TINNITUS



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ARTICLE #1 An Introduction to Tinnitus

ARTICLE #2 Ringing in the Ears-Tinnitus-Ear Noise

ARTICLE #3 Simple Options for Tinnitus

ARTICLE #4 Tinnitus Treatment, Prevention, and Supplements

ARTICLE #5 Conventional Medical Treatments for Tinnitus

ARTICLE #6 Common Sense Remedies for Tinnitus

ARTICLE #7 Alternative Medicine for Tinnitus

ARTICLE #8 If All Else Fails...It Might be Yeast



An Introduction to Tinnitus


Tinnitus is the perception of abnormal ear or head noises.

Tinnitus begins unexpectedly and become quite and annoyance for those who suffer from it.

Persistant tinnitus usually indicates the presence of some level of hearing loss. Let it be known, intermittent periods of mild, high-pitched tinnitus that last for several minutes is very common in normal-hearing persons. But, also know that severe and persistent, tinnitus may need to be looked into and can easily interfere with sleep and the ability to concentrate, resulting in psychological distress.

Tinnitus has been observed all through history, although tinnitus is becoming far more prevalent in our noisy, stress filled lives in which we now live.

There are many different types of tinnitus that have been identified that are able to be treated.


Tinnitus noises

There are various types and causes of tinnitus. Most descriptions of tinnitus are described as high pitched whistling or a bell-like sound.

Below is a table of examples associating the type of noises that are typically heard and the typically related cause to that noise.


Noises Heard:
Caused By:
Ringing bell, chirping noises, sounds of crickets, or a roaring, hissing, fluttering sound Exposure to excessive noises, a blow to the head, cochlear damage, recent ear wax removal.
Ear ringing, whistling, high pitched whistling, whizzing sounds, rushing sounds like water in a waterfall. Stress, depression, traumatic life events.
Clucking or cracking sounds, whirring sounds, a non-constant ringing tone that comes and goes. Sinus, sinusitis, allergies, blocked Eustachian Tubes.
Humming or a buzzing sounds Eardrum damage.
Drumming, pulsing or pulsating sounds, a fluttering sound in time with the heart beat. High cholesterol levels
persistent whining sound, hissing, ringing. Prescription drugs, over the counter medications, heavy metal poisoning.
Buzzing sounds, hissing noises, reverberating or echoing sounds, humming sounds. Middle ear problems, high acid levels.




The Types of Tinnitus

Tinnitus by Tympanic Membrane Damage

In this type of tinnitus, the damage is usually mechanical in nature where physical damage has occurred. When the delicate eardrum (tympanic membrane) has suffered damage or derangement, hearing loss and tinnitus can readily occur. The tinnitus noises most often associated with eardrum damage are a humming or a buzzing sound.

Middle Ear Problems

The middle ear can have several problems associated with it. One of the most common is calcification due to high acid levels. There are three bones of the inner ear known as the hammer, the anvil and the stapes. These tiny bones vibrate against each other, and prefrom amplification of external sound waves . It is these tiny bones that can become calcified, restricting their free movement. This is seen especially in elderly people. People with high acid levels are at risk. The tinnitus noises most often associated with high acid levels are: buzzing, hissing, reverberating, echoing, and humming.

Sinus & Allergy-Related Problems

Many sinus sufferers will experience tinnitus. This type of tinnitus is caused by a thickening of the mucous in the middle ear. The middle ear is surrounded by mucous membranes. These mucous membranes produce mucous which cleanse the ear. In ideal functioning, the mucous then drains out of the middle ear via the Eustachian tubes and into the throat where it is swallowed. If this mucous becomes too thick and viscous it cannot drain properly, which can lead to increases in pressure, decreased ossicle movement, or even infection. This tinnitus type can also be caused by adverse reactions to drugs such as antibiotics or antihistamines. Here, the side effects of these medications occur in an effort to control sinus infections and allergy conditions. These antibiotics and antihistamines can also cause the mucous to become too thick and viscous to drain away. The noises associated with this type of tinnitus are: clucking or cracking, gurgling, and whirring sounds. These tinnitus noises are sometimes relieved by swallowing, chewing gum or blowing the nose.

External Trauma Causing Internal Damage

When exposed to loud noises or suffering a blow to the head, cochlear damage often occurs. This cochlea damage can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus. In the coclea, there are millions of tiny hair cells that are stimulated by the pressure of sound waves. This stimulation causes movement of the tiny hairs. When this occurs, electrical impulses are generated through the auditory nerve which the brain translates into perceived sound. These tiny hair cells are easily damaged when there is external trauma sufficient enough to be transmitted to the inner ear. These tiny hair cells can be damaged and then inhibit electrical impulses to the brain which are interpreted as tinnitus, even though there might be a complete absence of sound.

Cochlea damage leading to tinnitus can often result from traumatic procedures such as: ear wax removals, ear candling, swimming accidents, sports injuries, any type of surgery to the head, ears or nasal passages.

If you study the graphic below it will give you an indication of how the cochlea works and what actually happens when you suffer cochlear damage.

