Tinnitus a symptom, not disease, condition
I have tinnitus really bad. Is there something with my diet that I can change to give me some relief. I have a pretty healthy diet and lifestyle but do take an aspirin daily! Help!
Tinnitus, is not a disease or condition itself, but a symptom of an underlying condition. As many as 50 to 60 million people in the United States suffer from this condition and is especially common in people over the age of 55 according to Harvard Medical School. While there are many definitions of tinnitus, ringing in the ear, The American Tinnitus Association defines it as a sensorineural reaction in the brain to damage in the ear and auditory system.
While tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss, there are roughly 200 different health disorders that can generate tinnitus as a symptom. Ototoxic drugs, of which there are more than 200 ototoxic medications, which literally means "ear poisoning," can lead to a variety of ear-related health problems, such as permanent or temporary hearing loss, ototoxic tinnitus (ringing in the ears), dizziness, hypersensitivity to sounds, pressure in the ears, balance issues or drug induced hearing loss.
According to the NCBI, The National Center for Biotechnology Information at the National Institute for Health, ototoxicity is associated with high doses of salicylates, commonly known as aspirin, as well as NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and analgesics. As far back as December 1990, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine stated that aspirin was a well-know, cause of tinnitus. For a full list of ototoxic drugs, I recommend the book, "Ototoxic Drugs Exposed" (third edition) by Neil G. Bauman, PhD, or you can visit Bauman's website, hearinglosshelp.com.
Another great book is one authored by Dr. Timothy Frantz, board certified E.N.T. physician, entitled "Hearing Loss: Facts and Fiction: 7 Secrets to Better Hearing."
While foods don't cause or cure tinnitus, there are several diet and lifestyle changes that may help with tinnitus.
If you have tinnitus, you will find eliminating salt, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, sugar, sulfites, MSG (monosodium glutamate), quinine, saturated fats, transfats, processed/fast foods and stopping smoking can help. As I always recommend, consult with your physician before making any changes and ask about a hearing exam. Hear! Hear!
Thought for the week: Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.
Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant; email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.