Tinnitus Guide: Common Symptoms and Treatment Options
Tinnitus is the hissing, crackling, buzzing, or ringing sound that you hear inside of your ear or both. People who suffer from this ailment may experience a lot of different noises. The noises may differ from minor disturbance to significant pain. An individual who suffers from it often complains that it causes a lot of discomfort, especially in times of silence, i.e., when you are lying in bed trying to go to sleep.
Tinnitus causes may vary from a variety of reasons, including allergies, low or high blood pressure, injuries to the neck or head, thyroid problems, diabetes, or a tumor. Taking up medications such as aspirins, antidepressants, sedatives, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medicines may also contribute to developing symptoms of tinnitus.
Allergies, noisy environments, flu, and colds may also intensify the noise. Other irritants include drinking too much caffeine, tobacco, various medications, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, sugar, and salt intake.
Is Tinnitus Common?
About 50 million people in the United States already have experienced tinnitus, according to the American Tinnitus Association.
Tinnitus Causes and Symptoms
- Brain or head injury
- Ear infections
- Excessive ear wax
- Hearing loss
- High blood pressure
- Kidney Deficiencies
- Lyme Disease
- Meniere’s Disease
- Poor circulation
Is tinnitus harmful?
Although it is not harmful, the constant annoying stress of noise can, however, over time affect the psyche. Some subjects perceive their tinnitus as endless torture: it disturbs their concentration all day and at night steals sleep.
If the person perceives the noise in the ear as overwhelming or important, mechanisms are activated in the limbic system (responsible for the processing of emotions in the brain) that intensify the emotional perception, thus producing a vicious circle.
Tinnitus is, therefore, practically permanent on a conscious level.
But not all subjects suffer from the noises they hear in their ear. For this reason, a distinction is made between compensated tinnitus and decompensated tinnitus:
A compensated tinnitus is not perceived as particularly annoying by the subject. In the ideal case, the noise in the ear can be masked most of the time, removing it from the level of consciousness.
Decompensated tinnitus is instead always present and causes a lot of suffering. It negatively affects the quality of life. It can result in sleep disorders, stress, anxiety, depression, and social isolation. In some patients, phantom noise also causes headaches, ear pain, dizziness, and muscle tension.
Recommended Treatments for Tinnitus
Anyone who suffers tinnitus has their personal experience with the condition because the symptoms tend to vary. What soothes the symptoms for one person who suffers from the disease may not be right someone else. There are a lot of available natural treatments, but individuals who suffer from this condition should consult a doctor before attempting to treat your symptoms naturally to rule out a medical condition.
Hypnosis, hyperbaric oxygen, magnet therapy, craniosacral therapy, and acupuncture are some of the alternative treatments that some patients have used to manage the pain and discomfort that is associated with having tinnitus. Although some people suffer, tinnitus finds these alternative treatments to be helpful.
However, these treatments are yet proven to be effective or are safe on a long-term basis. Again, please consult with your doctor before attempting any of these alternative treatments.
Living with a condition such as tinnitus can be a very exhausting experience. Often, patients will have symptoms of depression if they are unable to find a solution to get rid of the pain. Talking with a counselor or joining a community support group may provide you with emotional support. They can also teach you effective coping skills to help you deal with your symptoms.
- Black Cohosh
- Ginkgo Biloba
According to research that was done by the Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts, the extract from Ginkgo Biloba leaves is one of the effective ways of treating it. Healers strongly recommend using gingko extracts as an effective treatment for different health problems such as concentration and memory problems, headache, tinnitus, dizziness, anxiety, depression, and confusion.
It is also categorize as the nerve condition that can benefit from black cohosh. Also, black cohosh can be used as a treatment for blood pressure and blood congestion in the head by the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies.
They also suggest that hawthorn is already an adequate remedy for tinnitus because of its tonic properties.
For some people, it causes sleep disturbances; Sulodexide combined with melatonin is an important treatment option for people who are suffering from sensorineural or central tinnitus according to a study done at the University of Chieti-Pescara.
Homeopathic remedies are suggested by practitioners of homeopathy as natural treatments for it. However, according to medical research done by expert’s homeopathy has not shown any effectiveness in treating this condition at the present time.
TRT or Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
TRT or Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is a type of counseling technique that is used to teach people who suffer from this condition how to have their attention distracted by all the annoying noise. Results from the clinical study done by the Department of Veteran Affairs conclude that TRT is more effective than doing traditional counseling or non-treatments.
Sound therapy is used as a means to distract the uncomfortable and annoying noise. Therapists often use soundtracks like ocean waves, breeze, rainfalls, and other natural sounds during therapy sessions. Plus, patients can even use this therapy at home once they discover that it helps.
Tinnitus can be a real pain to deal with, and finding a treatment plan for your symptoms can be somewhat frustrating. Often, doctors or therapists have to try a variety of treatments to find the right one that works for you. If your treatment isn’t working, make sure that you speak up and that you are honest with your doctor or therapist.
Author: Vicki Lezama