The term tinnitus (or tinnitus) indicates a physical condition, in which a noise is perceived in one or both ears, even if no sound comes from outside. It is a very frequent type of disorder that affects up to 15% of the population, although in most cases it is well tolerated. However, there is a small percentage, about 2%, for which the disturbance, and the consequences, can be disabling. The perceived sound can be weak or loud, continuous or intermittent, and can come only from one ear (unilateral tinnitus) or from both (bilateral tinnitus).
In Italy there are almost 6 million people who live with this sort of pathology, of which about 400 thousand in a severe way. There are various scales of the disorder, which differ according to the personal level of tolerance. Although it can strike at any age, cases related to children are rare; when it happens hearing problems are usually present from birth, and like the elderly, they can be at risk if exposed to very loud noises. Tinnitus is often the final symptom of potential inner ear disease, and even more frequently of possible neurological disease.
Tinnitus, the causes
Although medical research is making progress, it is still not clear how it develops. It is hypothesized that the group of nerve cells that normally regulate noise and pain signals may alter, developing a chronic perception of these sensations. The areas of the brain, responsible for these hissing and buzzing sounds, are the nucleus accumbens and numerous other areas including the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex. However, the nucleus accumbens which acts as an interface between the circuits of the limbic, cognitive and motor systems is also stimulated by the main stress hormone, and the overlapping of these two elements could be one of the causes of the disappearance of wheezing.
Then there are some factors that generate tinnitus, called etiological, due to some pathologies such as:
- Ear disorders (wax, otitis, foreign bodies, hearing loss, acoustic-vestibular neurinoma)
- Ménière’s disease (syndrome characterized by frequent vertigo attacks)
- Exposure to loud sounds
- Emotional stress
- Certain medications (ototoxic tinnitus)
- Temporomandibular joint problems
- Muscle contractures
- Cardiovascular problems
- Neurovascular conflict
- Neurological damage (e.g. due to multiple sclerosis)
The different types
Despite the subjective nature of the disorder, which varies for each person, and the limited knowledge of the processes that cause it, tinnitus is divided into three main categories:
- acute – when it persists up to three months;
- subacute – when it persists up to six months;
- chronic – when it has persisted for more than six months.
Being a subjective disorder it cannot be measured through medical tests, therefore the visit to the specialist is based only on the patient’s story, a hearing test or an magnetic resonance, which can exclude specific causes as a consequence of the perceived annoying noise.
The risk factors
There are also factors considered to be at risk for the appearance of the disorder.
- Age is a determining factor: in the elderly, in which hearing loss occurs more frequently, it can therefore make an appearance.
- Environmental causes, such as exposure to noise: this also puts some categories of workers at risk, such as construction workers, musicians, and soldiers.
- Although there is still little scientific evidence to support these aspects, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity and diet can become risk factors.
- Presence of concomitant pathologies, such as Meniére’s syndrome, temporomandibular disorders, acoustic neuromas, head trauma, and cardiovascular disease.
- The use of certain drugs that are toxic to the ear, which can contribute to or even worsen tinnitus.
Tinnitus is usually treated by resolving the underlying medical condition that triggered it. Often the underlying cause of tinnitus remains unknown (idiopathic tinnitus). In the latter cases, the treatment is based on the technique that aims to turn off the sound information in the brain (habituation), sometimes using “white noise” producing devices capable of masking the sound message to the brain. Also very useful are tinnitus supplements whose substances help improve the auditory stimulus by acting on the acoustic nerve, promoting microcirculation and counteracting the action of free radicals which cause inflammation and trigger chronic degenerative processes.
The recommended products
Ginkgo Biloba 6000mg – Vitamaze – amazing life. Vegan capsules with 120 mg of high concentration of Ginkgo extract, equivalent to 6000 mg Ginkgo Biloba, an ancient Chinese plant, which can be an excellent adjuvant in maintaining blood micro-circulation, helping to improve blood circulation of the microcirculation, thus representing a useful natural remedy for tinnitus with vertigo and Ménière’s syndrome. Also enriched with acai extract, L-carnitine and vitamin E. Ideal for vegans and vegetarians without animal products. Discover the product on Amazon.
Ginkgo + Korean Ginseng -Vit4ever. Capsules containing 120mg of Ginkgo Biloba extract and Korean Ginseng extract in highly concentrated doses, which are equivalent to 6000mg of pure Ginkgo leaf powder and 2000mg of Ginseng root powder. 100% vegan and without magnesium stearate, gelatin, flavourings, colourings, stabilizers, preservatives and of course lactose and gluten free. Discover the product on Amazon.
Ginkgo Biloba 6250mg – Nutravita. supplement in capsules for 1 year of treatment. Contains a high dose of 6250 mg of Ginkgo per tablet (equivalent to 125 mg of Ginkgo Biloba extract) and 24% flavonoid glycosides. This ginkgo biloba supplement formulation contains vitamin B5 which contributes to normal mental performance. GMO-free and free from artificial colors and synthetic additives. Discover the product on Amazon.
Acufen Plus – Deca Chemical Laboratory. Food supplement based on hawthorn, valerian, hops, tryptophan, ginkgo biloba, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, vitamin B1 and vitamin A, useful for the well-being of the microcirculation. With relaxing action useful in case of tinnitus. Discover the product on Amazon.
Auricularia 650mg. Judas Ear – Fair & Pure. Capsules for 2 months of treatment. Free from gluten, fructose, lactose, magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, colourings, flavors and preservatives. Contains Tryptophan, Vitamin C, B vitamins and extracts of Ginkgo biloba, Hawthorn, Valerian and Hops. Free of dyes and additives. Discover the product on Amazon.
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Tinnitus, that ringing in the ear that doesn’t give peace. The best supplements to cure it
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