What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is one of those modern day maladies that has gone totally epidemic, and yet very few even know they suffer from it.
Why? Because many people have had this condition from such a young age that they accept it as perfectly normal. For others, the symptoms manifest just enough below the radar, so that it’s never ‘seen’ and always stays below a certain threshold of conscious awareness.
In any case, because of the numerous physical causes, environmental co-factors and unconscious emotional contributors of this health condition, we can say that throughout stressful Western society, having tinnitus has become the new normal.
Tinnutis: What is it?:
“Many people experience an occasional ringing (or roaring, hissing, buzzing, or tinkling) in their ears. The sound usually lasts only a few minutes. Ringing in the ears that does not get better or go away is called tinnitus. You may hear a sound, such as a ringing or roaring, that does not come from your surroundings (nobody else can hear it). The sound may keep time with your heartbeat, it may keep pace with your breathing, it may be constant, or it may come and go. Tinnitus is most common in people older than age 40. Men have problems with tinnitus more often than women.”
WebMD goes to say:
“There are two main types of tinnitus.
Pulsatile (like a heartbeat) tinnitus is often caused by sounds created by muscle movements near the ear, changes in the ear canal, or blood flow (vascular) problems in the face or neck. You may hear sounds such as your own pulse or the contractions of your muscles.
Nonpulsatile tinnitus is caused by problems in the nerves involved with hearing. You may hear sounds in one or both ears. Sometimes this type of tinnitus is described as coming from inside the head.”
[Per "Ringing in the Ears (Tinnitus)" @ WebMD -- http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/ringing-in-the-ears-tinnitus-topic-overview]
What are the primary causes of tinnitus?
The environmental conditions of this New Millennium have created a very hospitable environment on the outside of the body so that the ear, as well as the areas contiguous to it, are apt to gradually evolve a very conducive environment within the ear for tinnitus to develop (Did you notice we used “environment” 3x in this one sentence?). First, it’s important to understand that the ear and all of its delicate and sensitive tissues are relatively exposed to the world, yes? Clean out your ears some time and see what’s lurking in there. If you were to send the cleaned out contents to a ‘full service’ laboratory, their report might come back showing everything but the kitchen sink has somehow ended up there.
This is exactly where the problem begins. How so? Because the ear is under constant assault from both within and without. Truly understanding this reality will compel you to take a preventative approach to general ear health, so that the right environment never evolves sufficiently for tinnitus to emerge in the first place.
What are the daily assaults which ought to be addressed?
1. Ear wax which has been sitting in the ear canal for years which becomes ‘impacted’ trapping dust, dirt, bacteria, and other microorganisms which don’t belong in your ear
2. Everything you shower with ends up in your ears — all the soaps, shampoos, pollutants in the city water. Exactly what is in your soap and shampoo? If it’s not fit to eat, it ain’t fit to put in or around your delicate ears.
3. Location, location, location. Depending on where you live, your geographic location can produce a steady onslaught of environmental toxins to the ear. Airborne chemicals from a dirty job; airborne soot and ash from volcanoes or biomass incinerators or fireplaces; particulates such as pollen, dust, dander, innumerable contaminants from industrial sites, plants and factories.
4. Let’s talk about the sleeping environment – the pillow is of paramount importance; is it synthetic, feathers, old cotton? In any case all fillers and petroleum derived materials (all contents, actually) break down and end up in your ear, especially if you don’t have a tightly woven barrier cloth underneath your pillow case to prevent those contents from coming out.
How about from the inside? This is where things get VERY tricky.
1. The dental materials are a HUGE problem because every dental procedure involves different materials and/or shaving down of those materials. Where does some of that toxic material go, especially when not properly rinsed out of the mouth as is usually the case because of the rush and hurry of the typical dental office?
2. Right now, put your finger under your ear in the little indentation so you can see just how close the ear is to the jawbone. The wisdom teeth sites are right there and are well known for concentrating all sorts of toxicities which pass through the gateway of the body — the mouth. Therefore, everything you chew releases all the stuff – both good and bad for human health – and the first exposure is in the mouth, and those areas contiguous like the lower ear. It’s not difficult to imagine how all the aggregating toxins from the mouth may migrate deeper in to ear tissues, is it?
3. Then there are those oral hygiene products which so many are so fond of putting in their mouth — toothpaste; mouth wash; breath-freshening gums, mints and drinks which often contain fake scents and synthetic fragrances, among many other chemicals which one would not want being absorbed within the mouth cavity.
What’s the bottom line? You are what you’re exposed to (just like you are what you eat) whether by choice or by virtue of your ambient environment. Therefore, your job of cleansing and detoxing reigns supreme as the first step in eradicating tinnitus forever.
If these aforementioned co-factors are not regularly addressed and/or removed, an environment will take hold which can develop into a breeding ground for different pathogenic and non-pathogenic micro-organisms. Then, the infamous low grade ear infections appear, which many complain that these never seem to go away. And they don’t, often contributing to adult onset tinnitus.
Tinnitus and Diet:
Did we talk about diet yet? This is where you want to look closely at mucous-forming foods like dairy, especially milk and cheese, which clog up the sinuses. This adds another layer of stress, toxicity and burden to the whole region of the head.
At this point of “self-discovery” it is particularly important to determine whether you have any food allergies which may be feeding this whole process of systematically compromising what is a very sensitive and delicate balance throughout the ear — inner, middle and outer ear.
There are many levels and sub-levels within this area of self exploration because of how differently we all register reactions to our food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, recreational drugs and really hard drugs. You will be well served to take a close look at whether yours are food intolerances, food sensitivities, full blown food allergies or food reactions of another kind.
