Tinnitus: A condition that may cause hear loss and its natural remedies
Christmas is already here and the New Year is fast approaching. These are occasions when people are overexposed to loud music, which can lead to tinnitus.
What is tinnitus? Well, tinnitus is an annoying condition affecting the ears, which can seriously diminish someone’s hearing. A multitude of distracting sounds such as ringing, hissing and buzzing can be heard which are often maddening and negatively affect daily life. Tinnitus often develops after exposure to loud noise, ear infections or injuries affecting nerve endings. Conventional medicine has no cure; however, there are certain holistic and natural treatments for tinnitus, as well as home remedies, that can alleviate its effects, making it easier to hear.
Ginkgo biloba is one of the natural remedies of tinnitus. The famous ginkgo biloba leaf extract have many beneficial effects on our body such as increased blood flow to upper part of the body: neck, head and brain. By promoting blood circulation ginkgo biloba provides nerves surrounding the ear with proper nutrients. This particular remedy should be considered as a “long term” therapy – it effects are not immediate so the person should exercise a bit of patient while mixing ginkgo with other remedies. Additionally, ginkgo biloba reduces inflammation in blood vessels.
Another natural remedy for tinnitus is CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10 may be helpful for certain people for reducing noises in the ears from tinnitus depending on the nature of their condition. 200 mg of high potency, highly absorbable CoQ10 daily is recommended for the prevention and management of heart attacks and strokes as well as ringing in the ears. The use of statins for lowering blood cholesterol often leads to deficiency of CoQ10, therefore people on statin therapy should talk to their physicians on the possibility of taking CoQ10 supplements.
Anyone with tinnitus should avoid any activities or foods as well as beverages that decrease blood flow or cause an elevation in blood pressure. A typical example is caffeine. Caffeine may reduce the flow of blood to the head, neck and ears constricting capillaries and other small blood vessels. This can, in turn, aggravate your tinnitus symptoms. High salt intake can raise blood pressure, causing tinnitus and hypertension. If you are susceptible to the effects of sodium, reducing your salt intake is an important step in helping to lower your blood pressure and possibly reduce the intensity of the ringing in your ears.
There are other things to be avoided by people with tinnitus, including loud noise. Avoid exposure to loud noises and music to protect ears. Loud noises can cause additional damage to the ear, and be extremely painful to those with existing tinnitus.
However, subtle or delicate continuous noise may be helpful in the treatment of tinnitus, for example white noise. Using a white noise generator or FAN during sleep helps mask noises providing relief for some people from the ringing in their ears. The gentle noises produced by the equipment creates a distraction, which dims the noises of tinnitus.
There are two (2) mechanical solutions to tinnitus, namely removal of wax build-up and finger drumming technique. Many people suffering from tinnitus may experience hearing loss because of wax build-up in the ears. The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) suggests visiting an audiologist to have your ears checked and the condition assessed before taking more aggressive measures.
When excess ear wax is removed, some hearing may be regained reducing the interference and noise from the tinnitus.
Finger drumming technique: The following method may reduce the ringing in your ears: Place the palms of your hands over your ears with fingers resting gently on the back of your head. Your middle fingers should point toward one another just above the base of your skull. Place your index fingers on top of you middle fingers and snap them (the index fingers) onto the skull making a loud, drumming noise. Repeat 40-50 times. Some people experience immediate relief with this method. Repeat several times a day for as long as necessary to reduce tinnitus.
These are the thoughts of:
Sa’eed Halilu Bawa
Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad.
Studied Food and Nutrition Sciences, Dietetics at Kaduna Polytechnic, Nigeria; Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poland.