Tinnitus can be caused by a number of factors, several of which can be associated with high blood pressure or atherosclerosis.
Other problems that can be associated with tinnitus are neck or jaw injury, noise induced hearing loss, head injury or acoustic trauma, diabetes and certain allergies.
Tinnitus can also occur as a symptom of nearly all ear disorders, including ear infection or fluid build up in the Eustachian tube (‘glue ear’) and Meniere’s disease.
One of the preventable causes of inner ear tinnitus is excessive noise exposure. In some instances of noise exposure, tinnitus is the first symptom before hearing loss develops, so it should be considered a warning sign and an indication of the need for hearing protection in noisy environments.
Other possible causes can be toxicity to some drugs or chemicals, including salicylates,
quinine some diuretics and some antibiotics, heavy metals and alcohol.
These may damage inner ear hair cells and cause tinnitus.
These include non-prescription medications such as aspirin, one of the most common and best known medications that can cause tinnitus and eventual hearing loss.
See page on ‘Tinnitus and medications’.
Also as we age, the incidence of tinnitus increases. Hearing loss associated with aging typically involves loss of and damage to the ear hair cells.
The over-activity of your jaw can make your ear canal sensitive and cause tinnitus.
The ear has two important muscles: the tensor tympani (it attaches to the ear drum, and stabilizes it from the excess vibration caused by loud sounds) and the tensor levi palatine (it attaches to the Eustachian tube, and helps to open and close the tube, thereby equalizing pressure within the inner ear…it is what “unplugs” your ears as you chew gum in an airplane).
It is not unusual for the patient with TMJ/CMD tension to complain of ringing in their ears, or vertigo.
I also suspect that a deficiency of vitamin B12, and/or Iron, may contribute to instances of tinnitus as can inflammation of the labyrinth of the ear, cervical misalignments and congestion in the occipital region.
Most of the time, the tinnitus is ”subjective”—that is, the internal sounds can be heard only by the individual.
Commonly tinnitus will sound like a buzzing, roaring, ringing or whistling in the ears which can vary in intensity, be intermittent of continuous.
It is often far more noticeable at night. This is known as ‘subjective’ tinnitus.
Occasionally, tinnitus is “objective,” meaning that the examiner can actually listen in with a stethoscope or an ear tube and hear the sounds the patient hears
Things to do:
Try increasing your vitamin and mineral intake. Barley Grass and/or Spirulina are good sources of both minerals and Vitamin B12, however you do need to take reasonably high doses (at least 1tsp three times daily) to be effective. Alternatively you could use Colloidal minerals plus a separate B12 supplement.
In this case simply taking a B complex tablet usually does not work.
Also check what medications you are taking and check your blood pressure regularly.
Have a nurse or GP check for any infection or fluid build up in the ear canal or Eustachian tubes.
See page on ‘Glue Ear’.
Have an Osteopathic check of the spine. In my experience many times tinnitus can be caused (or aggravated by) by tension in the muscles surrounding the ear or by excessive tension in the shoulder muscles.
This type of tinnitus may change in pitch at times (subjective).
A practitioner of this type should also be able to improve drainage of the occipital area and also of the Eustachian tubes.If excessive congestion is suspected but doesn’t appear to be due cervical misalignment then supplementing with Quercetin at night will help keep the
lymphatic system draining more effectively and will also relieve any inflammation.
Tinnitus may also be caused or aggravated by low blood supply to the head region. Supplementing with or adding Flaxseed oil, Fish oils, Cayenne, Ginger and Garlic to the diet can all help. You may also want to supplement with Ginkgo Biloba or Gotu Kola.
Go to a yoga class. I have also known tinnitus to improve over time when people go to yoga classes regularly. This would help improve muscular tension around the neck/head area and may improve circulation to the head.
Up-dated August 2013.