Dr. Weeks’ Comment: B12 is helpful for tinnitus.
Am J Otolaryngol. 1993 Mar-Apr;14(2):94-9.
Vitamin B12 deficiency in patients with chronic-tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss.
This study examines the incidence of vitamin B12 deficiency in three groups of noise-exposed subjects: patients with chronic tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), patients with NIHL only, and subjects demonstrating normal hearing.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
A group of 113 army personnel exposed to military noise was studied. The mean age was 39 years. Chronic tinnitus and NIHL existed in 57 subjects. NIHL alone was observed in 29 subjects, and 27 subjects had normal audiograms. All subjects were queried about noise exposure and dietary habits. Vitamin B12 serum levels were measured.
Patients with tinnitus and NIHL exhibited vitamin B12 deficiency in 47% of cases (blood levels < or = 250 pg/mL). This was significantly more (P < .023) compared with NIHL and normal subjects who exhibited vitamin B12 deficiency in 27% and 19%, respectively.
These observations suggest a relationship between vitamin B12 deficiency and dysfunction of the auditory pathway. Some improvement in tinnitus and associated complaints were observed in 12 patients following vitamin B12 replacement therapy. The authors recommend that routine vitamin B12 serum levels be determined when evaluating patients for chronic tinnitus.
Therapeutic role of Vitamin B12 in patients of chronic tinnitus: A pilot study
True tinnitus is a phantom auditory perception arising from a source or trigger in the cochlea, brainstem, or at higher centers and has no detectable acoustic generator. The most accepted is the famous neurophysiologic model of Jastreboff, which stresses that tinnitus, is a subcortical perception and results from the processing of weak neural activity in the periphery. The aim of this study is to determine the role of Vitamin B12 in treatment of chronic tinnitus. In this randomized, double-blind pilot study, total 40 patients were enrolled, of which 20 in Group A (cases) received intramuscular therapy of 1 ml Vitamin B12 (2500 mcg) weekly for a period of 6 weeks and Group B (20) patients received placebo isotonic saline 01 ml intramuscular. The patients were subjected to Vitamin B12 assay and audiometry pre- and post-therapy. Of the total patients of tinnitus, 17 were Vitamin B12 deficient that is 42.5% showed deficiency when the normal levels were considered to be 250 pg/ml. A paired t-test showed that in Group A, patients with Vitamin B12 deficiency showed significant improvement in mean tinnitus severity index score and visual analog scale (VAS) after Vitamin B12 therapy. This pilot study highlights the significant prevalence of Vitamin B12 deficiency in North Indian population and improvement in tinnitus severity scores and VAS in cobalamin-deficient patients receiving intramuscular Vitamin B12 weekly for 6 weeks further provides a link between cobalamin deficiency and tinnitus thereby suggestive of a therapeutic role of B12 in cobalamin-deficient patients of tinnitus.