Have you ever experienced the sensation of ringing in your ears when there is no external explanation for the noise?
If so, you are one of millions of people who suffer from this condition, a condition called tinnitus.
It is estimated that 30 million Americans have tinnitus—of this number, 17 million report hearing loss (56%). It can be a debilitating audiological disorder characterized by ringing, hissing, roaring, buzzing, static, pulsing, screeching, or clicking sounds (to name a few).
Although there is no instantaneous magic cure for tinnitus, there are avenues that merit exploration—avenues that will help alleviate and even heal the disorder and its accompanying symptoms.
It is not surprising that tinnitus can be incapacitating, as the biological structure of the ear is intricate and hypersensitive. It is amazing when you ponder the importance of the ear, and all it does. When you move through space—whether standing, walking, dancing, etc. —the organ that is your ear allows us to maintain our balance. Thus, should there be any problems with your ear—or hearing— the impact on quality of life and health cannot be understated. Impairment can be agonizingly painful.
It is a fact that the world we live in today is filled with record intensities and levels of manufactured environmental sounds. It is not surprising that inner ear difficulties are not only on the rise, but are affecting people at younger and younger ages.
That said, what can an individual who suffers from tinnitus do? We know that for every disorder there are an exponential number of available treatments. Some of these treatment options are aggressive, with outcomes that are less than promising. What to do and where to go can be a confusing and scary landscape; it is our hope that Advanced Healthcare Clinic can provide you with information that will set you on your path toward healing.
Ultimately, the best way to make strides is to directly address the area responsible for the disorder. In the case of tinnitus, we are referring to the inner ear.
So, the question then becomes, “Can the inner ear be improved? Can its functioning be better?”
The short answer is, “YES.” &ndash The long answer is, “YES, and this is how . . . “
Low Level Laser Therapy is an innovative clinical application used for advancing and repairing inner ear cellular performance.
From a structural perspective, the inner ear consists of two main sensory formations: the cochlea’s organ of Corti and the labyrinth’s organ of balance.
What follows is a brief Biology 101 lesson of the ear in order to provide a more well-rounded understanding of what occurs in tinnitus.
The cochlea is the area where sound, in the form of vibration waves, is transmitted mechanically by way of the eardrum and middle ear (ossicles). Sound is compacted by an amazing and intricate fluid system, which then changes into electro-physiological energy and makes its way to the central nervous system. Sound is processed by hair-like cellular receptors located on the auditory membrane.
If you think back to Biology 101, any cell activity requires ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is a coenzyme used as an energy carrier and is produced by the cellular power plants, or mitochondria, located with every cell.
A problem occurs when the cochlea is unable to handle the sensory input, which then impacts the other relevant auditory structures. The outcome is performance decreases and/or is lost altogether—it can be either gradual or sudden. Ultimately, this translates into a lack of ATP within the cells.
This lack of ATP is responsible for a range of audiological symptomatology including: tinnitus, pressure, hearing loss, hypersensitivity (hyperacusis), and balance issues.
If we go back to the two structures of the ear, the second is the organ of balance, which looks like canals in the shape of semi-circles. When you move your head or body in anyway, the fluid system and hair-like cellular receptors (previously discussed) interpret the changes. Thus the process is quite similar to what occurs in the cochlea (the other structure) in order to hear.
This lack of ATP is responsible for a range of audiological symptomatology including: pressure and vertigo.
Note that both the cochlea and labyrinth share a fluid system, which explains why problems of the inner ear can distress both simultaneously, often presenting with a host of difficulties.
You may be asking, “Where is the good news?”
Thanks for your patience, and here it comes . . .
We know people experience differing degrees of damage. However, the Low Level Laser Therapy is a viable treatment means irrespective of impairment. In other words, Low Level Laser Therapy produces a progressive biological response regardless of dysfunction levels. And for those who suffer from tinnitus, this is excellent news!
Remember, the mitochondria is where ATP is manufactured in every cell. Mitochondria have a structure similar to antennae, which can use solar energy (sunlight) and low level laser light as primary energy sources. From a clinical perspective, this is where Low Level Laser Therapy comes into play, as it has a clinically proven effect on human cellular structures.
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
Many countries have reaped the benefits of using Low Level Laser Therapy for the treatment of inner ear impairment, for decades (Germany, Italy, France, Scandinavia, Japan, Russia, to name a few).
And now, we are thrilled and proud to announce it is available at Dr. Dube’s office, located in Bradenton, Florida.
Low Level Laser Therapy has improved—and even healed—the most severe cases of tinnitus (in addition to other audiological impairment such as hearing loss, Meniere’s Disease, etc.)!
OK, so now you have course of action, but you want to know how it all works*, right?
Back to Biology 101.
Every cell contains mitochondria; it is the powerhouse of the cell. Remember, the primary goal of mitochondria is to create ATP, the energy a cell needs to work as it should.
The insides of the mitochondria look like a series of squished zigzags. This anatomy allows for a large surface to be contained within a small space; think of a stretch of waves, compressed together, like this:
The mitochondria takes the purified form of glucose, protein, and fat, a nutrient called pyruvate. Pyruvate converts into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) directly around the zigzags, which is technically referred to as a collector surface. ATP is produced when the conversion takes place, which means the molecular energy bond is released, which also matches visible, infrared, and ultraviolet light.
Once this occurs, the zigzags (or collector surface) expands and pyruvate’s energetic molecular bond is released as LIGHT ENERGY!
Back to the antennae of the mitochondria . . .
The mitochondria’s antennae absorb the pyruvate’s LIGHT ENERGY and send it back to the cell’s power plant, which then produces ATP. Remember, both solar and laser light can stimulate the mitochondria to create ATP.
So, Low Level Laser Therapy compresses light from both the infrared and red spectrums. It hits the mitochondria and is drawn in by the zigzag collector surface AS AN ADDITIONAL ENERGY SOURCE, RESULTING IN THE PRODUCTION OF MORE ATP!
A point worth repeating after all of this information? The cells of the inner ear need ATP—they seek it out. ATP is so important that it is required for healing.
In sum, Low Level Laser Therapy boosts the output of ATP.
Dr. Dube’s Clinical Protocol
Most of the time, healing—in any given situation, or for any given body part—is not instantaneous. For that reason, we recommend scheduling 10 appointments (2 sets of 5 treatments, per week).
The treatments include:
- Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
- Acupuncture treatments, personalized to facilitate your individual healing process, administrated during the LLLT session
- Support in the form of nutrients and/or herbs may be recommended to improve microcirculation and heighten the response to healing.
In order to address the sensation of dizziness (remember, the inner ear is responsible for balance!), we treat both inner ears with daily Low Level Laser Therapy.
We apply the laser light via a superior laser light source. The laser light goes through the auditory canal and emits 808nm. It is designed to optimize bio-stimulation by seeping into the entire organ, which is required for lasting positive effects. Each treatment lasts 30 minutes; you are lying down comfortably and fully supervised the whole time.
Dr. Dube will monitor your strides after the 10 appointments are complete, evaluating progress and whether further treatment is required.
And of course, to address one of the most important questions of all, Low Level Laser Therapy is ABSOLUTELY PAINLESS and is risk-free!
* For a more detailed explanation, read:
Wilden, L. (1998). Import of radiation phenomena of electrons and therapeutic low-level laser in regard to the mitochondrial energy transfer, Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine & Surgery, Vol. 16(3), pp. 159–165.