Psilocybin For Tinnitus

Neurological Issues Caused My Tinnitus

This is my personal story. Even though I didn’t intend to use psilocybin for tinnitus, it ended up completely silencing it. It was a happy accident that using psilocybin to address a headache condition also silencing the ringing in my ears. My condition, hemicrania continua, is a type of headache that is continuous and causes swelling and tearing in the eye on one side of the head. In my case, it also caused a clogged feeling and loud ringing in one ear.  It made balance a bit difficult and caused some trouble with spatial awareness.

Tinnitus is usually caused by malfunctioning or damaged auditory nerves, often the result of inflammation from noise damage or other trauma. In my case, it was probably related to inflammation from the hemicrania continua.

The ringing was irritating, but it did not even top of my list of problems back then. The head pain trumped everything else, so I wasn’t even intentionally targeting the tinnitus when I started dosing with psilocybin.

psilocybin and tinnitus

Psilocybin Made The Ringing Louder- Then Silence

During my first couple of doses, the ringing became very loud. I imagine that this would probably distress someone looking to rid themselves of sound and would probably provoke a lot of anxiety. But for me, I was simply happy to have a few hours without the head pain. That sound became quite loud, melodic, and changed in tone and pitch. It started to harmonize with whatever music I chose for the session. It would get extremely overwhelming, like a roaring waterfall, and then turn soothing like those meditation music bowls. I focused on that sound almost like it was a meditation aid.

And then, just like that, it was gone after several sessions. I can only hear it now when I put on a pair of exceptionally good noise canceling headphones and try to concentrate to recall it. I use it as one of my favorite meditation cues now. But I cannot keep the sound going without absolute concentration, it falls below my perception as soon as I lose concentration.

I cannot tell you exactly what happened here. How psilocybin helps with headaches and nerve pain is still not well understood by the medical community. I still have a strange sensation on the affected side of my head, it feels different, just not painful. It is not a permanent “cure” since I still have to take maintenance doses every few weeks to keep the pain away. My head pain creeps back if I go too long in between doses, but the tinnitus has not been so quick to return. I imagine it would if I let the situation get bad.

Researchers Don’t Bother With Microdosing Trials

Researchers have chosen not to use microdosing in any of clinical trials involving psilocybin for headache or other medical issues. It is probably because the amounts used in microdosing do not affect the receptors enough to achieve significant changes. I can say with confidence that microdosing does not work for my headache, and it does not work for most people I know with headache conditions. Is this an indicator for how effective it would be for tinnitus? That is anyone’s guess. I just do not think that microdosing is the best idea here since it just does not have enough of an impact.

Psilocybin For Tinnitus- The Whole Process Was Counterintuitive

This whole process was counterintuitive. I would have never figured this out on my own, and without the positive impact on my head pain I probably would not have stuck with the program long enough to see an impact on the tinnitus. Using psilocybin for tinnitus is effective, but it is not an easy regimen to follow. I would have never guessed that the sound would have to get louder, turn into something beautiful, and I would have to learn to control it and even love it before it would fade away. The experience of synesthesia produced by the sounds during a psychedelic experience is truly unique.

Auditory hallucination is quite common with psychedelics. It can be a ringing in the ears, clicks, echoes, a roaring sound, whispering, rustling, beeps, even indescribable sounds. Tripping is funky. Sometimes it complements the music you are listening to and sometimes it is like a music all on its own. I practice a type of meditation during my psychedelic sessions where I focus on the sensations and direct them. I found that I can use certain techniques to hear more of the sounds that I like, and to amplify what generates the most pleasant sensations. The louder the auditory hallucinations in my tripping experience got, the more silent my “real life” experience became.

What Really Happened?

What actually happened? Did I develop magical psychedelic powers to control the quantum power of sound? Highly unlikely. My best guess is that the repetitive dosing stimulated some plasticity, and I became desensitized to the sound. Psilocybin does stimulate neuroplasticity, and it is also a strong anti-inflammatory agent. I am happy with my newfound silence and I’m grateful that one solution unwittingly brought me to another.

My Job At The Retreat

After my experience with resolving my head pain with psilocybin, I began to work on this retreat project to help other pain patients learn to use psilocybin. You can read about how we approach tinnitus at the retreat here.

12 Responses

  1. I have tried this a few times for tinnitus, one time it completely went away for the duration and a few hours after, but since my last one my tinnitus has gotten quite loud and a bit overwhelming, do you think this is part of the process? I am going to continue doing it, just feeling a bit panicked about the volume of it at the moment.

    1. Well, from my personal experience, the tinnitus went down after it was super loud and sonorous DURING the experience. But not all experiences are the same. Some are very visual, some have physical sensations, some have emotional sensations, and some have auditory sensations.

  2. Hello – Is there any way for us to get in touch with one another? I’ve been dealing with severe tinnitus for over a year, and have been strongly considering using psilocybin. I feel very alone, isolated, and lost on this journey – being able to to speak with someone with your experience would be a blessing. Thank you for considering this. I’m happy to share my contact information via secure means.

    Kind Regards,

  3. That would be amazing!! I am a chronic Clusterheads who also has very loud tinnitus in both ears. I hoped to try microdosing for the cluster headaches and cPTSD. It would be a bonus to address the tinnitus too! Thank you for sharing your experience.

  4. this is a great personal perspective to read. thank you so much for posting it. i found it researching through the internet.
    i am a space holder for psilocybin voyages and ceremonies, both as lead guide and as a musician, and a friend’s mother wants to do this ceremony, but she has tinnitus and we have encountered warnings against its consumption while having tinnitus. this is why i research. if anyone wants to reach out, they are welcome to. any help is good help.

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