Tinnitus is a relatively common disease or medical disease which is characterized by swishing, sizzling or buzzing sounds in the ear. The condition is often more of a nuisance than a serious medical condition which with time will go away but occasional such can be a signal of another underlying medical condition or disease. However, in severity, tinnitus can require surgical treatment to reverse it.
The disease can develop on any part of the ear; middle outer inner and even at times in the brain. Common tinnitus will be characterized by buzzing, high pitch ringing, roaring, whistling or hissing sounds and this is often referred to as subjective tinnitus (a condition whereby one hears sounds which other people in the same position cannot hear). Objective tinnitus is a case whereby a victim one hears sounds in his head but the same sounds can be heard by another person if some listening effort is put into it. Objective tinnitus can be either the pulsatile or clicking tinnitus.
Causes of Tinnitus
While there are several causes of tinnitus, the most common cause is presbycusis (basically the loss of hearing due to aging). Hearing loss contributes the greatest to the majority of tinnitus conditions but the condition can also be caused by;
- Diseases that may include eardrum rupture, ear infections, Meneire’s disease, dental problems, radiations or even surgical procedures.
- Overconsumption of highly caffeinated drinks and alcohol.
- Various medications including various antibiotics like aspirin.
- Massive earwax buildup.
- Barotraumas (sudden environmental pressure change).
- Repetitive exercises especially those that involve moving the neck.
- Ear injuries like whiplashing the ear.
- Overexposure to loud noise. This can also lead to pre-mature hearing loss.
- Other minor causes of tinnitus include the misalignment of jaw joint, twitching of the throat and/ or ear muscles, tumors, pregnancy, overactive thyroid anemia among others.
In many cases, tinnitus will be a nuisance and such may not require treatment to heal. However, if the condition occurs in conjunction with other symptoms either in one ear or does not heal on its own after a number of days, it will be helpful to consult your doctor. You physician will be in the best position to suggest the best way forward especially if any of the above home remedies do not work for you.
Symptoms of Tinnitus
Tinnitus is an individual perception of noises ringing, buzzing or hissing in the ears or in the head. The medical condition is characterized by various symptoms like
- Whistling among others.
Often the noise will vary from one person to another ranging from low pitch to relatively high pitched sounds. In severity, the noise can be so high pitched that it becomes challenging to concentrate or even hear normal sound productions.
Immediate medical attention is advised if any of the following conditions accompany your tinnitus condition.
- Ear drainage or pain. This could be indicating the beginning of ear infections.
- Dizziness. If you tinnitus is accompanied by dizziness, it would be a signal for development of a more serious medical condition referred to as the Meneire’s disease if not the development of some neurological problems.
Home Remedies for Tinnitus
Up to date, no studies have been able to come up with a definitive cure for tinnitus. Even then, this does not mean that tinnitus does not occur. However, there are a number of home remedies as well as commercially produced drugs and treatment that can be used to aid in relief of the condition. Here we look at various home remedies which should be used to treat tinnitus caused by specific causes. Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies yourself!
- Stress. If you tinnitus is caused by stress, it is important to look for ways to help you relax and reduce stress. Acupuncture, yoga, meditation, reading uplifting publications or even watching entertaining productions can help you calm your nerves and relax thus relieving some stress. You can also try out food like ginger, lemon tea and other aromatherapy programs to help you relax. Flowers have an undeniable way of relaxing the mind and body and some even can help in the induction of sleep. Drinking a glass of milk can also help induce sleep.
- Loud noise. Studies show that a good number of hearing loss cases is caused by overexposure to loud noise. In many cases, the majority of loud noise cases can be regulated if not stopped. If you play loud music consider regulating it for the sake of your health. If the music or loud noise is from external sources you can move houses or if possible install sound proof equipment to bar the noise from entering into your house. Alternatively, you can choose to use ear defenders or ear plugs to keep off the loud noise.
- Diet- Poor dieting can also enhance poor health which in turn can make it difficult for the body to heal itself. Supplement your diet with various types of vitamins like vitamin A, B, C, E, cut out on alcohol, salt, caffeine and increase intake of zinc and essential minerals.