This Gray's anatomy illustration shows a cross section of the Organ of Corti in Cochlea, showing some of the hair cells which are very fragile and are easily damaged. When the movement of the stapes in the middle ear vibrates the oval window of the cochlea, pressure waves are created in the fluid surrounding the cochlea. These waves bend the basilar membrane in correspondance to specific frequencies. Hair cells in those places then brush against the overlying tectorial membrane (Membrana Tectoria) generating an electrical impulse which gets sent to the brain via the auditory nerve fibers. The brain interprets those electrical impulses as the sounds that you hear. As an example, when the hairs and nerve endings become damaged as a result of exposure to noise, tinnitus and high frequency hearing loss occurs.

There are many things that can cause traumatic cochlear damage. For example, a severe blow to the head, as the blow one will get from the airbags in a motor vehicle collision, head and dental surgery, but the most common cause is exposure to excessive noise. Usually it is this continued exposure to loud noises in the workplace, night clubs or from loud music. Sudden exposure to high levels of noise like gunfire can also cause tinnitus. Other examples of dangerous noises are explosions, mortar explosions often experienced by people in the military or police forces. This tinnitus can also be caused by air bag's being triggered in auto accidents, also head, nasal, or dental surgery such as root canal.

Auditory Nerve Damage

The most difficult form of tinnitus to treat is when the auditory nerve has been injured. The tinnitus caused by auditory nerve damage includes high pitched ringing bells, whistling, roaring and buzzing. People very often confuse auditory nerve damage with outer or middle ear damage such as damage to the the ear drum. If you have suffered damage to the ear drum, this does not mean you have auditory nerve damage. Damage to the auditory nerve is mainly caused by some form of physical trauma and is not caused by exposure to noise.

Pulsatile Tinnitus from High Cholesterol Levels

Pulsatile Tinnitus from high cholesterol pulsates in time to your heart beat. This type of tinnitus will normally occur when there is a narrowing or a partial blockage of the nutrient arteries leading to the area. These blockages are usually caused from an atheroma. An atheroma is an oxidized fatty deposit in the intima of an artery, which can obstruct blood flow and is caused by high levels of oxidized cholesterol. The tinnitus noises associated with this problem are usually drumming, pulsing or pulsating, or a fluttering sounds which are synchronous with the heart beat. This is a serious condition and dietary corrections need to be addressed.

Stress, Traumatic Life Events, and Depression Related Tinnitus

The hypothalamus and related structures in the brain, such as the Pons, the pituitary fossa, the basal cisterns, the corpus callosum, the brain stem, the ventricular system can all play a part in causing tinnitus. The hypothalamus controls many systems in the body, including the pituitary gland, which in turn controls the endocrine organs, and the autonomic nervous system. The hypothalamus, and the organs in the brain that it controls, are responsible for producing essential chemicals needed for proper neurochemical functioning. The hypothalamus is severely affected by emotional stress. When one is subjected to long periods of stress, shock or grief, those essential chemicals are either over or under produced by the hypothalamus and tinnitus can result.

Stress Tinnitus Noises: The predominant sounds are ringing, whistling, whizzing, and rushing water.

Medicinally Induced Tinnitus and Heavy Metal Poisoning Tinnitus

A wide variety of prescription drugs can lead to tinnitus; such as anxiety and depression drugs, anti-malarial medication, blood-pressure controlling medicines, and ASPIRIN. Heavy metal poisoning from dental fillings is also a common cause of this tinnitus type. Other similare heavy metals may lead to tinnitus.

Viral Infections and Herpes Tinnitus

Herpes zoster oticus is a viral infection of the inner, middle, and external ear. Herpes zoster oticus manifests as severe pain in the ear that is out of proportion to physical findings and is associated cold sores, usually of the external canal and ear. Patients often recall, perhaps in childhood, a bout of chickenpox. A minority of patients also have history of previous herpes zoster viral infection.

Painful, burning blisters in and around the ear, on the face, in the mouth, and or on the tongue, as well as vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus, and eye pain are typically seen in this viral infection.

Temporo-Mandibular Joint Tinnitus (TMJT)

The TMJ is the joint formed by the temporal bone of the skull with the lower jaw or mandible. The TMJ joints move every time we chew, talk or swallow. The nerve to the TMJ is a branch of the trigeminal nerve, which is the sensory nerve of the head and face as well as the motor nerve to the muscles used for chewing. That is why an injury to the TMJ may be confused with Trigeminal Neuralgia. The opposing bones of the TMJ are held together by a series of ligaments, any of which can be damaged. A damaged TMJ ligament usually results in a dislocation of the disc, the lower jaw, or both. The bones are connected by many muscles. Any or all of these muscles may be painful and produce pain in the TMJ or at the very least lead to an abnormal movement of the lower jaw.

A final common symptom of TMJ, for our purposes, is tinnitus.

When one or both TMJs are injured, the muscles in the head and neck automatically tense up, causing different side effects, including pain, clicking and crackling tinnitus noises, depression and insomnia.

Chiropractic manipulation can be preformed to the temporalis and masseter muscles in the jaw. Chiropractic massage of the pterygoid muscles may also be beneficial.

Meniere's Syndrome (not Meniere's Disease)

Meniere's Syndrome results from the distention of the inner ear compartment by endolymphatic fluid. The primary dysfunction seems to be in the endolymphatic sac, which is responsible for the filtration and excretion of a specific fluid contained in the inner ear. This fluid is maintained at a constant volume and contains specific concentrations of sodium, potassium, chloride, and other electrolytes. This fluid also bathes the sensory cells of the inner ear and allows them to function normally.

