Tinnitus: Ringing of the Ears
Tinnitus may be described as the sound of escaping air, running water, the inside of a seashell or as a sizzling, musical, ringing, buzzing or humming noise.
Tinnitus is a symptom of almost any ear disorder including ear infections, foreign objects or wax present in the ear, otosclerosis, Menier’s, acoustic trauma and others.
Tinnitus may be associated with hearing loss including occupational hearing loss. It is also a symptom of certain forms of cardiovascular disease such as occlusion of the caroid arteries, anemia, vascular (blood vessel) malformations, aneurysm and tumors in the head.
The sounds perceived include ringing noises, blowing, buzzing, hissing, whistling, roaring, pulsating, high or low pitched sounds, and others. The mechanism that causes the perception of sounds where there is no outside source of the noise is not known.
Tinnitus is common. Almost everyone experiences a mild form of tinnitus where they hear noises for several minutes. Persistent tinnitus sometimes accompanies sensory hearing loss. Tinnitus may interfere with the ability to concentrate or sleep, and it may cause psychological distress.
Is ringing in the ears abnormal?
Not at all. Nearly 36 million Americans suffer from this discomfort. Tinnitus may come and go. It can vary in pitch from a low roar to a high squeal or whine. And you may hear it in one or both ears. When the ringing is constant, it can be annoying and distracting. More than seven million people are affected so severely that they cannot lead normal lives.
Can other people hear the noise externally?
Not usually, but sometimes they are able to hear a certain type of tinnitus. This is called objective tinnitus, and it is caused either by abnormalities in blood vessels around the outside of the ear or by muscle spasms, which may sound like clicks or crackling inside the middle ear.
What causes Tinnitus?
Most tinnitus comes from damage to the microscopic endings of the hearing nerve in the inner ear. The health of these nerve ending is important for acute hearing, and injury to them brings on hearing loss and often tinnitus. In older people, advancing age is generally accompanied by a certain amount of hearing nerve impairment and tinnitus, especially if there has not been ear hygiene over years. In younger people, exposure to loud noise is probably the leading cause of tinnitus, and often damages hearing as well. There are many causes for subjective tinnitus, the noise heard only by the affected individual. Some causes are not serious a small plug of wax in the ear canal might cause temporary tinnitus. Tinnitus can also be a symptom of stiffening of the middle ear bones (otosclerosis).
Tinnitus may also be caused by allergy, high or low blood pressure which can be blood circulation problems, a tumor, diabetes, thyroid problems, injury to the head or neck and a variety of other causes including medications such as anti-inflammatory, antibiotics, sedatives, anti depressants and aspirin.
Tinnitus Treatment – The best solutions are:
- Giving the ear a warm water enema (irrigation) with a child’s rubber nasal bulb, followed by warm virgin olive oil retained by a cotton ball for approximately four hours.
- Cyclophones, today called ear candles, are especially effective. They can be purchased online or at any health food store.
The following list of DO’s and DON’Ts can help lessen the severity of tinnitus:
- Avoiding exposure to loud sounds and noises.
- Eating foods that lower blood pressure.
- Avoiding stimulants such as sodas and tobacco.
- Exercising daily to improve circulation.
- Getting adequate rest and avoid fatigue.
Do people cope with Tinnitus?
Concentration and relaxation exercises can help to control muscle groups and circulation throughout the body. The increased relaxation and circulation achieved by these exercises can reduce the intensity of tinnitus in some people.
Tinnitus is usually more bothersome in quite surroundings. A competing sound at a constant low level, such as a ticketing clock or radio static (white noise), may mask the tinnitus and make it less noticeable. Products that generate white noise are also available through catalogs and specialty stores.
Hearing aids. If suffering from a hearing loss, a hearing aid may reduce head noise while being worn and sometimes cause it to cease temporarily. It is important not to set the hearing aid at excessively loud levels, as this can worsen the tinnitus in some cases. However, a thorough trial before purchase of a hearing aid is advisable if the primary purpose if the relief of tinnitus.
Tinnitus maskers can be combined within hearing airs. They emit a competitive but pleasant sound that can provide distraction from head noise. Some people find that a tinnitus masker may even suppress the head noise for several hours after it is used, but this is not true for all users.
Finally, 21 days on water as a fast cures even the worst cases of tinnitus. The ears will suddenly pop loudly and the sounds end.