Tinnitus is a medical condition of ringing in the ears with a high pitched sound which causes some hearing loss. It can affect men and women. Around 18% of the population suffer from tinnitus.
Symptoms of tinnitus include ringing, buzzing, clicking, or rushing, dizziness and even hearing loss.
The volume of ringing in the ears can vary week to week. For some patients with tinnitus it can be a sudden onset and be debilitating. It can affect people's sleep, mood and sociability. It can affect people's interaction with friends and family in social situations such as eating out in a restaurant, drinking in a bar or at a party, all of which have too much back-ground noise that together with the tinnitus, affects their ability to hear people talking.
A lot of people complain about tinnitus. Western medicine believes that tinnitus is caused by modern living with the use of headphones , loud music venues , an ear infection, trauma to the ear drum and a head injury that have damaged a lot of people's hearing.
From a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) viewpoint it can be caused by trauma to the ear drum by a head injury or loud noises as well as excessive working, exercising or poor lifestyle and diet over many years. Therefore, it's important to make lifestyle changes to improve your overall general health.
Acupuncture for tinnitus
There is no treatment for tinnitus in western medicine. Normally, people will play low level noise at night to muffle the sound of the ringing in the ears so they can switch off from it and sleep.
Within traditional Chinese medicine theory, the causee of tinnitus is a weakness of the kidneys, which comes from overworking, age or a poor lifestyle and diet.
Acupuncture treatment has been used for thousands of years as a treatment of tinnitus. It can reduce the levels of tinnitus in some people, depending upon their underlying health.
I can treat tinnitus by stimulation acupuncture points to increase blood flow to the head and neck, which::
- Acts on the cochlea, specifically on the contractile activity of outer hair cells
- Acts on the function of the olivocochlear system
- Alters the brain's chemistry, increasing neuropeptide Y levels and reducing serotonin levels
- Reduces inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory actors
- Increases local microcirculation, which aids dispersal of swelling
In cases of chronic tinnitus, a combination of Chinese herbs and acupuncture treatment would provide better results.
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