Tinnitus is a condition that causes you to hear different sound types in your ears. These include a buzzing, clicking, hissing, ringing, roaring, or whistling noise. It’s worth noting that tinnitus can affect people of all ages. So, seek tinnitus treatment as soon as possible before it disrupts your daily life. Nevertheless, here are its causes and symptoms and ways to remedy the condition effectively.
The Causes and Symptoms of Tinnitus
The exact cause of tinnitus is unknown. However, the onset of the condition can be linked to a few alternative reasons. In Western medicine, the potential triggers are believed to be:
- Hearing loss
- A head or neck injury
- Exposure to loud noises
High or low blood pressure A side effect of medication use such as NSAIDs, antibiotics known as aminoglycosides, cancer drugs, diuretics, antimalarial drugs and antidepressants
- Ear infection
- A build-up of fluid behind the eardrum
- A build-up of wax in the ear canal
Health disorders involving the heart, jaw, neck, teeth or blood vessels
As a result, you may experience symptoms like:
- Single-ear tinnitus
- Pressure or fullness in the ears
- Sudden or fluctuating hearing loss
- Tinnitus that sounds as if you have a pulsating heartbeat
- Dizziness or balancing problems
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) states that you can break tinnitus into two types – excess and Deficiency. “Excess is commonly identified through high-pitched tones and syndromes like Invasion of Wind Heat exogenous pathogens and Rising Liver-Gallbladder Fire. Deficiency, on the other hand, is recognised by low-pitch tones and Kidney essence (jing, 精) Deficiency syndrome”, explains Eu Yan Sang physician Vong U Chan.
An Invasion of Wind Heat Exogenous Pathogens usually happens immediately after the common cold and manifests with ear congestion or a loss of hearing. You may also experience fever, a headache, and mouth dryness.
Rising Liver-Gallbladder Fire comes about when
Tinnitus Treatment Options to Help Improve Your Daily Life
Clinical treatment involves determining the best modalities for achieving symptom relief. Likewise, TCM aims to address symptoms of the condition by understanding its different syndromes.
You may consider cognitive behavioural therapy or acceptance and commitment therapy when dealing with tinnitus. These can help you better manage the anxiety and stress associated with the condition. Learning techniques that enable you to relax – guided imagery, meditation or self-hypnosis – can also help improve stress levels.
Combination of acupuncture and herbal formulas
Acupuncture treatment can be used in tandem with herbal formulas to ease the symptoms of the distinct tinnitus types. Generally, you can self-apply pressure to acupoints like er m
You can use feng chi (GB20, 风池) and wai guan (SJ5, 外关) to treat an invasion of Wind Exogenous Pathogens. Calm Rising Liver-Gallbladder Fire with the tai chong (LV3,
“For an Invasion of Wind Exogenous Pathogen syndrome, treatment will expel external Wind and Heat from the body. It’ll also unblock the ear’s meridian paths. Yin qiao san (银翘散) is a common decoction you can use. You may also add herbs like ge geng (葛根), qiang huo (羌活) and bai zhi (白芷) to the formula.
Rising Liver-Gallbladder Fire treatment helps clear excess Fire in the Liver and Gallbladder. A commonly used decoction is Long dan xie gan tang (龙胆泻肝汤). You can also treat Kidney essence Deficiency by tonifying the Kidneys, nourishing Kidney essence and strengthening the yin and yang.
Use zuo gui wan (左归丸) or liu wei di huang wan (六味地黄丸) for a yin Deficiency, and you gui wan (右归丸) or jin gui shen qi wan (金贵肾气丸) for a yang Deficiency”, advises physician Vong.
The Importance of Prevention and Early Tinnitus Treatment
Seeking early tinnitus treatment is essential for reducing symptom severity and boosting your quality of life. In addition, you can also minimise your risk of developing the condition by managing your emotions and avoiding long-term exposure to loud noise. If you’re considering the use of herbal medicine, speak to a TCM practitioner to determine the remedies that are suitable for your body constitution.
- Cleveland Clinic. 2019. Tinnitus. [online] [Accessed 18 April 2022]
- University of California San Francisco. Tinnitus Treatments. [online] [Accessed 18 April 2022]
- Healthy Hearing. 2021. Drugs that have hearing loss and tinnitus as side effects. [online] [Accessed 18 April 2022]