That Ringing In Your Ears Is Tinnitus

John Gray

We all have experienced ringing in the ears at one time or another in our life.  For some, this ringing does not go away.  This common problem is called tinnitus and affects about 1 in 5 people. The ringing can vary between a ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking or hissing sound.  It can occur in one or both ears, keep time with your heartbeat or be constant and it may come and go.  Tinnitus is not a condition itself.  Rather it is a symptom of an underlying condition or cause. 

What Causes Tinnitus?

Your inner ear contains over 15,000 tiny hair cells. Over time these sensory hair cells become damaged and you begin to hear a ringing and experience hearing loss. This usually happens after decades of being exposed to loud noise. However, hearing loss can also happen more quickly. For example, it only takes 15 minutes to permanently damage your hearing if you listened to through ordinary headphones at maximum volume. Even normal household items cause hearing loss, like a hair dryer, vacuum or the kitchen blender. So wear ear plugs when you blend my shake! :-)

Tinnitus and hearing loss can also occur through ear infections or injuries to an ear or head, especially concussions. Allergies can also be a cause for hearing loss and the simply obvious, but often overlooked, ear wax build up.

Tinnitus and hearing loss can also be a side effect from medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, birth control pills, some antibiotics, and some antidepressants.

Even worse, Tinnitus can also be a symptom of a more serious illness such as multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, diabetes, thyroid disorders, blood vessel disorders, or tumors. 

Two Types of Tinnitus

The ringing and whistling in your ears brought on by tinnitus can deeply affect your quality of life. You may experience fatigue, stress, sleep problems, concentration problems, memory issues, depression and anxiety.

There are two types of Tinnitus:

Subjective Tinnitus - sounds the sufferer hears may be perceived very loud and only heard by them.

Objective Tinnitus - a less common condition, the sounds can be heard by sufferer and a medical provider using a stethoscope. 

Determining the cause for an individual's tinnitus can be simple or require extensive tests. It can be as simple as stopping a medication. Many times the cause is never found which is very frustrating for the person suffering and their medical providers. Thankfully there are many combinations of therapies that can offer hope and relief for tinnitus sufferers.  

Natural Solutions for Tinnitus

Relaxation, Meditation & Acupuncture 
Relaxation training and exercises, counseling, and/or psychotherapy can help manage stress and change your body's reaction to tinnitus.  Hypnosis, acupuncture, and chiropractic adjustments can offer relief for many people. A recent study found a combination of acupuncture and ginger moxibustion provided relief for middle-aged to elderly aged patients.  

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)
NAC helps repair the ear damage caused by loud noises. At the same time, n-acetyl cysteine boosts the body’s production of an important antioxidant called glutathione. Studies show that people with hearing problems tend to have low glutathione. And N-acetyl helps to raise glutathione levels in the body.

Alpha Lipoic Acid + Acetyl-L-Carnitine 
If you have trouble hearing highs and lows, then a combination of alpha lipoic acid and Acetyl-l-carnitine could be helpful. Alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant that’s made in the body and found in every cell. It's very unique because while other antioxidants work only in water (such as vitamin C) or in fatty tissues (like Vitamin E), Alpha lipoic acid is both fat and water soluble. So it can protect every muscle, organ and tissue in the body while easily penetrating the blood/brain barrier. This allows it to target free radical damage in your brain, nervous system and your ears.

Acetyl-l-carnitine is an amino acid that increases energy production in the mitochondria, the “power plants” of your cells. As you get older, your body produces less and less Acetyl-l-carnitine. When mitochondria don’t get the fuel they need, they stop working. So many researchers believe that hearing loss could be due to depleted levels of Acetyl-l-carnitine.

Scientists used alpha lipoic acid and Acetyl-l-carnitine in a complex study involving aging rats for six weeks. The researchers divided the subjects into three groups. Group 1 received alpha lipoic acid. Group 2 received Acetyl-l-carnitine. Meanwhile, the control group, Group 3, didn’t receive any supplements. At the end of the study period, the rats that didn’t take any supplements saw a normal deterioration in their hearing. But the rats taking the alpha lipoic acid or Acetyl-l-carnitine not only avoided hearing loss but their hearing actually improved.

Scientists also discovered that alpha lipoic acid was more effective for protecting hearing at low frequencies, while Acetyl-l-carnitine worked better for higher frequencies. Together, alpha lipoic acid and Acetyl-l-carnitine are a terrific team for improving the range, volume and sensitivity of your hearing.

Ginko Biloba
One of the best ways to quiet noise in your ears is with gingko biloba. Ginkgo is loaded with antioxidants that help protect your inner ear hair cells and auditory canal. Ginkgo is also a natural vasodilator, which means it helps open up the tiny blood vessels and capillaries in and around your ears. This results in less ringing and better hearing.

In one study, 103 people who suffered from ringing in the ears as well as other hearing problems were given either ginkgo biloba or a placebo. At the end of 13 months, every single person in the ginkgo group reported an improvement in their hearing.

Meanwhile, ginkgo is also shown to significantly improve the recovery of patients with sudden hearing loss. Give your ears the blood, nutrients and oxygen they need, and it’s only natural that your hearing improves, too. 

Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 helps the body make material that protects the inner ear nerves. Studies show that people with hearing problems also tend to have very low levels of this important energy vitamin. And B12 deficiency was associated with ringing of the ears and neural problems. Good B12 sources include organic, hormone-free dairy products, grass-fed organic meats and organic eggs. A daily B12 supplement should also be taken. Taurine has also been shown to help people who suffer from tinnitus.

Lifestyle Changes
Anything that constricts blood flow should be avoided. These are things like caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate, and cola) and nicotine.  Following a low salt diet is also recommended by many. Sometimes making small changes to your lifestyle can really make a difference and are worth trying.  A simple change can provide the biggest relief. You won't know until you try!

Sound Therapies
This type of approach uses white noise machines or other background noise devices to drown out the ringing.  This approach has helped many people in dealing with the ringing in their ears.  You can get a pair of noise canceling headphones that utilize white noise to block sound. If you turn up the volume you can block out the ringing. This is very helpful for those that have trouble falling asleep due to the ringing in their ears.

I would also recommend you check out Dr. Farzad Farahmand's Homeopathic Wonders' website for more information on their homeopathic treatments for tinnitus and brain-related injuries.

The statements and products referred to throughout this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. They are the expressed opinion of John Gray for the sole purpose of educating the public regarding their health, happiness and improved quality of relationships. Individual results may vary. Seek the advice of a competent health care professional for your specific health concerns.

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