Natural Remedies for Tinnitus
Natural remedies for tinnitus - using herbs, vitamins, minerals, and homeopathy to treat constant ringing in the ears.
Tinnitus, commonly known as "ringing in the ears", is a rather common problem that affects about one in five people.
Tinnitus is not a health condition in itself. Instead, it is a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear infection, or a circulatory
system disorder. Tinnitus can also be caused by injuries to the head or neck.
Constant ringing in the ears is more irritating than life-threatening. In fact, in most cases, tinnitus is not a sign of something serious. Sometimes the symptom goes
away when the underlying condition is identified and dealt with.
However, you should see your doctor when:
- The constant ringing in the ears lasts for more than a few days.
- Your ear ringing is accompanied by dizziness, loss of hearing, or pain.
Symptoms of Tinnitus
You are suffering from ringing in the ears if you are hearing these noises in your ears:
The noise may vary in pitch, and you may hear it in one or both of your ears. In some cases, the sound can be so loud that you cannot hear normally or concentrate.
Tinnitus may be present all of the time, or it may come and go.
Causes of Tinnitus
There are quite a few causes of tinnitus. The most common causes include:
- Age-related hearing loss
- Exposure to loud noise
- Earwax blockage
- Poor blood circulation
- Meniere's disease (a condition that is caused by excess fluid pressure in the inner ear)
- Stress and depression
- Head injuries or neck injuries
- Head and neck tumors
- High blood pressure
Drugs that Cause Tinnitus
A number of medications may cause or worsen tinnitus. Generally, the higher the dose of medication you take, the worse tinnitus becomes. The good news is, the ringing in
your ears will usually stop when you stop taking the drugs.
Drugs that cause tinnitus include:
- Antibiotics, such as chloramphenicol, erythromycin, and tetracycline.
- Cancer medications, including mechlorethamine and vincristine.
- Aspirin taken in high doses (12 or more per day).
- Diuretics, such as bumetanide, ethacrynic acid, furosemide.
- Quinine medications used for malaria or other health conditions.
- Chloroquine, a malaria medication.
Natural Remedies for Tinnitus
Conventional medication cannot cure tinnitus - some medication can only be used to lessen the symptoms. However, most of such medicines have side effects.
Natural remedies for tinnitus is an alternative choice. Using herbs, homeopathy, vitamins and other nutritional supplements can help alleviate the symptoms.
Natural remedies for tinnitus can also be used to treat the possible underlying cause.
Natural Remedies for Tinnitus - Herbs
Several herbs can be used as natural remedies for tinnitus.
- Ginkgo: Ginkgo increases blood flow to the brain, and since one possible cause of tinnitus is poor blood circulation, try taking a supplement
of this herb. A dose of 120 mg daily of a GBE (Ginkgo biloba extract) is recommended.
- Hawthorn: Hawthorne berry contains antioxidants and natural bioflavonoids that support the health of the entire cardiovascular system.
This herb can actually help regulate both high and low blood pressure. If your tinnitus is caused by blood pressure problem or poor blood circulation, this herb can
- Feverfew: Feverfew can lower blood pressure and can relieve symptoms such as dizziness, muscle tension, and ringing in the ears.
- Black Cohosh: Black cohosh is well known for its effects on balancing hormonal levels. However, this herb can also improve cerebral blood flow
and has nerve-calming effects. It is therefore used to treat anxiety, nervousness and chronic tinnitus.
Natural Remedies for Tinnitus - Vitamins and Minerals
Several minerals and vitamins have been found to have positive effects on tinnitus.
- Magnesium: It has been found that a lack of magnesium might cause some people to suffer from tinnitus. It is advisable therefore to eat
plenty of magnesium-rich foods, which may provide relief from tinnitus and help prevent new episodes. Good sources of magnesium include molasses, nuts, spinach, wheat germ,
pumpkin seeds, seafood, dairy products, baked potatoes, broccoli, and bananas.
- Zinc: Zinc deficiency has also been linked to tinnitus and certain kinds of hearing loss. If you have tinnitus, you may want to consult your doctor
regarding taking zinc supplements. In the meantime, increase the amount of zinc you get from food. Good sources of zinc include spinach, papaya, collards, brussels
sprouts, cucumbers, string beans, prunes and asparagus.
- Vitamin B12: This vitamin produces myelin, the fatty sheath that effectively wraps around nerve fibers, insulating them and allowing them to
conduct their electrical impulses normally. Vitamin B12 is therefore effective in relieving constant ringing in your ears. If you have tinnitus, and especially if
you also have memory problems, ask your doctor to check your blood level of vitamin B12.
- Antioxidants: Tinnitus is sometimes caused by impaired blood flow to the ears. Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and beta-carotene help to
keep arteries open and free of plaque buildup, thereby ensuring that blood can flow smoothly. Some doctors suggest the following dosages of antioxidant nutrients for
tinnitus: 400 IU of vitamin E daily, 250 mg of vitamin C twice daily, and about 50,000 IU of beta-carotene twice daily.
Natural Remedies for Tinnitus - Homeopathy
Homeopathy is effective in helping control tinnitus. Choose a remedy that most closely matches your symptoms. Take the remedy in 6C three times daily for
up to two weeks.
- Salicylic acidum: Try this remedy If you have a roaring sound in your ears accompanied by giddiness and deafness.
- Carbonium sulphuratum: This remedy is indicated if you hear a roaring sound with a tingling sensation and your ears feel clogged up.
- Kali iodatum: This remedy is effective for chronic ringing in the ears with no other symptoms.
New Choices in Natural Healing (Rodale Books, 1998).
Prevention's Healing with Vitamins (Rodale Books, 1997).
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