells to be injected.
- Inpatient treatment at the Clinic according to the individually tailored treatment plan, along with all meals and facilities provided.
- Other supportive therapies or treatments, to ensure that the recovery is as optimal as possible.
- Follow-up after the discharge, so the patient stays in touch with specialists of the Clinic.
Get a free online consultation
Ask our medical advisor if cell-based therapy will benefit you, what the expected results are, and what the treatment may include.
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