When damage or degeneration of the inner ear structures occur, its internal mechanisms of control may be lost, and the volume or concentration of the inner ear fluid can fluctuate from the norm. Certain substances in your blood and other body fluids influence your inner ear fluid quality. As an example, when you eat foods that are high in refined salt or sugar, your blood level concentration of salt or sugar increases, and this can will the concentration of substances in the endolymph. This fluctuation in the levels of trace elements in the fluid is what can lead to symptoms like: feeling of ear pressure or fullness in the ears, tinnitus hearing loss, vertigo, dizziness and imbalance.

Note that syphilis and head trauma are also known causes of Meniere's Syndrome.

Hyperacusis

Hyperacusis can be defined as excessive sensitivity to normal environmental sounds or simply extreme sensitivity to sound in normal-hearing individuals either for psychologic reasons or in association with ear disease. People with hyperacusis commonly experience what is called "recruitment", which is an abnormal sensitivity to loud sounds despite a reduced sensitivity to softer ones. This disorder is often chronic and is usually accompanied by tinnitus.

Staccato Tinnitus

This staccato "clicking" form of tinnitus results from middle ear muscle (stapedius) spasm or palatal myoclonus.

The stapedius muscle is connected between the interior side of the ear drum (tympanic membrane) and the posterior part of the stapes bone in the middle ear. Its purpose is to dampen the movement of the stapes during excessive noise. This muscle can spasm which can lead to a form of tinnitus.

Staccato tinnitus is also associated with palatal myoclonus. This is a rapid, rhythmic, up-and-down movements of one side or both sides of the palate, often with the same synchronous movements of the face, tongue, pharynx, and diaphragm. This too can lead to tinnitus


Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

Patulous Eustachian Tubes (not truely tinnitus)

The eustachian (auditory) tube connects the middle ear to the nasopharunx and provides ventilation and drainage for the middle ear. It is normally closed and opens only during the act of swallowing or yawning. When eustachian tube function is compromised, air trapped withing the middle ear becomes absorbed and altered pressure results.

An overly patent eustachian tube is a relatively uncommon problem that can be quite distressing. Typical complaints include fullness in the ear and autophony (the abnormal hearing of one's own voice and respiratory sounds).

A patent eustachian tube may develop during rapid weight loss.

Although a physical exam is usually normal, respiratory movements of the tympanic membrane may occasionally be seen during vigorous breathing.





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Ringing in the Ears - Tinnitus - Ear Noise

Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Colds and flu, being in a noisy atmosphere, allergy flare-up, or any variety of stimuli can increase the intensity of tinnitus noise. Each sufferer of tinnitus has his/her own experience with it. What brings relief for one person may not work for another. There are a variety of natural treatments available to experiment with. Some people have found relief by taking pantothenic acid (B5) supplements as it effectively coats the stressed nerve endings in the ear creating a less agitating noise experience.

According to a study done at Johns Hopkins University more than 10 percent of adults experience troublesome tinnitus by age 70. One remedy being looked at by researchers is a new type of hearing apparatus that masks the sound with white noise.

Some Causes/Symptoms

excessive ear wax

ear infection

brain or head injury

Menieres Disease

otoschlerosis

poor circulation

high-blood pressure

hypothyroidism

stress

Lyme Disease

Suggested Treatments for Tinnitus

Herbs: Feverfew, Hawthorn, Ginkgo biloba

Essential Oils: Rosemary, Cypress, Lemon, Rose (used in head massage or in a vaporizer)

Homeopathy: Salicylic acid, China sulf, Kali iod

Vitamins & Minerals: Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese, Vitamins A & C, bioflavonoids, pantothenic acid




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Simple Options for Tinnitus

Buzzing, swishing, hissing, whirring, chirping, ringing. If you're hearing those noises inside your ears, you have tinnitus. It won't cause deafness, but it can impair hearing. It's usually caused by a head injury, an infection, a disease or exposure to loud sounds such as gunshots and explosions. The natural remedies in this chapter—in conjunction with medical care and used with the approval of your doctor—may help relieve tinnitus, according to some health professionals.

Food Therapy

"There's a major food connection here," says Paul Yanick, Ph.D., a research scientist in Milford, Pennsylvania. "Basically, a lack of magnesium might cause some people to suffer tinnitus." He recommends eating plenty of magnesium-rich foods, which may provide relief from tinnitus and help prevent new episodes.

Herbal Therapy

If your doctor says that your tinnitus is the result of circulation problems, try ginkgo, which increases blood flow to the brain, says Varro E. Tyler, Ph.D., professor of pharmacognosy at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Ginkgo capsules are sold in most health food stores. Check the label for dosage instructions—and to be sure that you’re getting enough ginkgo to be effective, says Dr. Tyler. He recommends a dose of 120 milligrams daily of a concentrated, standardized ginkgo extract known as GBE (Ginkgo biloba extract). Ginkgo works slowly, and it may take weeks or months before you notice improvement, he adds.

Homeopathy

In his book The Family Guide to Homeopathy, Andrew Lockie, M.D., suggests that taking one of the following 6C remedies three times daily for up to two weeks may help control tinnitus.

1. If you have a roaring sound in your ears accompanied by giddiness and deafness, try Salicylic acidum, says Dr. Lockie.

