Tinnitus: Causes, symptoms and treatment

Do you ever have an annoying beep or other sound in your ear or head? This is called ringing in the ears. The medical term for ringing in the ears is tinnitus. There are various causes for tinnitus such as abnormalities of blood vessels, the inner ear or due to tension in the jaw and / or upper neck. In this blog you can read more about tinnitus, what the causes and symptoms are and how chiropractic can help with this annoying condition. 

What is tinnitus? 

Everyone experiences tinnitus in a different way. People with tinnitus hear sounds like whistling, clicking, whistling, buzzing, hissing, humming or wheezing. It is a common problem that – depending on the cause – cannot always be solved. You’ve probably had a ringing in your ear after an evening of too loud music. Fortunately, this is temporary, but what if that beep doesn’t go away? An irritating sound in one or both ears prevents daily functioning. The sounds vary from loud to soft and from high to low. In one person it is continuously present, in the other it varies. You have difficulty concentrating, hear less well and become irritated. You want to get rid of it! 

Did you know that tinnitus is derived from the Latin word tinnire? This means ringing. The sounds are not present in the outside world and you only hear them yourself. 

Causes of tinnitus 

There are several causes of tinnitus. Some of them are preventable and even curable. It is therefore important to investigate what caused the tinnitus. The most common causes of ringing in the ears are divided into: 

  • Otogenic cause 

The cause of ringing in the ears lies in the ear itself. This may be due to an ear infection, medication or noise. For example, in certain professions you are surrounded by noise. Think of a musician or someone who works in construction. To prevent hearing damage, appropriate hearing protection is needed. If you do not do this, tinnitus can be the result. Damage to your ear from too loud noise is permanent and often not curable. 

  • Vascular cause 

In this cause, the murmur comes from vessels in the ear, for example, due to arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure. Certain medications can also cause temporary ringing in the ears as a side effect. 

  • Neurogenic cause 

Tinnitus can also occur with neck and / or head injuries. For example, due to whiplash, wrong movement, poor sleeping pillow or other malfunction / blockage in the nervous system. There is then a problem with the signals between the brain, the neck and the ear. Stress can also play a role in tinnitus, it causes increased muscle tension and overload. Just like a wrong posture, which gives a lot of tension on the muscles.

Symptoms of tinnitus 

How do you know if you have tinnitus? Often that is clear by those annoying sounds in your ear or head. Sometimes tinnitus is also accompanied by the following symptoms: 

  • Concentration problems 
  • Sleeping tension in the neck 
  • headache 
  • vertigo 
  • jaw complaints 
  • earache 
  • fatigue 
  • anxiety and depression 
  • despair and anger 
  • easily irritated 

Nearly two million Dutch people suffer from tinnitus. About 10 percent of them suffer a lot from it. The cause is sometimes difficult to determine, there are almost 200 triggers and risk factors.

Tinnitus and jaw complaints 

Tinnitus occurs regularly in combination with Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD). These are jaw joint complaints, in which the jaw muscles are overloaded. It may be that tinnitus is caused by this overload, for example by teeth grinding, stress, nail biting or chewing gum. Trigger points and other muscle problems indirectly cause tinnitus. Not only from the jaw, but also by overloading muscles and tissues in the neck, neck, shoulders and skull. 

Tinnitus and neck complaints 

Some problems in the neck cause tinnitus. Often this comes from the first and second cervical vertebrae, for example due to injury of a neck hernia. In addition, trigger points in the neck can be the cause of tinnitus. Most problems in the neck are caused by poor posture. Chiropractic relaxes the neck muscles and puts the cervical vertebrae back in the right position, correcting problems with tinnitus from the neck.

Treatment of tinnitus with chiropractic 

The treatment of tinnitus depends on the cause. Only when the cause is known, a solution can be looked at. In case of a neurogenic cause, chiropractic can offer a solution. For other causes such as abnormalities of the inner ear or hearing damage unfortunately not. 

A chiropractor works with the removal of blockages in the nervous system and spine. By stimulating and correcting them, the flow of signals in the nerves is promoted. The body comes back into balance and functions as it should. Is the cause of tinnitus a fall, accident or a (too) high muscle tension of the jaw, neck or shoulders? Then chiropractic can help. The cause is removed, so that complaints quickly decrease. 

Tips for tinnitus 

Do you suffer from ringing in the ears and do you want to know what you can do about it? Depending on the cause, these tips will help:

  • Avoid stress, this will make the beep sound louder. 
  • Listen to music to mask the sound. 
  • Exercise regularly, this reduces stress. 
  • Relax, live less hurriedly and take enough rest. 
  • Avoid coffee, alcohol, nicotine and cola. 
  • Take magnesium, this sometimes reduces the symptoms. 

Do things you enjoy as a distraction from the tinnitus. Stay positive! 

Chiropractic and tinnitus

During an initial consultation, we discuss the complaints, medical history and overall health. We investigate whether there are blockages in the spine and nervous system that can cause the tinnitus. After reviewing the research results, a personal care plan is complete. Chiropractic care is aimed at reducing tinnitus by improving communication between nerves and brains. Do you want to know more about what chiropractic can mean for tinnitus? Do you feel that the cause comes from increased muscle tension, stress or a fall? And would you like to get rid of that annoying sound in your ears? Make an appointment for an initial consultation. You do not need a referral from the doctor for this.

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