Tinnitus, a sensation of ringing in the ears or the head, can be extremely annoying. Sometimes the noise is so disturbing that the person cannot sleep or carry on a normal conversation.
A noise in the ears, such as buzzing, ringing, roaring, whistling, or hissing.
It may come and go or be continuous, and may be so soft that the person can hear it only when trying to sleep, or so loud that it is audible at all times.
Occasional hearing loss.
The most common cause of tinnitus is over-exposure to loud noise. (You only have to be exposed to a loud concert to experience tinnitus instantly – the noise can last for days afterwards).
There are many other things which can also cause tinnitus, including:
- Too much wax in the ear
- Ear infection
- A hole in the eardrum
- Certain medications
- High blood pressure
- Interruption of the cerebral blood flow (i.e. the blood flow to the head area)
Ginkgo biloba, when taken over several weeks, has been found useful in minimising the distress of tinnitus caused by impaired circulation. (Ginkgo is not suitable for use if you are taking blood thinning medication such as warfarin – consult your healthcare professional before use).
The minerals magnesium phosphate and potassium phosphate have traditionally been indicated for this disorder and deliver good results for some people.
B group vitamins and herbs that are calming to the nervous system and may be of benefit for the stress that accompanies this disorder.
If you are experiencing tinnitus, it is important to consult your healthcare professional in order to identify and treat underlying health conditions which may be causing it.
To improve blood circulation to your ears, reduce the saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet, and keep eating a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables, with 6-8 glasses of filtered water each day.
Regular exercise that increases blood circulation to the head may help bring some relief from tinnitus.
If you have trouble sleeping, buy a white noise tape or CD which will cover up the unwanted noise in your ears. Hypnosis has also been known to improve symptoms for some people.
Avoid loud noises. If you are exposed to industrial noise pollution, always take protective measures. Avoid alcohol, smoking, and caffeine, and reduce the salt in your diet. All of these can further impair cerebral blood flow.
Tinnitus is sometimes related to an underlying health condition, and should always be discussed with your healthcare professional.
It is also important to consult your healthcare professional if you experience symptoms of infection such as pain, dizziness or pus in the ear.