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Tinnitus: My Constant Companion

Updated on August 1, 2016
Gina Welds-Hulse profile image

I'm a natural health coach, herbalist, and aromatherapy consultant using the power of essential oils to improve health and well-being.

I hear noises no one else can hear!

Most of us don’t even think about our ears. Sounds wake us up, energize us, calm us down, and sometimes even put us to sleep. When we hear strange noises we take notice. We start looking for the cause. Often the noise is from within our ears rather than outside...

It is not uncommon for people to hear noises that no one else can hear. In fact, if you sit quietly for a few moments, you will hear the background noise that is your personal silence. We aren’t aware of it until we think about it.

What tinnitus sounds like!

I live with a sound that I cannot turn off!

Four years ago I noticed that the night was extremely busy with the sound of crickets. Turns out they weren't crickets, just horrendous ringing in my ears.

The noise was disturbing enough to the point that I had to see a doctor about it. I even was referred to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, who diagnosed me with tinnitus and hearing loss. I asked what might be done to resolve the issue. The answer was that I could be fitted with hearing aids. The cost: $3000

In addition to a hearing aid, the most commonly prescribed remedy is a so-called masking device, a white-noise machine that introduces natural or artificial sound into the sufferer’s ears in an attempt to suppress the perceived ringing. But eventually the noise of the masker can become as disruptive as the tinnitus.

What is tinnitus? A basic definition

Tinnitus is the medical term for ringing in the ears and is defined as hearing sounds in your ears that have no outside source. Common tinnitus sounds include:

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Hissing
  • Whistling
  • Roaring
  • Blowing
  • Sizzling
  • Humming

Ringing in the right or left ear is common but tinnitus can also be experienced in both ears or inside the head. Tinnitus can also cause several psychological side effects including:

Source

Other tinnitus facts

  • Twenty-six million Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 are reported to have high-frequency hearing loss.
  • Men are more likely to suffer from ringing in the ears than women, and the national average indicates that adults 55 years of age and older are the majority of those who suffer from tinnitus.
  • The most frequent war wound of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is tinnitus and hearing loss, with 60% of veterans returning home with these conditions.
  • Many of those affected by ringing in the ears have occupations that require consistent exposure to loud sounds. Such occupations often include musicians (particularly of the rock genre).
  • Airplane pilots as well as construction and landscape workers are often found to be tinnitus sufferers.

Causes of tinnitus

Beyond contact with high-volume sounds, tinnitus can also be caused by the following illnesses or conditions:

  • Deterioration of the cochlea (or other parts of the ear) due to the natural aging process
  • TMJ syndrome (temporomandibular joint), which also results in jaw and neck problems
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Allergies
  • Circulatory issues
  • Anemia
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Under-active thyroid gland
  • Certain prescription and nonprescription drugs such as aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antidepressants, antibiotics
  • Neck or head injuries
  • Ear infection
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Otosclerosis
  • Benign tumor of the auditory nerve
  • Ear blockages due to wax buildup

Diagnosing tinnitus

Diagnosing tinnitus

Because, in most cases, the exact cause of tinnitus is not known, diagnosis typically begins with a visit to an ear specialist known as an otologist or otolaryngologist. A thorough clinical evaluation, including a complete patient history and medication regimen, helps the doctor to determine if tinnitus is present and what may be the cause of the condition. Specialized tests are performed to diagnose tinnitus. Some of these tests measure the specific features of the tinnitus itself. These tests may include:

X-Rays

Audiological exam

Evoked response audiometry

Tinnitus pitch match

Tinnitus loudness match

Maskability of tinnitus

Residual inhibition


Current treatment for tinnitus

Current treatment for tinnitus

Luckily, several natural remedies and lifestyle changes can result in lessened tinnitus. While there is currently no cure for tinnitus, the following remedies may help:

  • Avoid fatigue and stress
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Have an active exercise routine
  • Reduce stress
  • Yoga
  • Eat a proper diet
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, salt, and food additives such as aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Increase intake of daily vitamins
  • take supplements like ginko biloba, garlic and zinc


From tyrant to friend: How to let go of the ringing in your ears

The bells are ringing!!

The bells are ringing!

