By Amanda Box
Millions of people across the world never get a moment of peace and quiet. It’s not because of their kids, nor is the culprit a constant barking dog. These people are tormented by noise inside their own head that they cannot turn off. This terrible affliction is called tinnitus.
Tinnitus can come in many forms. It can be:
- Loud or soft
- Ringing or buzzing
- Whooshing or screeching
- And pulsating or constant
Many of us, at one point or another, have experienced tinnitus. If you have ever come home from a loud concert or from shooting guns at the range, then you have probably experienced some ringing in the ears once you walked into a silent room. Luckily for most, this is a temporary effect from being exposed loud noises. But for many, tinnitus is an agonizing nuisance that they cannot escape.
Finding the Root = Finding Relief
The main difference in a holistic approach to health versus an allopathic approach is the focus. So much of what allopathic medicine is based on is treating the symptoms, not the cause. When you treat only the symptoms, you are not getting true healing. Many times without true healing, other issues will arise.
Natural remedies and holistic medicine focuses on the root of the problem. It is the belief of holistic practitioners like myself, that if you can heal the root, then the symptoms will naturally disappear.
Tinnitus has a plethora of possible “roots.” It may take time to sort through and find which root cause is pertinent to you, but I promise it will be worth it. You will have the keys to unlock and open the door to effective treatment – because relief becomes much easier once you know the cause.
This list is lengthy, I know. However, many factors can cause tinnitus. Some root causes are simple and others complicated. I suggest starting with eliminating the possible the simple causes and work you way to the more complicated causes, if necessary.
- Blocked ear canal or eustachian tube - Again, this can be spotted by your family physician.
- Stress and Anxiety - Most people are aware of their own stress and anxiety. If you’re not sure, ask those closest to you. Counseling, meditation, prayer, biofeedback and natural supplements are your best choices at quelling anxiety and stress.
- Smoking - Smoking causes damage to your ear and puts a whole host of toxic chemicals in your body. Tinnitus is just one of a million reasons to quit.
- Pharmaceutical Drugs - Check with your pharmacist for a list of your drug’s side-effects. Also, be sure to let your pharmacist know all the drugs you are taking because many times tinnitus can be a side-effect of mixing medications. Ironically, anxiety medications prescribed for anxiety-induced tinnitus, can cause tinnitus themselves!
- Over-the-Counter medications - The overuse of aspirin is one of the leading causes of tinnitus!
- Food Allergies and Sensitivities - Many people react to artificial ingredients like sugar alternatives, artificial colors and flavors and flavor enhancers like MSG. Others with sensitivities to ingredients like gluten or dairy suffer from tinnitus, as well. Doing a food elimination diet can be a great way to determine if your tinnitus has a food related cause.
- Head or Neck Injuries - Finding a great chiropractor and massage therapist can do wonders for this root cause.
- Thyroid Disorders - An easy blood test determining your T3, T4, and TSH level can determine if your thyroid is not working properly.
- Heavy Metal Toxicity - Toxic levels of lead, nickel, mercury and other metals can cause tinnitus. A hair mineral analysis can reveal if you have high levels in the body.
- High Blood Pressure - Can be easily diagnosed by your doctor.
- Heart Disease - Inadequate circulation to the ear can cause tinnitus.
- Ear Damage - Loud noise is one of the leading causes of ear damage and tinnitus. Turn down those headphones and use noise-canceling headphones in noisy environments. Unfortunately, this damage cannot be reversed, so prevention is key!
- Meniere’s Disease – This is a disorder of the flow of fluid in the ears. It can cause vertigo, hearing loss, a stuffy feeling in the ears and tinnitus.
Once you narrow down to some possible causes of your tinnitus, you can work on finding trying some natural cures.
Natural Tinnitus Remedies
I’m going to tell you some of my favorite tinnitus remedies. Most of these are extremely simple and inexpensive. They are definitely worth a shot. And many times it takes a few weeks, or even months to see a change, so don’t give up too soon!
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the use of ear candles. Some say they are a complete hoax or that the heat can damage your ears. I’m used to controversy being in the natural health industry and it doesn’t scare me one bit. The proof is in the pudding. I have worked in health food stores that have sold thousands of ear candles, and I’ve heard the successful testimonies because people come back to buy more.
Ear candling works for those whose tinnitus is caused by excess earwax or fluid. However, it really is worth a shot for anyone who suffers with tinnitus. Many I have talked to use ear candling for sinus infections or when they feel a cold a flu coming on. The warmth of the smoke is said to kill the virus or bacteria in the ear.
Irrigating your ears to get rid of was at a doctor’s office typically makes tinnitus worse. I recommend try ear candling first. Using a couple drops of olive oil in your ear every other day can soften up earwax, as well.
My husband is an avid fan of ear candling. He often reminds me to go pick some up at the local health food store. He is a musician and has spent countless hours around very loud live music. Many times it is blasting through his in-ear headphones. When I ear candle his ears, he always notices a difference. He says his ears feel clearer, and he can hear much better afterwards.
Click HERE to watch a demonstration video where I show you how to properly and safely use ear candles.
Supplementing for Tinnitus Relief
Many people have gotten relief from tinnitus from taking different safe and effective supplements. Here are some of the most successful and most popular.
Many of you may have a gingko tree growing in your back yard! This amazing leaf works to relieve tinnitus by increasing blood flow to the inner ear. Gingko is a great choice for those who have ear damage from noise and those with heart and circulation issues resulting in tinnitus. Even Germany’s supplement regulation committee endorses gingko for the treatment of tinnitus!
Dosage: Start with 120-200 mg a day. Be sure to take it for 3 months before deciding whether or not it is working for you.
British scientists discovered a connection in CoQ10 levels and the occurrence of tinnitus.
Dosage: 50-100 mg a day of Ubiquinol CoQ10 is my recommended dose. Take CoQ10 at least a month to let your Co Q10 levels build up to an adequate level. There are a hundred other reasons to take Ubiquinol CoQ10, as well. It has been a staple in my daily supplements for a few years now because it is one of the best antioxidants you can take!
Those who have ear damage due to loud noises can benefit from vinpocetine. Vinpocetine is an extract of the periwinkle plant and seems to lower or silence the sounds of tinnitus. Unlike gingko and CoQ10, many hear the results of vinpocetine in less than a week!
Dosage: Start with 10 mg and day and work up to 60 mg, if needed.
Your Key to Relief
For those of you searching for silence, your key could be in one my suggestions listed above. I encourage you try natural remedies to see if they put an end to the noise in your head. They are safer, cheaper, and many times more effective than expensive surgeries and repeated doctors visits.
Please tell me about your tinnitus.
- What do you believe to be the root cause of this noise?
- What have you tried to find relief?
- Have you found success with any natural remedies?
Comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
Amanda Box is a Doctor of Naturopathy and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 10 years and currently has a Naturopathic consulting practice in Sioux Falls, SD. Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic doctor to turn to for your personal needs, Dr. Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.