Tinnitus – a constant ringing in the ears that is high pitched and incredibly distracting. While it may sometimes vary in intensity, it never fully goes away. It’s often difficult for patients to explain exactly what they are hearing. It may be just one ear or can also include both.
This condition can cause loss of sleep, lack of focus, and even progressive hearing loss. It can also be accompanied by a buzzing or static noise.
Symptoms may come on gradually and increase as it progresses. To determine an effective treatment its important to understand the underlying mechanisms. It can involve damage to the eardrums or other parts of the ear anatomically. It’s a multifaceted condition which requires an accurate diagnosis in order to treat it properly.
The symptom of Tinnitus is related to either a breakdown of nerve conduction or noise conduction. Its closely linked to progressive hearing loss. Even though sounds travels through the ear normally, incorrect receiving by nerves result in the ringing when there is no vibration on the ear drum to produce the translation.
Loud noise exposure is the number one cause of Tinnitus. Loud noise can damage the tiny hairs of the inner ear. Over time (such as work related nerve exposure) it can be cumulative.
Genetic Factors – such as otosclerosis
Dietary or chemical factors – Low sodium and low caffeine diets are recommended for those with the cause of Meniere’s Disease to reduce inflammation and improve conductivity of the nerves.
Trauma – cervical spine trauma (concussion, sports injury, or whiplash) can produce sensations such as tinnitus, vertigo, and headaches.
Currently there is no cure for Tinnitus. Many people will choose to sleep with white noise machines or the TV on to help distract and relax.
From the Chiropractic perspective there are structural issues that can be underlying. The upper cervical spine is very close to sensitive nerves and vascular structures of the neck and head. They can produce a ringing when irritated. If your tinnitus is an offshoot of spinal issues a comprehensive treatment plan can be considered.
To make the determination if upper cervical subluxation is contributing your tinnitus, a qualified upper cervical chiropractic Doctor will perform a series of tests. Imaging including x-ray, MRI, or cat-scan may be used to determine the location severity of abnormal alignment.
Nerve testing can also help to locate the nerve interference and to measure improvements in the nerve system as treatment goes on.
If you meet the criteria the plan will be to receive spinal manipulations which can correct underlying subluxations relieving the condition over time in magnitude and in some clients, all together.
If you are living with tinnitus, please come see us. We may be able to help. Give the office of Dr. Jason Kaster, D.C. of Kaster Chiropractic and Associates a call today in Fort Myers, Florida at 239-332-2555.