2. If you have roaring with a tingling sensation and your ears feel clogged up, he recommends Carbonium sulphuratum.

3. Kali iodatum is a good remedy for long-standing ringing in the ears with no other symptoms, he says.

All of these remedies are available in many health food stores.

Relaxation and Meditation

Relaxation and meditation techniques can help some people temporarily relieve tinnitus and are particularly effective if used as part of a comprehensive treatment program that includes medication, broad-band noise generators (commonly known as white noise machines), hearing aids and other therapies, says Pawel Jastreboff, Ph.D., professor of surgery and physiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of the University of Maryland Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Center, both in Baltimore. Dr. Jastreboff says stress makes it harder for a person who has tinnitus to ignore the annoying ringing in his ears. Relaxation counteracts that.




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Tinnitus Treatment, Prevention, and Supplements

Clearly, to prevent tinnitus, it is very important to avoid repeated exposure to loud sounds, though many people don't realize it until after the fact. Once you have tinnitus, cutting down on caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and aspirin can prevent the noise from getting worse. Exercise can improve circulation and keep symptoms at bay as well. Unfortunately, no drug or surgical procedure can prevent or treat tinnitus.

You should also have your hearing checked by a certified audiologist. Sometimes an audiologist discovers how the pitch of your tinnitus will correlate with the pitch you cannot hear. For some people with tinnitus, a hearing aid designed to amplify the particular missing pitch can cause the tinnitus to disappear.

Several sessions of acupuncture with a licensed acupuncturist may be helpful to relieve unwanted sounds. You can also try biofeedback for tinnitus; the stress reduction it induces may be very helpful at relieving your symptoms.

How Supplements Can Help

Supplements may help relieve tinnitus, even in chronic cases with no identifiable cause. The remedies listed below work best when taken over the long term and are safe to use together. It may be a month before you notice any improvement.

Ginkgo biloba may help relieve tinnitus by improving circulation to those parts of the brain and inner ear that are the source of the ringing. However, benefits may not be felt for weeks or months.

The B vitamin inositol hexaniacinate also may help by dilating blood vessels in the brain. This form of niacin does not cause unwelcome flushing.

Vitamin B12 is essential in the manufacture of myelin, a fatty substance that covers and shields the nerves and allows them to function normally. Since older people often have trouble absorbing vitamin B12, supplements may be especially beneficial to them.

Others who may also benefit because they can have low levels of B12 include alcoholics; people who take medications for seizures, heartburn, or gout; and people with ulcers, Crohn's disease, and other gastrointestinal diseases. Always take vitamin B12 with folic acid to prevent an imbalance between these two B vitamins. Nutritionally oriented doctors recommend taking the sublingual (under-the-tongue) form of B12 once a day because of its rapid absorption.

If the tinnitus hasn't relented somewhat after three months, you can stop taking these extra individual B vitamins and rely on the B's found in your daily high-potency multivitamin.

Magnesium also supports healthy nerves and good hearing. When the body is low in magnesium, the blood vessels constrict, which reduces blood circulation in the brain. Magnesium is best taken with food. Reduce the dose if you develop diarrhea.

Vinpocetine, an herb derived from the periwinkle plant, has been shown to improve circulation to the brain and improve nerve cell function. This makes it potentially very useful for tinnitus.

Zinc supplements may help with tinnitus since more zinc concentrates in the inner ear than in most other body locations. Experts already know that even a mild deficit can affect hearing for the worse. In one Japanese study, people with tinnitus who were low on zinc had an improvement in their symptoms after taking zinc. It's important to take copper if you take zinc for more than a month, because zinc interferes with copper absorption.

Self-Care Remedies

Wear earplugs when you think you’re going to be exposed to loud noise. These will prevent additional damage to the delicate hearing cells within the ears.

Use an alternative sound source to override the annoying sound of tinnitus. A simple example is using a clock radio with an automatic shut-off switch as you’re going to asleep. In addition, so-called electric "sleep machines" can produce a variety of sounds that might successfully override your tinnitus.

Doctors express their helplessness with tinnitus by encouraging their patients to learn to accept it. Despite best efforts to find underlying causes and trying different treatments, sometimes tinnitus just won’t go away. In the long haul however, the body seems to adjust to the tinnitus and the sound seems to be suppressed by the brain. Patients with long-standing tinnitus discover weeks or months can go by without their awareness of it, then when they think about their tinnitus, the symptom returns. In other words, an "Oh, well…" laid-back attitude about your tinnitus may well be your smartest therapeutic move.

When to Call a Doctor


If you hear odd or persistent noise in one ear or both that interferes with your day-to-day activities or prevents you from sleeping

If you have numbness of the face, dizziness, nausea, or balance problems along with the tinnitus

If you hear ringing or other sounds in one ear only for an extended time

If you are on any medicine that you think may be contributing to your tinnitus

If you are experiencing tinnitus, and you’re also noting a decline in your hearing acuity




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Conventional Medical Treatments for Tinnitus

The conventional treatment of tinnitus focuses on correcting the underlying causes. For example:

If the cause of your tinnitus is excessive earwax, your physician will clean out your ears with a cotton-tipped probe or a suction device.

If you have an ear infection, you may be given a prescription ear drop containing hydrocortisone to help relieve the itching and an antibiotic to fight the infection.

