Tinnitus is a very common ailment and you may be surprised to learn that about 12% of people will suffer mildly at some time in their lives, and about 0.5% of people are affected so severely that their ability to live a normal life is affected.
Many people will experience noise or ringing in the ears but they do not know where the sound is coming from – They may assume that the discomfort is attributable to tinnitus, but before diagnosis can be properly confirmed it is important to establish that the noise is not emanating from an identifiable source.
Such might be blood flow in the narrowed arteries in the neck, or even the sound of turbulent blood through a defective heart valve, either of which can produce sounds that can be mistaken for tinnitus. Tinnitus is therefore present only when external noise sources have been eliminated.
The symptoms of tinnitus include hissing, roaring, buzzing, ringing, whistling, or clicking noises in the ear. The noise can vary from low to high pitch and can be present in one or both Silencil ears. Tinnitus may present constantly or in some people it comes and goes. It is often the result of exposure to loud noise or music, and several famous rock musicians, for example Pete Townsend and Eric Clapton have been affected.
The treatment you need will depend on what is causing the tinnitus. If you have an underlying problem, such as an ear infection, acoustic neuroma or Ménière’s disease, this may need separate treatment.
Depression or anxiety can make tinnitus more of a problem and treatment of these conditions may help bring some relief. People with some long-term, painful conditions sometimes get relief by taking low doses of antidepressants such as amitriptyline. This may also help if you have tinnitus.
The medical profession has so far failed to provide a satisfactory solution for tinnitus, and they tend to talk of managing the condition, rather than a cure. For example if you have long-term (chronic) tinnitus that doesn’t have an easily treatable cause, you may be encouraged to de-focus that is not to listen for your tinnitus and, instead to try and concentrate other things.
Consequently more and more people are looking to alternative medicine and natural tinnitus relief. Of course the medical profession have mutually lucrative relationships with the drug companies so sadly it is often not in their interest to promote natural tinnitus remedies even though natural relief is available.
Any therapy that promotes relaxation and a sense of wellbeing will be useful in relieving tinnitus or the distress it causes. Techniques include yoga, the Alexander technique, meditation, hypnosis and acupuncture. It has also been suggested that Ginkgo Biloba is particularly effective, although scientific studies have concluded that it does not work any better than a placebo.