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Tinnitus

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Tinnitus is the sensation of ringing in the ears or the head and can be so disturbing that sufferers can have disruptive sleep or be unable to carry on a normal conversation.

Symptoms

Described as buzzing, ringing, roaring, whistling, or hissing, tinnitus is a noise in the ears that may come and go or be continuous. It may be so quiet that the person can only hear it when trying to sleep, or so loud that it is audible all the time.

Tinnitus can also lead to occasional hearing loss.

Causes

Tinnitus is most commonly associated with over-exposure to loud noise. All it can take is attendance at one loud concert to experience tinnitus instantly and the noise may continue for several days. Many other factors can also cause tinnitus, including:
  • An excessive amount of wax in the ear
  • An ear infection
  • A perforated eardrum
  • Certain medication
  • High blood pressure
  • Allergies
  • Anaemia
  • An interruption of the cerebral blood flow (i.e. the blood flow to the head area)

Diet and lifestyle

These diet and lifestyle suggestions may help minimise tinnitus:

  • Doing regular exercise, such as cardio activities including running and yoga that increases blood circulation to the head may help relieve you of the symptoms of tinnitus
  • Improving blood circulation to your ears is important and reducing the saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet can help.  Eating a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables and make sure you drink 6-8 glasses of filtered water a day
  • If you're experiencing trouble sleeping, buy a white noise CD or try one of the many Tinnitus-related phone “apps” that feature sound libraries that will help mask the unwanted noise in your ears. Hypnosis has also been found to help some sufferers
  • Avoiding loud noises is the most important remedy. If you are exposed to industrial noise pollution, or attending a loud concert, always wear ear plugs
  • Avoiding alcohol, smoking, caffeine and reducing the salt in your diet can help improve cerebral blood flow

Important notes

Tinnitus can sometimes be related to an underlying health condition and should always be discussed with your doctor or healthcare professional. It is also important to seek medical advice if you are suffering from symptoms of infection, pain, dizziness or pus in the ear.

If symptoms of tinnitus persist see your healthcare professional.

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For last 2 weeks I have started hearing a continues noise in my left ear. Prior to that I have had cold and my ear got blocked with infection and and was prescribed antibiotic ear drops .The noise is not very loud i would say medium pitch but it annoys more during night time .
Anonymous
Anonymous 10 Jul 2013
Thanks you for the advice,
I am 23 and have been suffering from tinnitus in both my ears for about 6 years now. It was caused from very loud music, before it was never a big issue but feel it has become worse in the last year. I am healthier than I have ever been but still struggle to reduce the noise. do you think gingko biloba may help? I am currently taking multi vitamins but dont really see a difference. Thank you
Anonymous
Anonymous 26 Apr 2013
I have suffered from tinnitus nearly all my adult life. I am now 78 years old. I thought the cause was from the loud noise of .303 rifles when I was in the Army in National Service back in the days when they did not have ear protection. I can live with it but am going deaf and need to wear headphones when watching TV with my wife because I need to volume to be high. I am on blood thinners, aspirin and avapro as well as treatment for prostate cancer. What do you recommend?
Anonymous
Anonymous 25 Mar 2013
Dear Ibrahim,

Thank you for your post. While Ginkgo and fish oils may help with tinnitus, we suggest if you are taking prescribed cardiovascular drugs we recommend informing your health care professional first, who will also be able to assist you with your other medication questions. Fish oils may also help with your headaches and magnesium might be worth a look also. Epson salt baths may help to relieve muscle tension, that contributes to headaches. Ensure you are drinking adequate water - 2L / day and eating a healthy diet with fresh fruit and fresh vegetables to help your overall general wellbeing. If you have any other questions please contact the Naturopathic Advisory Service on advice@blackmores.com.au. Kind regards, Gina (Blackmores Naturopath)



Anonymous
Anonymous 23 Jan 2013
Thank you for help
I have got tinnitus started before 3 weeks.I have blood pressure
too using one tablet of Karvea 300mg and 1/2 tablet of Nordip 5mg daily as directed by the GP. my question :
Is Ginkgo biloba suitable with that medication? if not which blood pressure medication suitable with Ginkgo Biloba. this is firstly
Secondly, some times I have strong headch coming from my neck. I use Panadol Osteo and some times using Brufen. after tinnitus I stop it. so my question which pain tablets suitable to tinnitus and work with Ginkgo biloba ? what about Panamax?
Please help me and thank you

Ibrahim
Epping VIC
Anonymous
Anonymous 23 Jan 2013
Dear Peter,
I am so sorry to hear that you have suffered from tinnitus for so long and that it seems to be worsening.
There are many recommendations for treating tinnitus (as you can see by the therapies recommended in the article above) however, I would suggest a consultation with a local naturopath for the most appropriate and individualised treatment, especially considering your medical history with malaria.
You can search for a naturopath in your local area on the following websites:
www.atms.com.au
www.nhaa.org.au
www.ntpages.com.au
In the meantime you could try a vitamin B complex and a ginkgo supplement –provided you were not on any blood thinning medication such as warfarin.
You could also look at the possibility of food allergies/intolerances exacerbating your tinnitis. A diet and symptom diary may need to be kept for a few weeks to obtain some ideas as to possible foods. For example, aspartame is an artificial sweetener that can cause tinnitis.
A low fat, high fibre diet focusing on whole, unprocessed foods, incorporating fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains and cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds is the best for optimum health.
In addition, small meals eaten more frequently may also help maintain stable blood sugar levels. Try to have a low salt diet, as this is also thought to help reduce the tinnitus.
I hope you find this information helpful Peter and I do wish you a Merry Christmas and respite from the tinnitus!
Kind regards, Rebekah (a Blackmores naturopath)



I am a sufferer for most of my life (75 years) now incresing -- having had numerous bouts of malaria and treated with quinine.
Looking for some help to hopefully minimise the effects.
Anonymous
Anonymous 20 Dec 2012