Tinnitus is not actually a disease, but rather a result of illness, injury, a side effect of medication, or even withdrawal from a benzodiazepine addiction. It refers to a sensation of ringing, buzzing, roaring or hissing in your ears, and is not exclusively linked to hearing loss or noise exposure; even people with normal hearing can develop the condition.
Symptoms can vary from mild to severe, can be in one ear or both, and while not a serious condition can affect your life adversely, so identifying the underlying cause is very important. Some of the potential risk factors include:
- atherosclerosis (which can affect the blood vessels of your ears as well as your heart)
- ear infection or sinusitis
- earwax buildup (see your doctor about this instead of attempting to remove it on your own)
- exposure to loud noises
- injury to the head, neck or jaw
- medications such as some antibiotics, anti-cancer drugs, or anti-malarial drugs, and possibly even aspirin, anti-inflammatories, diuretics, blood pressure and cholesterol lowering medications
Your doctor will likely refer you to a specialist, who may prescribe any number of a variety of treatments, depending on what he/she deems the cause of your tinnitus. While a hearing aid may be called for, there are some drugs available that may help, while changing an existing medication may also be the solution. You may also want to ask your doctor to have your homocysteine levels checked, as high levels of this amino acid can also increase your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer's, stroke, and diabetes.
Keeping a food diary as well as speaking with one of our naturopathic doctors can help you eliminate some foods which may be exacerbating your tinnitus. Acupuncture and TCM can help reduce and possibly eliminate your tinnitus (depending on the cause), and massage therapy can help you feel relaxed and possibly help you heal from an injury that may be the cause of your condition. Chiropractic care may be able to realign the right nervous system functionality to rid you of the concern.
Contact us for a FREE consultation on how natural therapy can help you manage your tinnitus.
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