Ringing in the ears, or tinnitus, affects nearly 12 million Americans. The noise can sound like a high-pitched hum, a roar, whine, squeal, hiss or click. For most people, tinnitus comes and goes and is not much more than a temporary nuisance. However, for more than one million people, the problem is severe enough that it interferes with their daily lives. For some, it is so distracting that it blocks out normal hearing, and they cannot work and sometimes not even sleep. Tinnitus usually occurs in people over 40-years old and men experience it more often than women do.
What Causes Tinnitus
If you have suffered from extended periods of tinnitus, you know all too well how disturbing the disorder can be. It is very difficult to block out the sounds in your head and concentrate on the ones coming from outside. Achieving wellness seems nearly impossible. If you are like the majority out there, the tinnitus will go away on its own. However, if it lasts for more than a week, check in with your doctor of general internal medicine.
Most tinnitus is caused by damage to the microscopic hair-like structures in the inner ear. The hair-like structures vibrate, sending signals to the nerves in response to outside noise and the information is translated by the brain.
There are multiple causes for the tinnitus. It may or may not occur with hearing loss, but
aging is the most common cause. However, a large proportion is caused by working or living near loud noise. Loud music is a very big culprit. Other reasons for tinnitus may be:
- Excessive alcohol or caffeinated beverage consumption
- A buildup of earwax (which blocks normal sound waves)
- Injuries such as a blow to the head or ear, whiplash
- Dental or mouth problems such as tempormandibular disorder
- A fast alteration of environment, such as occurs in an airplane
- Exercise when the neck is hyperextended, like with bicycle riding
- Some medications, especially large amounts of aspirin or antibiotics
- Ear infections or eardrum rupture
- Blood flow problems such as high blood pressure
- Nerve trouble including multiple sclerosis or migraines
- Thyroid disease
How to Cure Tinnitus
There actually is no cure for tinnitus, but it can be treated. Harvard educated Dr. Andrew Weil, founder of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, suggests an integrative medicine method. Take the supplement ginko biloba for a two-month trial period: two pills of standardized extract, with meals, three times a day. Ginko can help increase blood circulation to the head and neck.
CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has been shown in clinical trials to be beneficial to people suffering from tinnitus. CoQ10 is believed to energize the mitochondria in cells, which helps to prevent heart disease, as well as tinnitus. This supplement has been widely advertised as an antioxidant and can be helpful with coronary heart disease.
Other natural methods and recommendations for helping to reduced tinnitus are:
- Most important: avoid loud noise and protect your ears with ear plugs or muffs if you can’t avoid it
- Add a lot of fresh pineapple to your diet for better blood circulation
- Add fresh garlic to foods or take an odor free supplement. It increases blood circulation and reduces inflammation (also good for cardiovascular disease)
- Eat more raw fruit and vegetables for the vitamins and minerals that can help reduce inflammation
- Avoid salt and get high blood pressure under control
- Don’t smoke or drink alcohol (these constrict blood flow)
- Reduce or eliminate your consumption of caffeine
- Get adequate rest
- Use oil from cypress, rosemary, lemon and roses for aromatherapy and general health and wellness
It is important to note that if you are having ringing in the ears, you should consult with your doctor because tinnitus can be a symptom of certain diseases, or as mentioned, could be caused by some medications. If there is an underlying medical problem, treating that disorder should take care of the ringing. Be sure you provide your internal medicine doctor with all of your medical information, including any supplements you take.
Miami Integrative Medicine and Dr. Jorge Bordenave invite you to visit us and see what a difference complementary medicine can make to your health and how it can improve your life.
Published by Axiom Health Care Marketing