Tinnitus: Phantom Sounds in your head
Have you ever experienced ringing in the ear, or other phantom sounds that are not there? If so, you will be able to relate with me as to how frustrating this symptom is. I recently experienced a high-pitched ringing which continued for several days, this led me to research all I could on the subject to figure out how to make it go away. This condition is called Tinnitus, of which there are a variety of potential causes, it’s no wonder it is a difficult condition to eradicate. After researching a lot of articles, I found some patterns in the potential root causes of the condition: exposure to loud noises, damage to the hairs which line the ear canal, ear wax build-up, TMJ, poor circulation to the inner ear, nerve damage in the ears, muscle spasms in the ear (there is a small muscle called the tensor tympani in the inner ear, when tensed, can cause a roaring or whooshing sound in the ear) and muscle tension in the face, jaw or neck. In addition, some medications can worsen Tinnitus as well (Aspirin is one of them), so be aware of the occurrence of tinnitus after introducing a new medication.
For myself this was brought on by several of these areas, and by addressing them I was quickly able to reduce the ringing to a barely noticeable level, and at times it goes away completely. I am confident as I continue to support these areas that the condition will fade away completely over time.
In looking for solutions, remember there are a variety of potential causes, and they may be affecting each other. Here are some questions you could ask to help you evaluate which areas might be out of balance and need supporting.
1. Does the person have a lot of circulatory disorders, HBP, or a lack of exercise and movement?
2. Does this person have varicose or spider veins or re-occurring hemorrhoids (tied into a lack of bioflavonoids)?
3. Does the person hold a lot of tension in their body, clench their teeth, or seem frustrated or angry a lot?
4. Did they have extended exposure to loud or irritating sounds?
5. Has this person had a weak immune system, allergies, recurring viral infections?
6. Does this person get leg cramps, constipation, muscle tightness, or have poor sleep?
7. Does this person have a lot of anxiety or nervous system symptoms?
8. Fluid build-up in ears: does the symptoms get worse with the weather changes or change in barometric pressure?
Once you narrow down which areas or body systems might need supporting you can choose nutritional supplements or lifestyle changes which are known to support these areas. My favorite supplements which have been associated with improving Tinnitus symptoms are:
Gingko/Hawthorn – promotes healthy circulation in the body. Gingko also has strong antioxidant properties (which helps reduce inflammation). Ginkgo improves circulation to the head and to the small capillaries in the eyes and ear. Hawthorn supports the heart and circulatory system; it is considered a nerve tonic, so it is relaxing to the nervous system.
Noni juice, Citrus Bioflavonoids and Lemon juice – These supplements provide antioxidants and bioflavonoids (components of vitamin C). Antioxidants protect the cells from free radical damage (which can trigger inflammation or malfunction of the inner ear). Bioflavonoids strengthen capillary linings and help improve circulation. They are powerful antioxidants and are paired in nature with Vitamin C. A lack of bioflavonoids, particularly Lemon bioflavonoid has been associated with Tinnitus and used since the 1960’s as a potential treatment to help reverse tinnitus. I like to drink Noni every day as a natural source of Vitamin C and bioflavonoids. Noni juice is a tonic which means it contains many nutrients to build and strengthen the body and improve energy. Noni is high in antioxidants. It is a great formula for supporting the immune system. I also add fresh lemon in my water to increase my intake of lemon bioflavonoid. If I feel I need to replenish my bioflavonoids I take a supplement which combines Vitamin C, and a variety of citrus bioflavonoids including lemon. I would add this type of formula if experiencing ringing in the ears.
Noni and Citrus bioflavonoids are good supplements to support a weakened immune system. Interestingly, zinc, a mineral which is depleted when the immune system is active, has also been shown to improve ear function and may reduce ringing in the ear.
Recently, I had a flare-up of Tinnitus after I had a virus which caused the lymph node in my neck to enlarge. I noticed that after a couple of days I developed a loud ringing in my ear. At the same time, I received an e-mail from a client who developed ringing in the ears after having the Covid virus. This got me thinking about how everyone takes Vitamin C as part of their viral program, but very few people take the full spectrum vitamin C which also contains the citrus bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids improve your uptake of vitamin C into your cells. So, it makes sense that since vitamin C is depleted fighting a virus, so would the bioflavonoids. This in turn may cause the inner ear to get inflamed. I increased my Noni intake and added Citrus bioflavonoids, as well as lemon juice for a few days, the ringing decreased to a mild level and my swollen gland went away. Since then, I have been doing daily facial massages and self-acupressure to further decrease the ringing. Often after a session I wake up the next day with no ringing at all, I will continue this routine until it is totally gone. I also increased my magnesium as I was feeling more edgy lately, for no apparent reason. A lack of magnesium has also been associated with ringing in the ears.
Essential Fatty Acids – a lack of omega 3 fatty acids can cause the wax in the ear (cerumen) to become sticky, which can cause the wax to build up in the ear. Ear wax build-up could intensify your tinnitus symptoms. Omega fatty acids also help correct inflammation in the inner ear which may be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
Lysine – a lack of the amino acid lysine has been tied into tinnitus. A lack of this amino acid is also connected with the herpes virus, cold sores, or shingles. When a lack of lysine is contributing to the tinnitus, many people also experience dizziness or vertigo as well.
Magnesium – protects the nerves which line the inner ear and helps improve healthy nerve function. Magnesium is thought to protect the ear from hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises. Magnesium is needed for tightened muscles to relax (helping to improve circulation), tension in the face or jaw muscles could contribute to tinnitus (it did for me). Magnesium is often used to help keep blood pressure at optimal levels, studies have shown that people with HBP often suffer from Tinnitus. Magnesium is needed by the body for healthy nervous system function. Many formulas which address Tinnitus also include a B-complex due to its support of the nervous system.
Lastly, no matter what root cause I focus on, I always introduce clients to a variety of facial massages or self-acupressure, to release tension in the muscles around the face and jaw, and to improve circulation into the inner ear. At least 90% of my clients find that their Tinnitus improves if they take the time to do some daily facial massages. These only take a few minutes so you can do them first thing in the morning, before bed or when the ringing is bothering you. There are also several acupuncture points which help stop ringing of the ears. I have had impressive results massaging them as well. It takes experimenting with different massages and acupressure points to find out which ones will benefit you, but the time spent is well worth the results.
Fluid build-up in the inner ear may increase the tinnitus symptoms. The fluid build-up can be brought on by temperature changes or changes in the barometric pressure. My ears always plug up just before a storm comes in. The herb Burdock seems to help the body correct this by supporting the function of the hypothalamus gland. The hypothalamus gland helps your body adjust to temperature changes. I find that facial massage and acupressure can improve the removal of fluids from the ear.
Here are a couple of videos which I have found helpful:
See this Article for some acupressure points which help Tinnitus
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