Tinnitus is chronic and often distressing ringing, buzzing or humming type sound in one or both ears. This condition can have a variety of causes which include exposure to loud noise or an explosion, long term use of aspirin, beta blockers and antibiotics, compacted ear wax or even spinal or cranial misalignment which can reduce circulation to the ears. In some cases it is also linked to food intolerances. Tinnitus is more common in older people, but is appearing in younger people who are over being exposed to excessively loud music.

Foods to avoid.:

Avoid alcohol, smoking, and caffeine, all of which may aggravate the condition. Cut down on salt, which may increase fluid build up in the ear. Avoid all full fat cow’s milk ( and all full fat milks) and produce for two weeks as they are mucus forming which can contribute to blocked ears and sinuses. Generally cut down on saturated fats such as red meat, cheese, chocolate, highly refined white flour based foods, pies, pastries, biscuits etc. Yeast based foods such as Marmite, Bovril and yeasty breads can also make this problem worse. Don’t use hard margarines or highly refined cooking oils and eliminate fried foods. Read labels carefully and avoid any foods containing hydrogenated or trans fats.

Friendly Foods:

Eat plenty of garlic and onions which are very cleansing to the sinuses and gut. Choose low fat dairy options such as fully skimmed milk or cottage cheeses. Use organic rice milk for making porridge and over cereals and try live, low fat yoghurts in desserts instead of creams. Generally increase fruits and fresh vegetables and include more nutritious foods such as lentils, barley and corn, rice and spelt based pastas in your diet. Jacket potatoes are a wonderful food, but add low fat yoghurt instead of lots of butter or use a non hydrogenated spread such as Vitaquell or Biona.

Useful remedies:

For one month take 25,000 iu of vitamin A to nourish the inner ear nerve cells. (if you are pregnant only take 5000 iu) 30mg of zinc in a multi vitamin & mineral as lack of zinc is a associated with tinnitus. For the first month take 30mg three times daily until symptoms ease. Vitamin B-12 – 1000 mcg a day helps noise induced tinnitus. As all the B vitamins work together also take a B complex. Ginko Biloba 120-240mg of standardized extract daily helps to increase circulation to the ear. Garlic and horse radish tablets or tincture act as decongestants- made by FSC. For details of all these supplements call 0207 436 5122

Helpful Hints:

  • Recordings of soothing music or sounds help to mask the unwanted noise, especially when you are trying to get to sleep.
  • Regular exercise may provide relief by increas­ing blood circulation to the head. Practice relaxation techniques.
  • Place a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a bowl of boiling water and inhale the steam daily to help clear the sinuses.
  • Have your teeth and gums checked as impacted wisdom teeth and tooth decay can cause this problem.
  • When we grind our teeth over many years the jaw can be misaligned, this is known as TMJ (Temporo-Mandibular Joint Syndrome). Dentists who specialize in treating TMJ problems can make a small brace to be worn at night, which helps to hold the jaw in its correct position, which often alleviates tinnitus.
  • Cranial osteopathy or chiropractic can release built-up tensions in the head and neck, which often cause tinnitus. Acupuncture has proved very beneficial to some sufferers.
  • Find your nearest practitioner in the Yellow Pages. Tinnitus helpline, 9.00 am – 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. Freephone number 0808 808 6666.

Extracted from 500 of The Most Important Health Tips You’ll Ever Need – for details see the Books section on this site.