Did you hear the buzz?

I’m not talking about the latest gossip, but the buzz many people experience in their ears. Sometimes it’s a hum, or a roar, or can even sound like crickets. It can drive you crazy because you can’t get away from it. Tinnitus can drone on, interrupting sleep or a quiet evening. Those suffering from tinnitus want a solution, but solutions are not easy to come by.

Before discussing solutions, we need to cover causes. Medications more than any single other element cause tinnitus. Many can easily identify it if it comes correspondingly with the onset of taking the medicine. While for others, it happens later as an accumulative effect of the medication. Steroids, aspirin, antidepressants, antihistamines, seizure medications, anti-anxiety meds, pain killers and some antibiotics have been blamed. Chemicals such as aspartame and sucralose (artificial sweeteners), sulfites such as in wine, processed meats and chocolate, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and other flavor enhancers, caffeine, an abundance of table salt, and bad fats such as margarine and trans fats. Fast foods, because they contain many of the above can also be triggers or causes. There have not been a lot of studies on these, but clinical evidence of them.

Other culprits could be high blood pressure, anemia, food allergies, blood sugar imbalances, an ear or chronic sinus infection or viral assault, thick blood (from high glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol) or structural issues. If you have TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction), have had a head injury, misalignment of vertebrae in the spine, a perforated eardrum, calcification of the tiny bones behind the eardrum, or a cyst, it is not unlikely to have tinnitus.

Of course, damage to the ears can be caused by loud music, especially from earbuds directly in the ears, loud noises such as gunshots when practicing, loud TV etc.

There are few solutions. Obviously, eliminating the offending foods or medications is a good start. Please don’t just stop suspect medications! The best way to get off from them is by no longer needing them. This can be accomplished by seeking help to resolve the condition, not just mask the symptoms. Using acupuncture and improving nutrient density is an amazing approach to restoring health — and the tinnitus that may be the result of suboptimal health! By taking a multi-faceted approach — treating the whole person and all their health challenges — to resolve tinnitus, acupuncturists enjoy the pleasure of seeing their patients have a quiet life again. If you are tired of listening to the buzz, and ready to make a change, see a good licensed acupuncturist that also treats nutritionally and herbally for best results.

•••

Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. She is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’Alene clinic. Visit www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about her, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at (208) 765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

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