If otoscierosis or a tumor is diagnosed, surgery may be necessary.

If temporomandibular joint syndrome is the cause of your tinnitus, your doctor will probably refer you to a specialist for appropriate treatment.

For people with chronic tinnitus, drug treatments may offer some success. Lidocaine (Xylocaine, xylocaine viscous, zilactin-L), has been shown to relieve tinnitus for some people, but it must be given intravenously and its effect does not last long. If you experience unusual anxiety, excitement, nervousness, irregular or slow heartbeat when taking this medication, discontinue its use immediately and seek emergency treatment. It could be life-threatening. Other side reactions are redness, irritation, rash, itchy skin and hives. IN this case also you are advised to discontinue the use of the medication and to contact your doctor right away.

If your tinnitus is accompanied by some hearing loss, a hearing aid may be helpful. Many people have also benefited from tinnitus maskers, devices resembling hearing aids that play a sound more pleasant than the internal noise produced by the tinnitus.

A newer device is a tinnitus instrument, which is a combination of hearing aid and masker. Auditory habituation is a therapeutic technique, that uses a device that generates a certain type of white noise that is quieter than the tinnitus sound; the brain learns to ignore the tinnitus noise. You must be tested and fitted for any of these devices so that their sounds will cover the particular frequency of noise you hear.




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Common Sense Remedies for Tinnitus

Common Sense Remedies

Avoid alcohol, smoking, and caffeine; they can make tinnitus worse.


Cut down on salt in your diet. Salt can cause fluid to build up in your ears, worsening tinnitus.


Tone down sound around you. Avoid loud noises, which can aggravate a case of tinnitus you already have. Wear earplugs whenever noise abounds. You can use foam, rubber or moldable wax plugs. You can also use headphones you wear like earmuffs.


Some people don't notice their tinnitus in the daytime, but as soon as the lights go out, they're up to their inner ears in bells and buzzers. In this case turn on an FM radio; tune it so that it will point to the static between stations. If you keep the radio near the bed just loud enough to be audible, the static near your head will mask the sounds in your head and let you fall asleep. You can also use music to soothe you to sleep. Or record a 'white noise' tape, such as of running water, and play it whenever you need relief.


Some people can't hear their tinnitus when they take showers. You can carry shower sounds around with you. How? Make a long-playing tape of a running shower. When the tinnitus gets bad, listen to the tape through headphones.


Stress was found to make tinnitus worse. So, relaxation and stress management techniques also are useful. Deep, slow breathing is one safe way to ease tension. However, this may not be enough. See a counselor if you're having difficulty dealing with stress in your life and your tinnitus is becoming worse because of it.


Avoid too much aspirin. If you take aspirin daily (for arthritis, for example), try a different anti-inflammatory drug if you are suffering from tinnitus. Aspirin can cause or worsen tinnitus. Some of the other anti-inflammatory drugs can also cause or worsen tinnitus, but not in everyone.


Distraction is an effective technique to combat tinnitus. Focus on some outside activities: Help other people. Join some volunteer groups. Enrich rather than restrict your life.


Increase circulation to the ear area by massaging or applying a hot compress on the neck before going to bed. Dip a small towel into hot water, wring out, place on neck and place a dry towel over it.


Stimulate overall circulation with alternating hot and cold foot baths every evening.


Place a small cotton pouch filled with 3 tbsp. each of hot roasted millet seeds and salt on one ear. Leave on for ten minutes.


Regularly chew dried fruit. It increases circulation to the ear area.


An occlusal splint can help stop teeth grinding, which is known to cause tinnitus.




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Alternative Medicine for Tinnitus

Acupuncture and Acupressure

Acupuncture and acupressure may help decrease the level of the tinnitus sounds you hear. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, tinnitus is believed to result from a disturbance in the flow of energy, or chi, to the liver or kidney.

Acupuncture and Acupressure Points

GB 2, GB 20, TW 17, TW 21, LI 4, LI 11, GV 15, TW 3, TW 5, CV 23, K 3, LIV 2, BI 23.

For tinnitus after infectious disease:

ST 7, GV 20, GB 20, TW 18, HT 7, ST 36.

Acupressure

Apply deep thumb pressure for one minute to the points, as illustrated.



Alexander Technique

Alexander technique uses postural training of the neck to help people with tinnitus, particularly in cases when the tinnitus is accompanied by vertigo. The technique is believed to improve the flow of blood to the ear.


Aromatherapy

Use the essence of basil.



Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, tinnitus is a vata disorder.

To alleviate this root cause-aggravation of vata in the nervous system-prepare a tea made from equal amounts of comfrey, cinnamon, and chamomile. Steep up to 1 teaspoon of this mixture per cup, and drink 2 or 3 times a day.

Also, you can take yogaraj guggulu (200 mg. 2 or 3 times a day) with warm water, after food. See Also: Herbs for the treatment of tinnitus.

Gently rubbing the mastoid bone (behind your ear) with warm sesame oil may be helpful. Try it twice day, morning and evening, for a week, and see if it helps. See Acupressure.

Garlic oil is often effective. Place 3 drops into your ear at night before going to bed.


Bach Flower Remedy

Mimulus (mimulus guttatus) is useful to counteract the fear of attacks.


