Tinnitus and Ketamine
Please note: the following information does not constitute professional medical advice, and is provided for general informational purposes only. Please speak to your doctor if you have tinnitus.
With one in five Americans suffering from chronic ringing in the ears, better known as tinnitus, there’s no doubt this is a condition that greatly affects millions of individuals each and every day. From preventing people from holding down a job or enjoying numerous activities with their family and friends, tinnitus is a condition that up until recently had few effective treatment options. However, based on recent research and clinical trials, it has been found that the antidepressant medication Ketamine has in many cases given tinnitus sufferers relief from their condition.
What is Ketamine?
Invented in 1962 as an anesthetic to be used in surgery, ketamine has been used as an antidepressant to help patients with severe depression. Able to block various neurotransmitters in the nervous system, the drug has gained acclaim in recent years for its ability to help those with tinnitus. In fact, when it comes to ketamine tinnitus sufferers have reported dramatic improvements in short periods of time. According to researchers at Texas A&M, when using ketamine tinnitus sufferers who have even the most severe cases report improvements. In many cases, this is thought to be due to the fact that many of the symptoms associated with depression and PTSD, such as pain and phantom noises, are also part of tinnitus.
How is Ketamine Used with Tinnitus Patients?
When using ketamine tinnitus patients usually have two choices as to how the medication will be administered. For some patients, this involves an injection directly into their ear, with the benefits often lasting several months. In other instances, patients choose to have a series of four to six IV infusions over a two-week period, which also provides relief lasting several months.
When Should Treatment Begin?
When deciding to use ketamine, patients should be aware that the sooner they begin treatment after experiencing tinnitus symptoms, the better the chances they will experience positive treatment results. According to most tinnitus experts involved in ketamine research, tinnitus patients who have had an onset of symptoms within the past year are the ideal candidates for ketamine treatments.
The Future of Ketamine Treatment
Due to some patients experiencing relief within 20 minutes of an injection or IV treatment, the future of ketamine treatment looks quite positive. However, as with any new type of medical treatment, much more research will be conducted before a final conclusion is reached. But for those suffering from tinnitus, these new treatments offer much hope for the years ahead.