How to reduce tinnitus naturally
Tinnitus, also known as tinnitus, is the “perception of sounds while no external real noise is present”. These noises are more often perceived as rings but can be heard as buzzing, hissing, rustling or whistling. Millions of people all over the world suffer from it. In the United States alone, for example, over 45 million people, about 15% of the population, have tinnitus-related symptoms, while over 2 million have a very serious disorder. Tinnitus can be a symptom of a more serious disease, such as ear injuries or even hearing loss (neurosensory and age-related) and can be an extremely debilitating problem. Treating the tinnitus naturally involves firstly the diagnosis of the disorder, then the search for auditory therapies, but also the possibility of finding other methods.
1) Understand what the tinnitus is.
It is a disorder that can vary from hearing very loud noises to other softer ones; it can be severe enough to interfere with normal hearing and may involve only one ear or both. You may hear rings, buzzes, roars, pulses and hisses. Basically, there are two types of tinnitus: subjective and objective.
Subjective tinnitus is the most common form. It can be caused by structural problems in the ears (in the outer, middle and inner ear) or by problems in the auditory nerve channels that go from the inner ear to the brain. This type of disorder requires that the patient be the only person who perceives the noise.
Objective tinnitus is much rarer but can be detected by a doctor during an examination. This disorder can be caused by vascular problems, muscle contractions or conditions related to the inner ear bone.
2) Determines the risk factors of tinnitus.
This is a problem that tends to affect men more often than women. Older people also tend to suffer more than young people. Some of the main risk factors are:
Age (the peak age of the first episode of tinnitus is between 60 and 69 years).
Having carried out military service (exposure to heavy explosions, gunfire, very noisy machinery).
Perform work in a very noisy environment.
Listen to loud music.
Anyone exposed to any kind of loud noises, whether at work or in their free time.
A previous history of depression, anxiety and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
3) Get the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) questionnaire.
The questionnaire for assessing the level of disability caused by tinnitus can be a good way to start. This form to be completed is to assess your degree of hearing problems so that you can actually determine how much the disorder affects and affects your life. This can be a good first step to understanding how to treat the problem. 5 AUGUST 2018
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Talk to a doctor
4) Undergo a diagnostic test at your doctor’s office.
Your doctor will probably want to physically check your ears with an otoscope (an instrument with light for ear examination). You can also perform a hearing test and potentially also undergo some diagnostic imaging tests, such as an MRI scan or CT scan. In some cases, more tests may also be required. In general, these are tests that are not invasive or painful but can cause some discomfort.
You may suffer from changes in the inner ear bones that may be of genetic origin. The inner ear contains three small bones: hammer (malleus), anvil (incus) and stirrup, which are connected to each other and to the eardrum (tympanic membrane); they are also connected to structures that transform sound vibrations into nerve impulses that we perceive as sounds. If these bones are unable to move freely due to sclerosis, tinnitus may occur.
Sometimes the cause of tinnitus is also due to the presence of excessive earwax.
5) Talk to your doctor about age conditions.
Unfortunately, many times, it is not possible to determine the exact cause of this disorder. Very often it can simply be due to ageing, such as the following cases:
Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis).
6) Talk to your healthcare provider about your exposure to loud noises.
If you work in a constantly noisy environment or have been exposed to loud noises, be sure to tell your doctor. This will help you diagnose your problem.
7) Check with your doctor also about blood vessel problems.
Many disorders related to blood circulation can cause tinnitus. Talk to your doctor about the following conditions:
Head and neck tumours that press on the blood vessels and alter the normal flow of blood.
Atherosclerosis or accumulation of cholesterol plaques on the inner walls of the arteries.
High blood pressure (arterial hypertension).
Anatomic variations of the carotid artery in the neck that can cause abnormalities in the blood flow.
Malformed capillaries (arterio-venous malformation).
8) Ask your health care provider if medicines can contribute to tinnitus.
Many medicines can cause or aggravate this disorder. Among some of these medicines we find:
Antibiotics, such as polymyxin B, erythromycin, vancomycin and vancomycin.
Diuretics (draining pills) including bumetanide, ethacrynic acid and furosemide.
Chemotherapy, such as mechlorethamine and vincristine.
9) Learn about other possible causes.
