TIN-IT-TUS, not TIN-EYE-TUS, for those of you wondering.
This is a condition where your ears ring, hum, buzz, etcetera, uncontrollably.
I’ve had a low-grade tinnitus for years, but recently, it became worse. I believe multiple factors played into its worsening, including stress, allergies (always), and Lyme disease. Though I personally have Lyme, any long-standing, chronic infection that compromises the immune system seems to put people at risk.
It is now at the point of affecting my sleep, so I’ve began to take more aggressive action with it.
Though I’m at the start of the healing/helping process, I’d like to share a few things I’ve learned, however predetermined they may be.
This is a condition that can drive you a bit batty, so I feel a kinship to whomever may need immediate help. I know I feel better taking action with problems, so this is a list of things to consider/try if you’re in the same boat.
Bear with me, as I’m still learning. I intend this post to be merely helpful. I am NOT a physician.
Fungus has been linked to many ear problems, including tinnitus. (source)
Fungus is a vague term, but it can include conditions like candida, which I have had in the past. Other immune-compromised individuals are susceptible, including those with diabetes and chronic infections. Given both the candida and diabetes slant, I would wager that anyone with blood sugar or pancreatic issues may be at risk.
My takeaway here is to fight the fungus!
Some of my personal favorite fungus combatants include:
–Pau d’arco tea – I drink this 2-3 times each week; also good for candida!
–Olive leaf – Check out the testimonies on Amazon from people who have not been able to fight their fungus infection with anything but this miraculous plant.
–Garlic – Think about what you see in so many natural ear infection remedies…makes sense it would help to take it internally too!
–Oregano oil – Honorable mention; this one doesn’t agree with me very well, but it’s a goodie!
Definitely not a complete list, but those are some of the major players.
2. TENS Unit
I came across this method in a very fortuitous manner.
Try googling ‘tens unit and tinnitus’ and you’ll be hit with a number of sites and forums where people have successfully treated their tinnitus with this stimulation device.
I immediately purchased this one, but have yet to really see any results. Granted, I’ve only been at it a few days, but yesterday, I did it three times for 10-15 minutes each time. I plan to continue my usage and pray for the best.
I have read that it could get worse before it gets better, and one study said the unit was most effective for somatic tinnitus. (source) I myself suffer from subjective tinnitus. I hear a hear pitched ringing all the time, with intermittent bouts of loudness.
I saw a naturopath this week regarding my condition, and he gave me some good insight.
There is a glutamate/GABA balance involved in nerve cells. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter, which is needed for learning, functioning, etcetera. Too much, however, produces nerve cell death, which leads to inflammation, which (can) lead to conditions like tinnitus.
This particular mechanism hit home with me, as I tend to have trouble with high glutamate foods or anything mimicking MSG. I avoid protein powders, gelatin, collagen, glutamine powder, and additives like ‘natural’ flavors and onion powder because of this. If you notice a negative mental or emotional association with your protein powder or collagen supplement, consider this!
Elevated glutamate levels also decrease one of your body’s primary detoxifying agents, glutathione.
GABA opposes glutamate.
It is a calming, inhibitory neurotransmitter, and decreased GABA leads to conditions like anxiety, as well as aggressive and anti-social behavior.
In my case, I need to find ways to increase my GABA so as to calm the excitatory effect of too much glutamate.
The doctor advised against using GABA supplements, as the success rate is low.
It is said to work by increasing blood flow to the brain.
I am taking this particular brain formula and love it! I only use 1-2 drops in some water each morning, and I immediately feel clear, calm, and focused. One of the best products I’ve tried, seriously. The only thing is, I can’t say it’s helping the tinnitus, lol!
5. White Noise
I would be getting NO sleep if I didn’t have some white noise in my room.
This helps to mask the ringing, which in turn helps me to relax.
Right now, I’m using a huge air purifier, but some bad nights, I’m still able to hear it, so I’m looking into noise machines like this one.
Other modalities I’ll be exploring:
-Allergy testing (for underlying cause)
-Vitamin C/glutathione IVs to rebuild nerves and aid in detoxification
-This Ear and Nerve Formula
At the end of the day, the cause of your tinnitus is imperative. Allergies, high blood pressure, tumors, stress, and cardiovascular disorders have all been implicated in this annoying condition. So, if, say, I have an allergy to pumpkin, and I’m doing/taking all of the above to no avail because I’m still eating pumpkin, nothing will totally eliminate the problem.
I’ll be evaluating a few areas in my life to determine a cause and hopefully find an answer I can live (and sleep) with!
I hope this was helpful, please let me know in the comments if you have any other ideas or natural ways of combating tinnitus.