An unbelievable number of North Americans suffer from Tinnitus or “ringing in the ears.” At last count, the estimate was in excess of 36 million afflicted with it.
Symptoms of tinnitus vary greatly. The ringing can be constant or intermittent and range from high to low-pitched noises. Some folks only have it in one ear; others in both. Sometimes it’s barely noticeable while some have symptoms that are debilitating.
Tinnitus has many different causes. It’s also interesting to note that everybody will have some form of experience with Tinnitus in their lifetime. There’s an old wives tale that says if you have a ringing in your ears, it means someone is talking about you. While there maybe something to that according to quantum physics, it doesn’t explain tinnitus.
One of the more common causes of tinnitus is exposing your ears to loud noises. The ringing that comes from loud noises can be permanent or temporary. It all comes down to the level of damage done to your inner ear. Loud noise can damage the nerve ends of the inner ear leading to hearing loss.
If your mum was like mine, she used to bug you to keep your ears clean. Even if she didn’t know the exact reason, the advice was sound. A build up of wax in the ear canal can cause temporary tinnitus.
Other common tinnitus causes can include the use of pharmaceuticals such as sedatives, antibiotics, antidepressants and even aspirin. Medical conditions such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, thyroid problems, certain tumours and trauma such as blows to the head are also on the list.
Tinnitus treatments come in a variety of forms, each somewhat dependent of the underlying cause. Where the challenge Silencil comes in for your attending physician is trying to identify what specifically is causing the ringing sounds. With the possible exception of serious medical ailments like hypertension or blunt trauma, X-rays and or a series of tests will only tell you what you already know, not what is causing your Tinnitus. Having said that, it’s always a good idea to have yourself checked for potentially serious underlying health problems.
Regardless of what caused your Tinnitus, here are some general rules to avoid worsening the problem. Go out of your way to avoid exposure to loud noises or if you have to exposed to loud sounds of any kind, wear ear protection to reduce the risk. Get regular exercise to improve your circulation and eat a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in sodium.
There are times when despite the best efforts of health professionals and the patient, learning to live with tinnitus becomes necessary. A concerted effort to re-train the mind and body can make it much easier to handle. Many tinnitus sufferers find that avoid silence is a good thing to help keep the mind from focusing on the problem. Peaceful background sound or pleasing music works incredibly well to reduce the constant ringing in the ears.