Dear Dr. Archer,
I have a medication question. I am taking Citalopram 10mg and Bupropion XL 450mg per day. It took many attempts but have finally found a combination that works well for me. Keep telling everyone to never give up!
Lately I have a static noise in my head at all times. I can cover my ears and it doesn't change the volume level. I asked my doctor if the medication could be causing it, and she didn't seem to think so. Lately I've read about electrical charges in the brain and things like that.
What do you think this could be, and is it forever once it starts? I don't have any trouble with my ears. Also, do you know any way to distract myself from listening to it all the time? I am sad that I may never be able to sit outside at night and listen to the crickets, because I never, ever, hear silence anymore.
It sounds like you have tinnitus, which is usually described as ringing in the ears, but some describe it as static sounds. Meds can cause the problem, but it is different in different folks and I would be reluctant to change your meds when they are working.
Unfortunately there is no cure, but it often will go away on its own. However, to be safe, you must see an ENT doc and get it checked out to make sure it’s not something serious. If that is all ok then try some of these ideas:
**Limit exposure to loud noises, as this will only make it worse.
**If you smoke, stop. Nicotine aggravates the condition.
**Reduce your stress. The more stress you have, the worse the condition tends to be. Relaxation therapy, breathing techniques and yoga can help.
**If you drink alcohol, cut back or stop. Alcohol tends to dilate the blood vessels, thus causing greater blood flow especially in the inner ear area, thus making the sounds even more intense and loud.
**Hypnosis and Acupuncture have worked for some, but not many. You might want to give either a try.
The good news is that most people that have this eventually learn to ignore it AND I can vouch for this because I’m one. Mine started out of the blue ten years ago and I thought I would never get over it, but it’s still there today and it doesn’t even phase me anymore. So, it does get better.