Other Potential Risk Factors Associated With Tinnitus
Here are some other excellent observations from WebMD which ought to be taken into serious consideration when evaluating YOUR version of tinnitus:
• A buildup of earwax.
• Medicines, especially antibiotics or large amounts of aspirin.
• Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol or caffeinated beverages.
• Ear infections or eardrum rupture.
• Dental or other problems affecting the mouth, such as temporomandibular (TM) problems.
• Injuries, such as whiplash or a direct blow to the ear or head.
• Injury to the inner ear following surgery or radiation therapy to the head or neck.
• A rapid change in environmental pressure (barotrauma).
• Severe weight loss from malnutrition or excessive dieting.
• Repeated exercise with the neck in a hyperextended position, such as when bicycle riding.
• Blood flow (vascular) problems, such as carotid atherosclerosis, AV malformations, and high blood pressure (hypertension).
• Nerve problems (neurologic disorders), such as multiple sclerosis or migraine headache.
• Other diseases. These may include:
[from “Ringing in the Ears (Tinnitus)” @ http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/ringing-in-the-ears-tinnitus-topic-overview
Tinnitus: What are the best natural remedies?
Remember, before we apply the remedies, we ought to always remove as many contributing co-factors of the tinnitus as possible. With that said we can suggest the following natural remedies which are offfered by “The Homemade MEDICINE — Home Remedies Site”. Each different type of tinnitus requires a different approach, so it’s important to identify exactly what form you have. In some cases an individual may have two or more types of tinnitus occurring at the same time. Here are some distinctly different causes (listed at The Homemade MEDICINE Home Remedies Site) that may be interrelated:
Cause of tinnitus #1: Most tinnitus comes from damage to the microscopic endings of the hearing nerve in the inner ear.
Cause of tinnitus #2: Hearing loss. Doctors and scientists have discovered that people with different kinds of hearing loss also have tinnitus. Too much exposure to loud noise can cause tinnitus.
Cause of tinnitus #3: Long-term use of certain medications. Aspirin used in large doses, quinine, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs can affect inner ear cells. Trauma-related damage to your inner ear.
Cause of tinnitus #4: Temporomandibular joint problems. These are “jaw joint” disorders, and they may result in clicking or grating noises when you move the jaw.
Cause of tinnitus #5: Stiffening of the bones in the middle ear.
Cause of tinnitus #6: A hole in or a rupture of the eardrum.
Cause of tinnitus #7: Ear infection. If an infection reduces your ability to hear outside noises, you’re more likely to hear the noises related to tinnitus.
Cause of tinnitus #8: Ear wax. Buildup of excess wax in your ear can reduce your ability to hear or inflammation of the eardrum membrane, the middle ear, or the inner ear.
Cause of tinnitus #9: Allergies, tumors, and problems in the heart and blood vessels, jaws, and neck can cause tinnitus. High blood cholesterol clogs arteries that supply oxygen to the nerves of the inner ear. If you are older, advancing age is generally accompanied by a certain amount of hearing nerve impairment and tinnitus.
Cause of tinnitus #10: Diet can affect tinnitus. Specific foods may trigger tinnitus. Foods include red wine, grain-based spirits, cheese, and chocolate. Quinine/tonic water, high fat, high sodium can all make tinnitus worse in some people.
Cause of tinnitus #11: Stress is not a direct cause of tinnitus, but it will generally make an already existing case worse. Ringing in the ears also sometimes accompanies vertigo (dizziness).
Cause of tinnitus #12: Maskers are small electronic devices that use sound to make tinnitus less noticeable. Maskers do not make tinnitus go away, but they make the ringing or roaring seem softer.
Now, see some of the correlating natural remedies from the same website:
Home Remedies for Tinnitus and Ringing in the Ears:
(These 6 home remedies are quoted from www.homemademedicine.com.)
Home remedies for Tinnitus #1: Take 300 mg. a day of Coenzyme Q10 This powerful antioxidant is crucial in the effectiveness of the immune system and the circulation to the ears.
Home remedies for Tinnitus #2: Bayberry bark, burdock root, goldenseal, hawthorn leaf and flower and myrrh gum purify the blood and counteract infection.
Home remedies for Tinnitus #3: Ginkgo biloba helps to reduce dizziness and improve hearing loss related to reduced blood flow to the ears.
Home remedies for Tinnitus #4: Eat fresh pineapple frequently to reduce inflammation.
Home remedies for Tinnitus #5: Include in your diet plenty of garlic, kelp and sea vegetable.
Home remedies for Tinnitus #6: For ringing in the ears, mix 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of glycerin in 1 pint of warm water. Use a nasal spray bottle to spray each nostril with the solution until it begins to drain into the back of the throat. Spray the throat with the mixture as well. Do this three times a day.
There is much more to say about tinnitus, like how the emotional components of anxiety, worry and fear can greatly contribute to its severity and time of manifestation. However, we will leave that important discussion for our followup blog: Tinnitus – Part II. We’ll also talk about ear candling and the amazing benefits from this procedure when conducted regularly and properly.
May you enjoy great health!
The Health Coach
With each passing year, we have seen a dramatic increase in the use of antibiotics and other quite powerful pharmaceutical medications utilized in the treatment of childhood disease and illness. Oftentimes, antibiotics are prescribed even when a bacterial infection has not been proved to be present, as a pre-emptive medicinal strike. This routine overuse and inappropriate use of prescription drugs has certainly had an adverse effect on the young bodies which ingest them.
We have received many a report over the years, from those who are highly aware of their physical status, that ear and sinus infections have definitely contributed to their tinnitus. The question now remains to what extent the many rounds of antibiotics and other medications contributed to the adult onset tinnitus, as well as those instances where tinnitus was experienced throughout childhood.
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