18 Nov

Do you hear that ringing sound?

If so, you may be suffering from Tinnitus.

Tinnitus is most often experienced as a ringing in the ears.  This symptom is characterized by buzzing, squealing, crackling and hissing noises heard in one or both of the ears and has no external source.

The American Tinnitus Association estimates that over 50 million Americans experience tinnitus to some degree; from a mild annoyance to a roaring sound so severe that some people simply cannot function in their daily life.

“Subjective Tinnitus” is the most common type of tinnitus.  Only the sufferer can hear it.  It can be caused by ear problems in the outer, middle or inner ear or by auditory nerve damage.

Tinnitus is not a condition, per se.  It’s actually a symptom of an underlying condition.  There are a number of conditions that cause tinnitus, ranging from thyroid dis-function to lyme disease, blood pressure imbalance to head and neck trauma.

The good news is that tinnitus has not been shown to cause permanent hearing loss.  Also, new animal research is showing promise in the possibility of re-growing the delicate hair cells that channel sound from the outer ear to the inner ear.

5 Common Causes of Tinnitus

Loud Noise:  Jack hammers, jet airplanes and rock concerts all rate over 120 decibels in sound.  Hearing loss begins at 80 decibels.  So using earplugs, turning down your music headphones or simply covering your ears with your hands as you walk past a noisy work-site will do wonders in protecting your hearing.

Age Related:  Nutritional deficiencies show up as we age simply because we use up our internal natural resources.  We pay the consequence of painful and annoying symptoms when we fail to replenish our body’s needs with proper diet and supplements.

Zinc deficiency has been related to tinnitus.  Men tend to use this mineral up faster than women.  Studies have shown some relief in tinnitus sufferers who began taking zinc supplements.

Also, restricted blood supply due to age-induced circulatory problems are directly linked to tinnitus.  Natural plant substances such as vincamine from the periwinkle plant, the herb ginkgo biloba & pycnogenol from pine bark have all been shown to relieve the symptoms of tinnitus by opening the veins for increased blood flow.

Wax Build-up:  Ear wax removal is a common procedure performed by your doctor.  There are also ear wax softening oils sold at your local pharmacy and health food stores.

Aspirin Overdose:  Over-use of aspirin, classified as 12 or more a day, can result in acute or chronic tinnitus.  If you are using aspirin to control head-aches and you find you require more aspirin to manage the pain, you would do well to seek your physician’s advice for a safer method to deal with aches, pains and migraine head-aches.  

Stress, Exhaustion and Poor Nutrition:  When combined, anxiety, sleep deprivation and lack of healthy nutrients can cause dizziness, fainting and a temporary form of Tinnitus.  The symptoms can range from a mildly bothersome ringing in the ears to short-term deafness.  Your physician should be consulted immediately.  Once treated, these symptoms should dissipate.

Don’t waste time blaming yourself for tinnitus.  It can be discouraging but take heart and see your physician for proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.  If you have tried a treatment that did not yield relief, it’s worth the effort to talk with your doctor about other possible treatments that may be available.  Your peace of mind is absolutely worth it.

2 Responses to “Tinnitus”

  1. Steve@Lifestyle Design November 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    My dad has had Tinnitus for a few years now. I know it drives him absolutely crazy. He has even seen a few world renowned tinnitus specialists to no avail.

    Being careful to avoid this or taking steps to cure it before it becomes chronic is a big deal. Hopefully I never have to deal with it, but constant ear buzz is not the way I would like to spend my old age.


    • Lynn Van Noy November 18, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

      No doubt! Tinnitus is irritating to say the least but for folks like your Dad.. it’s just a plague!

      As usual, I’m always one to start checking the list twice when it comes to nutrients we may have used up & can replenish rather inexpensively in hopes of recovery. At this point, I imagine *any* relief would be welcome.


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