Biofeedback

Biofeedback can help people cope with their tinnitus. The effect is probably by relieving stress. Patients are trained to relax the forehead muscles, which tighten during times of stress, and to warm their hands and feet.



Deep Breathing

Take 175 deep breaths continuously every hour until the condition improves. Deep breathing is very useful in bringing out relaxation and in reducing the stress.


Chiropractic

Manipulation that loosens the neck and improves blood supply to the ears may be beneficial in some cases of tinnitus.



Color Therapy

Use blue for thirty minutes on the affected ear each morning and evening followed by indigo for ten minutes.



Diet, Vitamin and Nutritional Supplements

Scientists suggest that there is a major connection between tinnitus and food. Unwanted ear sounds can be a symptom of arteriosclerosis or high blood pressure. These diseases are very often the result of poor diet. An abundance of animal protein, especially red meat, refined flours and sugars, and processed foods constrict the arteries and stress the body.

A three-day fruit and vegetable juice fast can clear the ear of clogging mucus. Thereafter, a four-week therapy of garlic juice, which lowers blood pressure and dilates and relaxes tiny blood vessels, is an effective treatment when combined with a predominantly vegetarian, whole foods diet including plenty of raw vegetables and fruit. Drastically reducing the intake of saturated fats, vegetable shortening and margarine can produce a dramatic improvement in hearing. Avoid sugar, which promotes tinnitus by provoking adrenalin release, which, in turn, causes vasoconstriction in the inner ear.

Increasing dietary magnesium and potassium (good sources are apricots, baked potatoes, bananas, beets, leafy greens, and nuts) and taking a daily multivitamin-mineral plus separate supplements may help compensate for the above-average nutrient needs of some tinnitus sufferers.

Food allergies may cause tinnitus in some people. Do some experimentation to determine if allergic reactions to certain foods aggravate the affliction for you. For some individuals, caffeine or other stimulants, excess salt, or the quinine in tonic water can trigger an episode of ear noise.

Nutritional Supplements

Vitamin B

Supplementing B vitamins, especially B12, B6 and B5 (pantothenic acid), often improves ear ringing.

Taking an additional 50 milligrams of B6 two or three times a day may help stabilize inner-ear fluids. It is found in whole grain products, bananas, most fruits and vegetables, eggs, and dairy products.

Research has shown that a high percentage of people with tinnitus are deficient in vitamin B-12. Vitamin B12 deficiency has been reported to be common in people exposed to loud noise on the job who developed tinnitus and hearing loss. Intramuscular injections of vitamin B12 reduced the severity of tinnitus in some of these people. Injectable vitamin B12 is available only by prescription. The effect of oral vitamin B12 on tinnitus has not been studied. Nutritionists recommend that you take 6 mcg of the vitamin daily. Vitamin B-12 can be found in yeast, oysters, eggs, milk and milk products, fish, poultry and lamb.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency can cause inner-ear problems such as ear ringing, since this vitamin is important for the membranes in the ear. . Good sources of vitamin A are oily fish, dark green leafy vegetables, blueberries, yellow vegetables, and fruits (such as carrots, yams, oranges, apricots and cantaloupe). Vitamin A supplementation (5,000 to 10,000 I U a day) may be at least partially effective against tinnitus.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E improves oxygen supply to the cells. Vitamin E is found in whole grain products, dried beans, green leafy vegetables, fish, and eggs.

Choline

Choline (provided by two lecithin capsules at each meal or 2 tablespoons of brewer's yeast daily) has cleared ear noises in less than 2 weeks for some patients with high blood pressure.

Zinc

Studies show that high doses of zinc sulfate can reduce or eliminate the ear sounds suffered by older patients. Zinc supplements have been used to treat individuals who had both tinnitus and hearing loss (usually age-related). Of those who had initially low serum levels of zinc, about 25% experienced an improvement in tinnitus after taking zinc for three to six months. Do not take more than 80 milligrams daily without medical supervision. Foods rich in zinc are: oysters, whole-grain cereals, beans, nuts, eggs, and fish.

Nutritional Supplements

Daily Dosages:

Vitamin B12, 1 mg

Zinc, 30 mg, with 3 mg copper

Vitamin B complex, 50 mg twice per day

Vitamin E, with mixed tocopherols, 400 IU

Vitamin A, 10,000 IU (avoid during pregnancy)



Guided Imagery and Visualization

Guided imagery and visualization are proven strategies to relax and reduce stress by invoking mind-body effect. Guided imagery allows the person to return to a pleasant episode mentally before the onset of tinnitus. The results may be temporary and need to be invoked just before or at the onset of the tinnitus.

The relaxation session begins by replaying the sights, sounds, and sensations of the episode in detail. Now give this original experience a name such as "peace," "calm" before ending the session so that you can invoke the whole imagery by thinking about your imagery clue-in name. Sufferers of tinnitus are able to abolish the objectionable noises for minutes at a time just by repeating the clue-in name.

For nighttime ear noises that affects or interfere with sleep, deliberately relaxing while listening to soft music (or nature sounds) often controls tinnitus and in some cases completely eliminates it.


