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Ringing, hissing, rattling, knocking or whistling – no tinnitus is like the other. Ringing in the ears is often a side effect of sudden hearing loss and is often extremely stressful for those affected. Every fourth person has already noticed this phenomenon, which fortunately only occurs temporarily for most of them. However, if the tinnitus becomes chronic, those affected look for drug therapy, but none is currently approved for the treatment. If drugs are used, they often cause severe side effects. Natural extract from French maritime pine bark, Pycnogenol®, has been shown in studies to be effective in relieving tinnitus symptoms with little to no side effects.
A distressing phenomenon – tinnitus
“It’s all just in my head.” As Andreas Bourani sang in 2011, the noise impressions that occur with tinnitus can only be perceived by the person affected, with a few exceptions. Tinnitus aurium describes those noise impressions that are not triggered by a sound event.
Among other things, a distinction can be made according to tinnitus severity, which primarily takes into account the effects of the noise in the ear on the professional and/or private sphere of the person affected. If the tinnitus is compensated, the patients can deal with the ringing in the ears to the extent that there is little or no suffering. Overall, the quality of life is not significantly impaired. In the case of decompensated tinnitus, the noise in the ears has a considerable impact on private or professional areas of life. It is not uncommon for concomitant diseases such as sleep disorders, depression or anxiety to develop or worsen. The high level of suffering leads to a significant impairment of the quality of life.
Improved microcirculation in the inner ear
Due to the high level of suffering, those affected are looking for effective therapy options with few side effects. In this context, two studies were able to show that supplementation with maritime pine extract can alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus.
The first clinical study with 82 volunteers compared the intake of 150 mg and 100 mg Pycnogenol® per day and a control group over a period of 4 weeks. A clear influence of Pycnogenol® could be demonstrated, especially with regard to the tinnitus scale. In the subjective scale, the presence, intensity and duration of the tinnitus as well as the changes in quality of life and the use of medication to alleviate the symptoms were assessed together (0 none/low, 10 always/strong). In the control group, with a 16% reduction, no significant change in personal assessment could be shown, but with 100 mg Pycnogenol® per day a reduction of 41%, with 150 mg Pycnogenol® per day even a reduction of 63%.
The study also examined the effect of Pycnogenol® supplementation on inner ear microcirculation. Only one ear of the patients was affected by tinnitus. The effect of Pycnogenol® intake on the microcirculation of the healthy ear over a period of 4 weeks was negligible, whereas the low blood flow rate in the tinnitus inner ear of the test subjects could be normalized after Pycnogenol® administration.
Another study examined the effects of Pycnogenol® supplementation on tinnitus symptoms associated with Meniere’s disease, also known as Meniere’s disease. This condition is a dysfunction of the inner ear that causes symptoms such as dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus. 107 Menière patients were included in the 6-month study. Within the Pycnogenol® group, there was a significant reduction in tinnitus symptoms using the tinnitus scale (reduction of 53%), while the control group achieved a reduction of 28%. In addition, 87% of the Pycnogenol® group stated that they were symptom-free after 6 months – in the control group, however, only 35% of the subjects were symptom-free.
A real therapy option for tinnitus – maritime pine extract
Tinnitus is a phenomenon with a high level of suffering. Patients are looking for treatment options without severe side effects, none of which are currently approved for classic medication. Pycnogenol®, the natural plant extract from French maritime pine bark, is an effective, safe and evidence-based therapy option for treating tinnitus symptoms by improving microcirculation in the inner ear.
Pycnogenol® is a natural plant extract derived from the bark of French maritime pine. It contains a unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and phenolic acids. The extract has been extensively studied over the last 40 years and has more than 450 published studies and review articles ensuring its safety and effectiveness as an ingredient. Today, Pycnogenol® is available in more than 1,000 dietary supplements and health products worldwide. For more information, see www.pycnogenol.de.
 Grossi MG, Belcaro G., Cesarone, M.R., Duggall, M., Hosoi, M Cacchio. Improvement in cochlear flow with Pycnogenol® in patients with tinnitus: a pilot evaluation. Panminerva Med. 2010;52(2):63-7.
 Luzzi R BG, Hu S, Dugall M, Hosoi M, Cacchio M, Ippolito E, Corsi M Improvement in symptoms and cochlear flow with Pycnogenol® in patients with Meniere’s disease and tinnitus. Minerva Med 2014;105:245-54.
ifemedi, Annika Hüve
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