Tinnitus can be caused by many different disorders, so you must seek medical advice if you suffer from the following conditions:
Ménière syndrome: this is a disorder of the inner ear caused by an increase in fluid pressure in the area.
Temporo-mandibular joint disorders (ATM).
Injuries to the head and neck.
Benign tumours, including acoustic neuromas: usually these only cause unilateral tinnitus.
Hypothyroidism: low levels of thyroid hormone.
10) Ask your doctor if you suddenly experience symptoms.
If you notice the symptoms of tinnitus after an upper respiratory tract infection (URI), suddenly and without any known cause, or you have dizziness or hearing loss together with tinnitus, make an appointment to see a doctor immediately.
First of all, have your doctor visit you; he may advise you to contact a specialist such as an otolaryngologist.
Tinnitus can cause other problems, including fatigue, stress, insomnia, difficulty in concentration and memory, depression and irritability. If you experience any of these problems, be sure to discuss this with your doctor.
11) Currency to seek treatment to treat the underlying diseases.
The most appropriate treatment depends mainly on the cause that caused the tinnitus, but you can consider the following:
Treatments of basic disorders, such as cures for hypertension and atherosclerosis.
Change of medication: if your tinnitus is caused by a reaction to a specific drug, your doctor may consider changing it or changing its dose.
Try specific medications for your disorder; although there is no medicine designed for the treatment of tinnitus, some are administered with some success. Among these are antidepressants and anxiolytics. However, these drugs are also associated with a number of side effects, such as dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, heart problems, drowsiness and nausea.
12) Ask for a hearing aid.
This is a device that can prove very useful for some people. Your doctor may advise you to get one after you have had a visit to a qualified audiologist.
Some reliable sources believe that hearing loss causes less external sound stimuli that reach the brain. As a result, the brain undergoes neuroplastic changes in the way it processes different sound frequencies and tinnitus is the product of these maladaptive neuroplastic changes. In essence, this means that, with a progressive hearing loss, the brain tries to adapt but, sometimes, if the adaptation does not work, the development of the tinnitus follows. In general, frequencies that affect hearing loss are at or above the level of the tinnitus itself.
Look for Acoustic Therapies
13) Put a relaxing background sound.
Mask noise in the ears by activating background music or other sounds. You can turn on a CD or put some white noise from the sea, a stream, the rain, set up soft music or any other sound that works for you and helps you block and cover the noises in your ears.
14) Listen to relaxing sounds when you fall asleep.
White noise or other soothing sounds can also be used to facilitate sleep. This can be an important factor, as many people have trouble sleeping when they suffer from tinnitus. During the night, the noise in the ears can become the only audible sound and can make it difficult to fall asleep. A background noise instead provides a quiet sound and makes it easier to fall asleep.
15) Try listening to the brown or pink noise.
The first consists of a set of randomly generated sounds and are generally perceived as much deeper sounds than white noise. Pink noise makes use of lower frequencies and this is also perceived as a deeper sound than white noise. Both these noises are often recommended to help sleep.
Search online for examples of pink and brown noise and choose the best one for your needs.
16) Avoid loud noises.
One of the most common triggering factors is the presence of loud noises; try to avoid them as much as possible. Some people do not suffer particular damage in these circumstances, but if you notice a worsening or your tinnitus gets worse after hearing loud noises, you know that this can be a trigger for you.
17) Learn about music therapy.
A German study on music therapy associated with tinnitus has shown that the musical therapy used since the first episodes of tinnitus can prevent the disorder from turning into a chronic disease.
It is a technique that involves listening to your favourite music at an altered frequency to find the same as the ringing in the ears
Look for Alternative Treatments
18) Contact a chiropractor.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems that can cause tinnitus can be successfully treated with a chiropractic approach. It is believed that ATM problems can cause this disorder due to the proximity of muscles and ligaments that attach to the jaw and to the hearing bones.
Chiropractic treatment consists of manual manipulation to realign the ATM. The chiropractor can also manipulate the vertebrae of the neck to reduce the symptoms of tinnitus. The sessions are not painful but can cause some temporary discomfort.
This treatment can also include the application of heat or ice and specific exercises.
This practice can also help in the case of Ménière’s syndrome, another relatively rare cause of tinnitus.
19) Be visited by an acupuncturist.
