Tinnitus is the name for that weird, annoying whining, hissing or popping noise in one or both ears that’s driving you crazy.
Though it can make life truly miserable, tinnitus is not life-threatening or a symptom of mental illness. Indeed, you’re in distinguished company, along with fellow suffers like David Letterman, Barbra Streisand, William Shatner and Eric Clapton. They are among an estimated 10 per cent of the population who hear sporadic or constant sounds just like you.
Tinnitus can be difficult to treat, unless it has an obvious cause like an ear infection or a blockage caused by a buildup of ear wax. Most times, the cause of tinnitus is not so simple – and if it’s the result of a physical injury to your delicate hearing mechanism, there may be little doctors can do.
Exposure to loud sound often triggers tinnitus. It’s often found in people who work for long periods around noisy machinery. Many past and present military veterans developed tinnitus after enduring the noise of battle. Tinnitus can also be the result of repeated exposure to loud music, which is why so many musicians seem prone to it. It can even affect young people who have the volume cranked up on their headphones or car sound systems.
Loud sounds can damage the delicate mechanism in your ear, leading to phantom signals being sent to the brain in the complete absence of any actual sound. In other words, your brain is “hearing” something that doesn’t exist.
Tinnitus treatment – first steps
1) When the sounds are loud: Be aware of your most severe episodes of tinnitus. Even if the noises you hear are constant, there will be times when they are a bigger nuisance. Recall what you were doing immediately preceding such episodes to see if there might be a contributing factor. For example, tinnitus sufferers often say their symptoms are worse if they have been in a noisy environment, are stressed, or have had a poor night’s sleep. If noisy places make your tinnitus worse – such as sporting events and concerts – try wearing ear plugs. If stress and fatigue amplify your noises, get more rest and allow for more quiet time at home.
2) Watch your diet: Caffeine and alcohol are often cited as making tinnitus worse and some sufferers have found abstaining from drinks containing caffeine and alcohol will dramatically reduce their tinnitus. If your tinnitus is worse after, say, consuming high-sugar food or drink you will be able to adjust your diet to see if changes can bring you some relief.
3) Aspirin and other medication: Make a list of all medications and prescription drugs you are taking and ask your pharmacist for a list of all side-effects. Talk to your doctor about the results – particularly for those drugs that have the potential to cause hearing problems or headaches. Long-term use of Aspirin and generic brand drugs containing acetacyclic acid have been linked to the development of both tinnitus and Meniere’s disease. If you use Aspirin just to treat minor ailments like headache you might try another painkiller for a while to see if your tinnitus symptoms ease. But DO NOT stop taking Aspirin if it has been prescribed by a physician to prevent blood clots because you have coronary artery disease. Discuss your Aspirin use with your doctor and see if there is an alternative.
Natural Remedies for Tinnitus
Lipoflavonoid: Lipo-Flavonoid Plus is a dietary supplement that was in the 1960s developed by Dr. Henry L. Williams, a nationally recognized U.S. otolaryngologist, to treat people with tinnitus and related symptoms.
Ginko biloba – a leaf extract antoixidant that is also said to help increase blood flow to large and small blood vessels.
Melatonin – taking supplements of this hormone, which is secreted by the brain’s pineal gland, is said to help restore healthy sleeping patterns disrupted if natural melatonin levels decline, as they do with aging. Again, poor sleep is associated with worse tinnitus symptoms.
Niacin – Known as Vitamin B3, it is necessary for the nervous system, and helps the body convert food into glucose energy. B vitamins promote healthy eyes, liver and skin and it is believed niacin might ease tinnitus symptoms by promoting increased blood flow to the vessels in the ear.
Finally, be patient – though tinnitus often appears suddenly it can take a long time to identify and address the root causes.
Learn more at www.TinnitusMiracle.com