Herbal Medicine

A number of herbs are useful in managing tinnitus. For best results use herbs that stimulate circulation with a nutrient-rich diet.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo has been found useful in minimizing the distress of tinnitus. Two studies have found an extract of ginkgo standardized to contain 24% flavone glycosides and 6% terpene lactones in the amount of 120 mg per day useful for tinnitus sufferers, although other studies have failed to find ginkgo beneficial. Hundreds of European studies have confirmed the use of standardized ginkgo extract for a wide variety of conditions associated with aging, including tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss and poor circulation.

Ginkgo does not work in every case of tinnitus. But it has practically no side effects and it has benefits such as effects on memory. So, this would be a herb to try first.

Ginkgo increases blood flow to the brain, which is one cause of tinnitus. Make sure that you're getting enough ginkgo to be effective. Take 40 mg of the dried herb or take a dose of 120 milligrams daily (I to 2 tsp of the liquid extract three times a day) of a concentrated, standardized ginkgo extract known as GBE (Ginkgo biloba extract). Ginkgo works slowly, and it may take several weeks or even months before experiencing any relief.

Sesame

Sesame seeds have been used by Chinese herbalists for the treatment of tinnitus, blurred vision and dizziness. It is also used in Indian Ayurvedic treatment. You can add it to foods. Other forms of sesame are tahini, the peanut-butter-like spread made from sesame seeds, and halvah, a popular sesame candy.

Black cohosh

There are anecdotal evidence that black cohosh is useful in alleviating tinnitus. Use in the form of a decoction two to three times daily, three ml of tincture, or two capsules of the crushed root. Many herbalists recommend that black cohosh be used in combination with ginkgo for best results.

Goldenseal

Goldenseal may help some cases of tinnitus. Do not use goldenseal if you are pregnant. Herbalists recommend the use of goldenseal and black cohosh in combination (1:1).

Lesser Periwinkle (Vinca minor)

The lesser periwinkle contains a compound known as vincamine. Extracts containing vincamine have been used in Germany to help decrease tinnitus and Ménière's syndrome. Take 20 milligrams of dried herb three times a day.

There are some severe side effects noted with overdosage of this herb. Severe drop in blood pressure was reported. In animal tests, changes in blood counts were observed. If toxicity is suspected, gastrointestinal emptying is one treatment. We recommend that if you take this herb, you should be under the care of a professional.

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) and other foods containing zinc.

Zinc deficiency is often associated with tinnitus and certain kinds of hearing loss (sensorineural). So, taking spinach and other foods containing zinc may be beneficial in the treatment of tinnitus. Good sources of zinc include spinach (the best), papaya, collards, brussels sprouts, cucumbers, string beans, endive, cowpeas, prunes and asparagus.

Sunflower Seeds

An old Chinese remedy calls for eating sunflower seeds and drinking a tea brewed from their hulls for tinnitus.

Fenugreek Seed Tea

Drinking a cup of fenugreek seed tea each morning, noon, and night is reported to abolish disturbing ear noises.

Castor Oil

Folk remedies for tinnitus include putting three or four drops of castor oil in each ear once a day and inserting a cotton plug.

Onion Juice

A folk remedy for tinnitus is using 1 drop of onion juice three times a week until relieved, then once each week or 10 days for maintenance.

Passion flower

Passion flower extract regulates neurotransmitters and circulation.

Ramson juice

Sometimes, tinnitus is related to constipation. In this case, taking 1 tbsp. of ramson juice daily to clear the large intestine may help.

Horsetail

Supplementation with vegetal silica, an aqueous extract from horsetail, has been found to decrease tinnitus. Take 3-4 capsules daily.

Mistletoe tea

Mistletoe tea increases blood circulation. Mix 3 cups of cold water and 3 tsp. of mistletoe herb. Let stand overnight. Next morning strain, warm up and drink 3 cups daily unsweetened.

Plantain

Fresh plantain extract is an excellent remedy for the ears. Drink 2 tbsp. of juice three times daily for six weeks.

Regularly rinse ears with plantain or calendula infusion. Dry ears well with a cotton swab and place dry cotton in ear to avoid chilling.

Chinese Herbs

Coptis and Rhubarb Combination (San-huang-hsieh-hsin-tang): Prescribed for tinnitus due to hypertension.

Major bupleurum: Recommended for the obese.

Rehmannia eight: Choice for the elderly.

Herbs to Avoid

If tinnitus bothers you, avoid aspirin or aspirin-like herbs--willow bark, meadowsweet and wintergreen. High doses of aspirin may cause ringing in the ears. Other herbs that are suspected to aggravate tinnitus include cinchona, black haw and uva ursi.



Homeopathy

As homeopathy is specific to every person, below is a sample of the many prescribed remedies.

Take one of the following 6C remedies three times daily for up to two weeks (or as prescribed) to control tinnitus.

If you have a roaring sound in your ears accompanied by giddiness and deafness or some hearing loss, try Salicylic acidum.

If you have roaring with a tingling sensation and your ears feel clogged up, he recommends Carbonium sulphuratum.

If the noise is a buzzing or hissing sound, Chininum sulphuricum.

If the noise is a ringing sound with no other symptoms, Kali iodatum.

In the case of infection, take 3X of Hydrastis, every four to six hours.

When hypertension, depression, or piercing pain is involved, take 3X - 30X of Aurum.

