Tinnitus Diet, Nutrition
Though there is no specific diet for tinnitus, it is important to manage your diet to control the symptoms of this condition. Most physicians believe that foods which are healthy for you and benefit your overall health are also good for improving the symptoms of tinnitus. If you have any other physical or health conditions, you can improve your symptoms by treating the condition. There are some foods for tinnitus that you should ideally avoid. Some of these foods are:
- Salt: Salt almost always worsens tinnitus.
Of all foods to avoid during tinnitus, salt perhaps figures the highest. Excess salts restrict blood vessels and increase blood pressure. They also reduce the flow of blood towards the ears, therefore worsening the ringing in your ears. Since almost all junk foods and prepackaged foods contain large amounts of salt, they should be avoided.
- Sugar: If you are consuming too much sugar, the body may not be able to regulate it. This causes a disturbance in the supply of nutrients to your ears, which then results in an increase in the symptoms of tinnitus. Try to avoid sugar substitutes as well.
- Flavor enhancers: Avoid refined and processed foods as they contain both salts and flavor enhancers. Foods like MSG can break down the glutamate in the body, triggering the firing up of neuro-transmitters and causing tinnitus problems.
- Fats: Both saturated and trans-fats can cause negative effects on the body, triggering off tinnitus. Fats also result in lowered blood circulation to your ears, therefore causing worsening of the tinnitus symptoms.
You should also avoid consuming diet pills because these can interfere with the secretion of hormones in the body and may be responsible for triggering tinnitus or worsening of the preexisting symptoms.
There are no specific guidelines for nutrition for tinnitus. However, there are certain nutrients that can help control the symptoms. According to most nutritionists, foods such as garlic, pineapple, sea vegetables and kelp can be consumed to improve the symptoms of the condition. Apart from this, reduce your consumption of alcohol. Consume foods rich in nutrients as well as antioxidants. Fresh fruits and vegetables can also help you meet the nutritional needs of your body. There are some nutritional supplements which may be beneficial for your condition. Some of these include vitamins A, C and E. Also consume nutrients such as vitamin B complex and bioflavonoids. If you have a nutritional deficiency, meeting these nutritional needs can also help you deal with the symptoms. You can also consume specific herbs such as gingko biloba, mullein, hyssop, thyme and eucalyptus. A lot of these supplements and herbs have been used for the treatment and management of tinnitus and associated symptoms.
You can watch for the signs of tinnitus to ensure that you can get an early treatment of the symptoms. Tinnitus is an auditory condition which is based on the perception of loud ringing noise as opposed to physical noises being produced externally. The sound ranges from a low to a high pitch ringing noise. There are two main categories of tinnitus and each of these categories has its own symptoms. These categories are:
- Objective Tinnitus
- An observer can hear the ringing noise from close proximity of the affected person.
- The ringing is pulsatile and is well synchronized with the heartbeat.
- Subjective Tinnitus
- There is difficulty in concentrating
- Problems in sleeping due to the constant ringing noise
- Distress in the workplace as the tinnitus symptoms cause a disruption in work
The causes of tinnitus can be many. Almost always, the condition is caused due to hearing abnormalities and the deformities in the neural system. Some of the most common causes of this condition include:
- Outer ear disorders
- Accumulation of earwax or long hair touching the delicate eardrum
- Perforated eardrum
- Foreign object in the ear canal
- Middle ear infections and disorders
- Eustachian tube dysfunction, especially due to negative pressure
- Fluid in the middle ear
- Benign tumors in the middle ear
- Inner ear disorders
- Noise exposure, which results in sensorineural hearing loss
- Meniere’s disease
- Partial hearing loss
- Non steroidal medications and medications used for treating inflammation or pain
- Prolonged use of sedatives and antidepressants. Other medications such as those used in chemotherapy and certain antibiotics may also cause the condition.
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Anemia and other systemic disorders
- Low or high blood pressure
- Glucose metabolism abnormalities
- Growths on the jugular vein
- Trauma or injury to the head or neck
- Head and neck aneurysms
- Vascular disorders
- Acoustic tumors
- Temporomandibular disorders and neck misalignment
- Injuries to the ear
Treatment For Tinnitus
The treatment for tinnitus can be approached in many different ways. Here are some of the available treatments:
While there are no home remedies that can help you with the condition, there are some ways through which you can attempt self-care at home. These techniques include:
- Correcting hearing loss
- Sound therapy
- Tinnitus counseling
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT)
- Relaxation: You can perform relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation. Relaxation techniques can help control the symptoms.
- Soothing music: Though this may not seem like a very good idea, listening to soothing and calming music can help decrease the symptoms of tinnitus and relax you.
- Support groups: Joining a support group and sharing your experiences with the condition as well as its treatment can also help.
The prevention of tinnitus, though desired, may not always be possible. The mechanism of tinnitus is not known and therefore it is important to care for your ears as much as you possibly can. Keeping your ears free of infection can go a long way in prevention of tinnitus.
- It's diagnosis can be performed in a clinical setting. The doctor will give you a physical examination to check if your head, neck or ears are injured. Other tests include
- Hearing examination to check for audiological responses.
- Movement examination in which the doctor asks you to move your eyes, neck and limbs. The doctor may also ask you to clench your jaw.
- Imaging tests such as CAT scans and MRIs