A recent analysis of the studies related to the positive results of acupuncture in the treatment of tinnitus has concluded that there is some reason for hope. Acupuncture techniques may vary based on the underlying cause of the disorder and may also involve the use of traditional Chinese herbs.
However, further studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture in improving the situation of those suffering from tinnitus.
20) Ask your doctor for more details about aldosterone.
It is a hormone that is found in the adrenal gland and that regulates the level of sodium and potassium in the blood. One study found that a patient with tinnitus with hearing loss had aldosterone deficiency; when, however, the subject has received the synthetic hormone identical to that produced by the human body, the hearing has returned to normal and the tinnitus has disappeared.
21) Proof of personalized sound frequency treatments.
It is a relatively new technique, which can be useful for some patients and consists in finding the frequency of the sound present in your ears and masking it with other sounds specially designed for this purpose.
A thin or audiologist can give you advice on these treatments.
You can also find these treatments online, they are available for a fee through websites such as Audionotch (in English, French and Spanish) and Tinnitracks (in English, Dutch and German). These services provide an initial test to know the specific frequency of your tinnitus, in order to design a treatment protocol appropriate to your personal situation.
Studies on these techniques are still limited, but they seem promising.
Take the Supplements
22) Take the CoQ10.
The body uses CoQ10 – or coenzyme Q10 – for cell growth and maintenance; this molecule is also an antioxidant; you can also find CoQ10 in offal, such as the heart, liver and kidneys.
One study found that such supplements may be useful for some patients with a serum level of low CoQ10.
Try taking 100 mg three times a day.
23) Try ginkgo biloba supplements.
It is believed that this plant is able to increase the flow of blood to the brain and has often been used to treat tinnitus with different results, not always positive; this probably because tinnitus has many known causes, but many unknown ones.
A recent analysis concluded that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of ginkgo biloba in the treatment of this disorder. On the contrary, another recent report found that a standardized extract of this plant, EGb 761, is an effective solution. EGb 761 is a “standardized extract of ginkgo biloba leaves and has antioxidant properties able to eliminate free radicals. This is a well-defined product and contains about 24% of flavone glycosides (especially quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin) and 6% of terpenic lactones (ginkgolides 2.8-3.4% A, B and C and bilobalide 2.6-3.2%).
In the market, this specific supplement is sold as Tebonin Egb 761.
Follow the instructions on the package, if you decide to take it.
24) Increases the intake of zinc.
Research has found that almost half of tinnitus patients improve with 50 mg of zinc per day for 2 months. In reality, it is a rather high dose; the recommended daily dose for adult men is 11 mg, while for women it is 8 mg.
Do not take zinc without consulting a competent doctor first.
If you decide to take a high amount of zinc, make sure not to exceed 2 months.
Balance the intake of zinc with copper supplements. High zinc intake is associated with copper deficiency and, since the latter mineral deficiency causes anaemia, taking it helps to avoid this further problem. Take 2 mg of copper a day.
25) Try melatonin.
It is a hormone that acts on the sleep cycle. One study found that 3 mg of melatonin taken in the evening is more effective in men without a history of depression and in those who suffer from tinnitus in both ears.
Change the Diet
26) Avoid salty foods.
Particularly salty foods are generally not recommended due to their correlation with high blood pressure, which can cause tinnitus.
27) Follow a healthy and wholesome diet.
A reasonable advice is to follow a wholemeal diet with low salt, sugar and saturated fats and to increase the quantity of fruit and vegetables.
28) Try to reduce coffee, alcohol and nicotine.
Some of the most common triggers of tinnitus are these three elements; avoid taking them as much as possible. The reason that causes these factors to cause a disturbance in different people is not yet known. Since tinnitus is a symptom of a series of different possible problems, the reason is more to be attributed to individual and subjective questions.
Know however that reducing these substances does not mean improving your tinnitus problem. In fact, one study showed that caffeine is not related to tinnitus at all. Another study found that alcohol can actually help relieve tinnitus in older adults.
An important and simple thing you can do is to check what happens to you when you consume coffee, alcohol or nicotine; in particular, check how your problem reacts when you indulge in one of these substances. If tinnitus gets worse or becomes more difficult to manage, you can consider eliminating these triggers completely.