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9.15) Treating Tinnitus: vasodilators




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This article is from the Tinnitus FAQ, by markb@cccd.edu (Mark Bixby) with numerous contributions by others.

9.15) Treating Tinnitus: vasodilators

Vasodilators like niacin, gingko biloba, and prescription drugs for
hypertension increase blood flow inside the skull, raising the oxygen
available for good nerve health. But note that vasodilation cannot
benefit the cochlear hair cells, as the blood vessel (vas spralie)
which feeds these cells cannot expand or contract. Furthermore,
vasodilation may not always be helpful, as explains one FAQ
contributor:

A few years ago, physicians started treating some forms of
stroke, especially TIA's, with vasodilators. The theory was
that, with dilation, more blood could flow to the starved
areas. A later study showed that, in many cases, the
vasodilators made the condition worse. The reason was that
dilation increased flow to non-damaged areas and robbed
damaged areas of even more blood.

By extrapolation, one could conclude that tinnitus related
to vascular damage could be made worse with vasodilators. I
have no data to back this extrapolation up, but it does seem
reasonable.

 

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