What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the extremely annoying symptom of ringing or other noises like buzzing or pulsating sounds in the ears. This can sometimes be so severe and persistent that it drives some sufferers frantic.
Unfortunately many cases of tinnitus are incurable.
What causes it?
Causes of tinnitus include:
- Exposure to loud noise
- Various drugs like aspirin, quinine and marijuana
- An interruption of the cerebral blood supply
- Vascular tumours
- Meniere's disease (see Meniere's Disease)
- Temperomandibular syndrome
- Exposure to environmental toxins and sinus congestion.
There may be associated hearing loss. It is important to be assessed by your doctor to try to ascertain the cause.
Treatment and general recommendations
- Check with your doctor regarding whether any medications you are taking could be causing the problem.
- If you suspect temperomandibular joint syndrome, see your dentist.
- Relaxation exercises are beneficial to reduce stress which often exacerbates the symptoms.
- Background noise such as relaxing music or the radio can mask tinnitus. This can be particularly useful at night to help you off to sleep. 'Tinnitus maskers' which look like a hearing aid are available and produce a noise to substitute or mask the ringing noises in your ears. As hearing loss often accompanies tinnitus, a tinnitus masker and hearing aid can be combined in the same device.
- Follow the principles of eating outlined in "The Liver Cleansing Diet"
- Avoid ALL dairy products.
- Eat cold water fish like mackerel, salmon and tuna three or four times per week. These fish are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids which improve the blood flow to the inner ear.
- Avoid all saturated fats and fried foods; reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels will improve the cerebral circulation.
- A three day raw fruit and vegetable juice fast is beneficial to detoxify your body. Suitable juices include beets, cabbage, wheatgrass, sprouts, lemon, carrot, celery and apple.
- Try some recipes from the A-Z guide to juicing – see"Raw Juices Can Save Your Life" Book
- Take 2 twice daily – Tinnitus sufferers need a good mineral supplement. Antioxidants are essential to reduce free radical damage and inflammation in the inner ear.
Orthodox Medical Treatment
The following medications have limited efficacy in the treatment of tinnitus but are perhaps worth a try – betahistine ("Serc"), carbamazepine, sodium valproate and antidepressant medications