Tinnitus is a surprisingly common condition that affects millions of people around the world. The annoying condition can significantly interfere with one’s normal daily activities by negatively affecting their hearing, concentration and sleeping.
There are several factors linked to the causes of tinnitus chief among them being hearing loss. The condition can easily be treated if detected early and before significant damage to the ear has occurred. However, it gets difficult to find efficient tinnitus remedies if the condition has been left untreated for longer than six months.
This post outlines some of the common tinnitus causes and remedies and various general tips on how to handle the condition.
Common Causes of Tinnitus
1. Hearing loss
Hearing loss is mostly associated with aging although it can also affect younger people and children. Besides, it is also hastened by living in environments filled with loud noises or sharp sounds. Tinnitus is closely linked to hearing loss in that the cochlea, a part of the ear that allows us to hear, gets damaged. As such, the brain sends wrong sound signals to the ear which, as a result, causes tinnitus.
2. Excessive ear wax that leads to ear blockage
Ear wax is responsible for protecting the ear canal by trapping any dirt from getting into the ear. Besides, it also slows down harmful bacterial growth in the ear. However, accumulation of too much wax makes it difficult for the ear to wash away naturally which is a common cause of hearing loss and irritation to the eardrum. This is known to cause tinnitus.
3. Ear infection
Various types of ear infections or a rupture of the eardrum are other common causes of tinnitus. This is mainly attributed to the fact that they alter the normal functioning of the ear. However, tinnitus caused by such conditions is easier to manage by treating the underlying condition causing it.
4. Medications’ side effects
Tinnitus can also occur as a result of severe side effects of certain drugs and medications most notably aspirin. Others linked to this condition include sedatives, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants and quinine medications. Tinnitus is regarded to be a potential side effect of about 200 prescription and nonprescription drugs today.
5. Changes to the ear bone
Stiffening of the bones in the middle ear (a condition referred to as otosclerosis) is known to cause tinnitus. This condition is largely considered to be hereditary and is caused by abnormal bone growth in the ear.
Other causes of tinnitus
– Injuries to the head or neck that lead to trauma can cause tinnitus although such injuries affect one ear in a majority of cases.
– Drinking excessive amounts of caffeinated beverages or alcohol
– Meniere’s disease and other related conditions that affect the inner ear.
– Common medical conditions such as high blood pressure, anemia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, failing thyroid gland, circulatory complications, and allergies.
– Acoustic neuroma, a noncancerous tumor that develops on the cranial nerve. This is a vital nerve responsible for controlling balance and hearing. This condition, however, only causes tinnitus in one ear in most cases.
Top 5 natural tinnitus remedies
As noted earlier, tinnitus is easier to manage when detected and treated early enough and before extensive damage has been done to the ear. However, the condition has no real conventional cure although there are a few holistic and natural remedies that are known to alleviate its effects efficiently. Nevertheless, tinnitus, as with any other medical condition, is best approached through prevention.
1. Ginkgo Biloba
This is a powerful herb that has both antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is regarded as the best herbal remedy for tinnitus especially when the condition is as a result of ear infections. Besides, Ginkgo Biloba improves blood circulation which in turn reduces ringing sensations caused by tinnitus.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar serves as both an antifungal and anti-inflammatory agent that treats any underlying infection in the ear while also providing pain relief.
Garlic is a traditional anti-inflammatory agent as well as one of the most effective tinnitus remedies today. It is commonly used to treat tinnitus caused by cold weather or ear infections.
4. Holy Basil
Holy basil’s antibacterial properties can help kill bacteria causing tinnitus consequently treating the condition. The herb also provides relief from ear pains caused by the condition.
Additional tips to help reduce symptoms of tinnitus
– Avoid smoking and other tobacco related products. This is because the nicotine in tobacco reduces blood flow to the ear thereby worsening the condition.
– Reduce intake of both alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
– Limit usage of drugs that contain aspirin
– Avoid exposure to loud noises and sharp sounds
– Exercise regularly.