Homeopathic Remedies for Tinnitus

Calcarea carbonica: When this remedy is indicated, tinnitus may be experienced alone or with vertigo. You may have hearing problems, or cracking and pulsing sensations in the ears. Those who need this remedy are usually chilly, easily fatigued, crave sweets, and feel overwhelmed and anxious when unwell.

Carbo vegetabilis: Useful if ringing in the ears occurs during flu or other conditions involving vertigo and nausea. The symptoms may be worst in the evening and at night. You may feel cold and faint. You may have a craving for fresh and moving air.

China (also called Cinchona officinalis): Helpful if you feel touchy, weak, and nervous with sensitivity to noise and tinnitus. This remedy is often given after fluids have been lost through vomiting, diarrhea, heavy sweating, and surgery or other conditions involving blood loss.

Chininum sulphuricum: Buzzing, ringing, and roaring sounds that are loud enough to impair the person's hearing suggest a need for this remedy. A tendency toward chills and vertigo, during which the tinnitus is often worse is another indication for this remedy.

Cimicifuga: This remedy is useful for people who are very sensitive to noise, along with tinnitus, and often have pain and muscle tension in the neck and back. They are usually energetic, nervous, and talkative, but become depressed or fearful when not feeling well. Other indications for this remedy are: headaches and problems during menstrual periods.

Coffea cruda: This remedy is indicated for an excitable, nervous person with tinnitus accompanied by extremely sensitive hearing and a buzzing feeling in the back of the head. They often have insomnia from mental overstimulation.

Graphites: Beneficial to a person who has tinnitus with associated deafness. Hissing and clicking sounds are often heard in the ears (or even louder sounds like gunshots). The person may also have a tendency toward constipation, poor concentration, and cracking skin eruptions.

Kali carbonicum: Useful for tinnitus with ringing or roaring, accompanied by cracking noises and itching in the ears. Vertigo is another indication. Persons who benefit most from this remedy are often quite conservative, with a rigid code of ethics. They tend to feel anxiety in the region of the stomach.

Lycopodium: This remedy is often prescribed when you have a humming and roaring in the ears, along with impairment of hearing. Sounds seem to echo in the ears. You have a tendency toward ear infections with discharge, as well as chronic digestive problems or urinary tract complaints.

Natrum salicylicum: Beneficial if ringing in the ears is like a low, dull hum. Loss of hearing related to bone conduction, as well as nerve interference and vertigo, may be involved. This is a useful remedy when tinnitus and tiredness occur after influenza or along with Meniere's disease.

Salicylicum acidum: This remedy is often indicated for tinnitus with very loud roaring or ringing sounds, which may be accompanied by deafness or vertigo. Flu and Meniere's disease are other indications. This may also be helpful if tinnitus has been caused by too much aspirin.



Lifestyle

Regular exercise that increases blood circulation to the head may help bring some relief from tinnitus. Try running, fast walking, swimming, biking, or some other aerobic activity. After beginning an exercise program you may experience a slight worsening of your tinnitus before you notice an improvement.


Massage

Several times a day, hold the ears close to the head and use the thumbs and index fingers to massage the outer edges of both ears, including the earlobes. Or press and massage the area below the last two fingers on the palm of each hand, and/or the sole of each foot between the little toe and the middle toe.

For tinnitus with hearing impairment, press and massage the hollows behind both earlobes and the jawbone directly beneath the ears; and/or press on the gums behind the wisdom teeth with a pencil eraser, or bite down on a wad of cotton in the same location for several minutes. Do this once per day.



Relaxation And Meditation

Some people are disturbed by ear noises only when they are fatigued or under pressure. Others find that stressful situations aggravate existing tinnitus and the affliction itself is stressful. Practicing deliberate relaxation may help alleviate tinnitus.

Relaxation and meditation techniques are particularly effective if used as part of a comprehensive treatment program that includes medication, broad-band noise generators, hearing aids and other therapies. Stress makes it harder for a person who has tinnitus to ignore the annoying ringing in his ears. Relaxation counteracts that.

Pick one of the relaxation techniques and practice it for at least 30 minutes a day for at least a week. Not all relaxation techniques work for everybody. So if, at the end of the week, the technique isn't working or your tinnitus seems worse, try another relaxation method or see your doctor.


Tissue Salts

Take three tablets of 12X Kali. Sulph every 2 hours during the evening to relieve nighttime tinnitus.

Other tissue salts that may useful include:

Nat. Mur.- Use 3X or 6X potency, taken several times a day is helpful for humming or singing sounds.

Kali phosphorica - Use 12X every hour until the condition (buzzing and/or humming, or ringing after nervous exhaustion) improves and continue with ferrum phosphorica 6X and kali phosphorica 12X three times per day for two weeks.

Ferr phos - Use 4 tablets under the tongue three times daily if the problem is due to blood pressure conditions and/or for noises like running water.

Mag phos - Use 4 tablets under the tongue three times daily if the sound is whizzing and ringing and hearing is limited.



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If All Else Fails...It Might be Yeast

If you have tried everything and there seems to be nothing that works, you might have a problem with systemic candida albicans (yeast).

This may sound strange to most people...even doctors. Systemic yeast can create many symptoms that are difficult to diagnose. There a many doctors that feel candida infection is a made up diagnosis. Some may even mistake Meniere's Syndrome with a candida infection.

If yeast is the cause of your symptoms follow the dietary and supplemental advice given on the Candida page.












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