The bells are ringing. No, these are not the bells indicating that church is about to begin. Nor the bells of the buoys as the waves splash around the edges. It's not the ringing of the school bell telling that school is beginning or ending. This ringing is not done by an instrument like a violin or even an insect like a cricket. This ringing may not even be considered ringing by many of you......IF YOU COULD HEAR IT! You see this ringing can only be h...eard by me. NO, I am not crazy, although I feel like I am going crazy sometimes. You see this ringing is called TINNITUS. Maybe you've heard of it!

Tinnitus: Music from Hell

Music from hell!

Tinnitus is my constant companion. It is the humming, hissing, sometimes howling, annoying, not very well orchestrated, music from hell that plays continuously in my head. It has no boundaries. It has no limits. It does not let me rest! It picks the most offensive key possible, and plays all day and all night long!

You could say that my ears have become deranged!

No one could ever possibly understand this thing that has happened to me and the utter despair, grief and sadness I feel all the time. Tinnitus is torment!

When life becomes your enemy, then death becomes your friend!

Source

Can't sleep!!!!!

Sleep-deprived body

My sleep deprived body gets no peace, no rest, day or night.
The music in my head is discord, dreadful agony. I pray that one day the tinnitus turntable will play its last track before the devastating state that I am in petrified me in agony and deep despair.

Hissing viper

Hissing! Hissing! Hissing!

Tinnitus' kiss is like that of a viper. It's death to the bliss of silence I once enjoyed in my own head. It grows more and more each day, exacerbating fears of what will become of me. The hissing, hissing, hissing in my own ears makes me wonder if a time will come when I will lose my sanity.
A silent room is the perfect arena for the hissing of tinnitus, but the death of sanity.
Tinnitus is my constant companion.....at dinner, at the movies, when I'm teaching or playing with my kids.
"Can you speak a little louder?" I hear myself saying a lot lately. My ENT confirms I am going deaf as a result of this whistling kettle and this hissing viper that never stops.
.....

How do you camouflage this horrible agony?

This sounds unreal, doesn't it? I can tell you that, although you cannot hear it, it is as real to me as the sound of an actual kettle whistling, heralding that the water is boiled and ready for tea. It is as real to me as the changing of the seasons. It is my constant companion that will not leave me alone,
Many do not understand this. I have learnt to hide it when it's bothering me....most of the time. No one can hear it, so I have learnt to camouflage this horrible agony and deep despair that it sometimes plunges me into.
Tinnitus is my constant companion

An essential oil blend for tinnitus

A combination of cypress, lavender and juniper will provide a synergistic approach to treating tinnitus. These essential oils help restore and strengthen, relieve congestion, detoxify and relax the nervous system.


Juniper 15 drops

Juniper helps the body to regulate itself, while helping the body to release toxins.

Cypress 15 drops

Cypress helps to calm the nervous system, while easing nervous tension in the body. It also helps to improve blood circulation.

Lavender 15 drops

Lavender is relaxing and calming, while helping repair cells and encourage regeneration

1 oz. carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil

To use the blend simply put one to three drops of the blended essential oils into your palm, and inhale deeply. Then apply the oil to the back and front of the earlobes on the side or sides affected. The oil will enter the nerve endings in these areas and produce a feeling of relaxation. You can also add a few drops of the mixture to a vaporizer and inhale the fumes to help clear up congestion, which can ease tinnitus. Massaging the forehead as well as the area around the ears also is beneficial in relieving tinnitus symptoms.

Do you have tinnitus?

Do you have tinnitus?

See results

Have you found successful treatment?

If you have had tinnitus and treated it successfully, what did you do or use?

See results

Tinnitus Treatment - Causes and treatment of tinnitus

Famous people with tinnitus

Many celebrities suffer from tinnitus, including Bono, Barbra Streisand, William Shatner, Steve Martin, Cher, Cheryl Tiegs, Will.i.am, Sylvester Stallone, Bill Clinton, David Letterman, Pete Townshend, and Eric Clapton.

You're not alone! William Shatner speaks about his tinnitus experiences.

Have you had this treatment done?

There is hope!

Although I have not personally cured my tinnitus, I have found ways to cope with it. The lack of a cure is not for a lack of trying. I have used music therapy, herbal therapies, meditation and other ways, yet my tinnitus remains with me.

However, there are numerous others who have had success treating and getting rid of their tinnitus, and I have shared some of their stories here. I hope you find some comfort knowing that there is hope, and it is possible to get rid of your tinnitus.

