Tinnitus

Tinnitus

Tinnitus is the term used to describe the sense of ringing in the ears or head, even though no noise is present. It is a fault in the auditory system and can vary in severity depending on the person.

Symptoms

  • Ringing, buzzing or humming in the ears
  • Symptoms may be exacerbated during times of Stress or Fatigue
  • Frustration with the symptoms may lead to Stress, Depression or irritability
  • The noise may cause Insomnia

Causes

  • Over-exposure to loud noises (e.g. loud music, power tools)
  • Ear infection
  • Congestion of the ear canal (e.g. wax)
  • Damage to the tiny bones in the middle ear
  • High blood pressure
  • Stress
  • Meniere's disease, in which tinnitus may be accompanied by other symptoms, including dizziness, Nausea and hearing loss
  • In older people, tinnitus may also be symptomatic of cerebral insufficiency, and may be accompanied by Memory Problems, confusion, Fatigue, mood problems and headaches
  • Some medications may cause or aggravate tinnitus

Nutritional & Herbal Solutions

  • Research suggests that Ginkgo biloba may help to relieve symptoms of tinnitus when taken over several months. It may be particularly useful when tinnitus is a symptom of cerebral insufficiency. A suitable dose is 6000 mg of ginkgo per day, standardised for its content of ginkgo flavonglycosides
  • Preliminary research suggests that there may be a link between vitamin B12 deficiency and noise-induced tinnitus and hearing loss. Vitamin B12 supplements may help to improve symptoms for some sufferers
  • Zinc supplements may also benefit some sufferers, especially those over 50 years of age, and without associated hearing loss
  • Naturopaths often recommend the minerals magnesium phosphate and potassium phosphate to help relieve the symptoms of tinnitus. These are sometimes combined with a high potency multivitamin that also provides the B-complex group of vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and other nutrients that help support the nervous system during times of Stress
  • Don't smoke or take recreational drugs. Note that both nicotine and marijuana may worsen symptoms
  • Don't use quinine or drink tonic water

Diet & Lifestyle advice

  • Tinnitus may be indicative of underlying disease, and requires medical investigation
  • Learn and practice meditation or relaxation techniques in order to improve your ability to cope with Stress, and to help you wind down in the evening. Playing a sleep-inducing hypnotherapy or relaxation CD may help you to drift off at bedtime, or, alternatively, purchase a white noise CD to help mask the sounds of tinnitus
  • Avoid noisy environments, and wear ear plugs or ear muffs when exposed to loud noise
  • Drink at least two litres of water every day, and avoid caffeine, alcohol and salt, all of which can hinder circulation to your head and ears

If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional. Information provided is of a general nature and should not replace that of your healthcare professional.

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