- Eardrum drainage (Eustachian tube drainage). This is basically a method that is used to clear or rather drain off excessive wax formation in the ear or blockages caused after swimming activities. To do this, through clean your hands and use your fingers to align your molars to one of the either sides of your mouth. Just after the molars you will find a bone that creates kind of a hinge dividing the lower and upper jaws. Go beyond that hinges and head towards the throat until you are able to feel vertical tendon. This will be kind of a pillar otherwise known as tonsillar pillar. Do not touch else you are more likely to gag. The Eustachian pillar will be just behind this point. The tube will feel like a mole tunnel. Gently hit the tube a number of times every day until it becomes too much then stop before repeating the process again. This will help alleviate your tinnitus with time.
- Ginkgo– Ginkgo was used by Chinese traditional healers to treat asthma for a number of years. The herb was believed to increase a person’s lifespan and was thus highly used. Research shows that it neither increases your lifespan nor cures asthma but it can be used for other medicinal purposes. It can be used relieve some of the symptoms of tinnitus by increasing the blood flow to the inner ear. It is important to however, consult with your doctor first before using the herb because it might cause blood clotting and cause wounds to heal slowly.
- Periwinkle– Lesser periwinkle is also another herb that can be used to treat tinittus. The herb contains properties such as vincamine which is a chemical compound that increases blood circulation and is quite beneficial to patients who take the herb.
- Black Cohosh– Black Cohosh, found in North America, has been used for several years to treat fatigue. The roots of the herb may also be used to dilate the brain’s blood vessels and therefore can increase the blood supply to your ears. Thus the ringing and buzzing sound caused by tinnitus is effectively reduced. The herb is believed to cause dizziness and therefore requires that you consult with your physician first before you use it.
- Echinacea- Echinacea, an herb that grows in the plains of North America, has for several years been used to treat arthritis, snake bites and stings from insects. The herb has also been discovered to have antibacterial properties which may help to boost the immune system of the body. This helps to fight any bacterial infections that can result to tinnitus. The side effects of this herb may include diarrhea and therefore it is important to first consult with a physician before taking it.
Diet for Tinnitus
- Eat a well balanced diet with generous provision of vegetables, fruits, minerals and water for health and proper functionality of the system. In your diet be sure to include food nutrients like beans, olive oil extracted from nuts, eggs, yogurt, cheese, fish, healthy meats, fruits and vegetable to help enhance your immune system for better body protection. Avoid junky foods as such will only provide empty and useless calories.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee tea and alcohol. These will only enhance the production of the perceptional noises which in turn will only increase stress, depression and anxiety that comes with tinnitus. On the same note, avoid foods with high levels of saturated fats or fried meals. Excessive consumption of saturated fats often leads to the restriction of free flow and distribution of nutrients and oxygen in the body. Instead try out the unsaturated fats as such will be essential to lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation and even help in lowering the risks of blood pressure diseases. In cooking, you can choose to try out healthy oils like olive oils.
Prevention of Tinnitus
Prevention is always a better alternative to using cure. There are a number of ways that tinnitus can be prevented from developing in the first step. Here are a number of preventive measures for you.
- Avoid overexposure to loud sounds or noise. If you live in noise prune area, you can get ear defenders or ear plugs to prevent hearing loss due to noise. If you love playing music, play it in moderation and avoid cases where such is played in high volumes. If your workplace is in a noisy environment, it will be helpful wearing protective gears to help you avoid overexposure to that noise.
- Know how to deal with life stresses and anxiety. Sometimes, tinnitus can be a result of stress and once the stress is dealt with properly it becomes quite easy to recover from tinnitus conditions. Try out anything that will help you relax your mind, muscles and every aspect of you. It will also be helpful if you get enough sleep.
- Enhance your diet. A well balanced diet is essential for proper functionality of the whole body while a poor diet can be a recipe for disastrous health. Just as this, it will be helpful to properly take care of your ears by regularly cleaning and removing earwax and other materials that may end up blocking the ear. Again, it will be helpful regularly making checkups with your doctor for ear checkups to prevent cases of worsening ear infections without your knowledge. Sometimes, lifestyle change will be a desirable thing for you to change and enhance the quality of your living and general well being.
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