Please share your comments with me below, and leave any questions you may have. I have also placed several polls that I hope you will engage in and share your opinions and thoughts.

Do not lose hope!

© 2015 Gina Welds Hulse

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    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile imageAUTHOR

      Gina Welds Hulse 

      2 years ago from Rockledge, Florida

      Sometimes I wish it had channels where I could switch it to Beethoven (not Symphony #5 of course) or Mozart. It's just a disharmonious concert of 1000 crickets.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Yes, I always had ringing when I came home from concerts or dances where the music was loud. But it always went away after a few hours, just like your sister experienced. But ten years ago I suddenly noticed it on a day when I had not gone to any noisy events. It just started for no good reason, and that's when it never stopped. I had it since.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile imageAUTHOR

      Gina Welds Hulse 

      2 years ago from Rockledge, Florida

      You would think that it would have started that night of the concert, Glenn. My sister recently went to a concert, but was not very close to speakers. She called me later telling me that her ears were ringing and if that was what I was talking about. She said it eventually went away over the days that followed. Lucky her! :-)

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I've heard that some medication can cause it. It's good you stopped it, but I guess the harm was done as far as your tinnitus is concerned.

      In my case, I'm not sure. Many years earlier I was in the front row at a rock concert, right under the speakers. And I actually felt pain in my ears from the noise. I should have left, but I didn't. However, the tinnitus didn't start until many years later. So I'm not sure.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile imageAUTHOR

      Gina Welds Hulse 

      2 years ago from Rockledge, Florida

      If I may ask, what caused yours, Glenn? Do you know? I have lupus, neuropathy, fibromyalgia among others, but I only noticed the ringing in my ears shortly after I started on a particular medication for the treatment of the lupus. That same medication almost killed me, and I stopped it, under doctor's care and knowledge of course, but the ringing never stopped. I was diagnosed with hearing loss a few years ago, and lately I noticed that I have trouble understanding conversations, because I hear something different from what is being said.

      I believe their is a connection between the tinnitus and the medication that I was taking at the time. I also believe that the neuropathy is contributing to it, but my PCP seems to think otherwise.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I"ve had it for ten years and I never found any medication that works either. Those sites that sell that stuff are just out to make money. And the doctors don't understand it either. I've done a survey to try to determine if there is a common cause. But it was mostly inconclusive except for a few things that seemed like possibilities.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile imageAUTHOR

      Gina Welds Hulse 

      2 years ago from Rockledge, Florida

      True, Glenn. Stress does make it worse, and I have found ways to lessen the stress. I have also found that some essential oils do help with calming, but I have not found any herb or oil, or any medicine that will completely take it away. I am still doing my research, though.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Gina, Sorry that your Tinnitus is so bad. One thing I discovered is that it gets louder when I am anxious or under pressure. If you can find a way to reduce stress, it may help. It's the only thing that works. Sorry about your friend. That is sad.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile imageAUTHOR

      Gina Welds Hulse 

      2 years ago from Rockledge, Florida

      Oh gosh. I wish it could become second nature to me. There are days when it is bearable. Then there are days when I have rocked back and forth in a corner contemplating chopping my ears off. The only thing that stops me is the fact that I know it would not work. Someone I knew recently committed suicide because he could not go on living with it anymore. Sad!

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      That last video in your hub is the most accurate. I also have tinnitus. When it first started ten years ago, I didn't know how I'd get through the rest of my life. But as time went by, it became second-nature and I'm used to it now. I still hear it, but it really doesn't bother me, just as described in that video.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile imageAUTHOR

      Gina Welds Hulse 

      2 years ago from Rockledge, Florida

      I have just returned from the audiologist where my hearing loss as a result of tinnitus has once again been documented. I was actually having a relatively good day .....until I returned home to my neighbor and a team of tree removal experts working right next door. Needless to say, the tinnitus spiked as a result of the machinery that was being used.

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile imageAUTHOR

      Gina Welds Hulse 

      2 years ago from Rockledge, Florida

      The essential oil blend does work....but only to alleviate the loudness of it. I have yet to find something that will completely take away the tinnitus...but I am working on it. I am determined!! I will edit the article as my research continues.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 

      2 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Did the essential oil remedy help you? I have a family member who suffers from this and has not found a cure.

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