Tinnitus or Ringing in Ears

Tinnitus is a sound heard in one or both ears when there is no external noise. The sound is often described as ringing, buzzing, roaring, hissing or whistling. The noise can also be rhythmic, imitating the body’s heartbeat/pulse.

Tinnitus can be a temporary or permanent problem. The noise can affect concentration and cause insomnia. At a chronic stage, it can lead to anxiety and even depression. This condition is more common in individuals over the age of 60.

This condition can persist throughout the day and even at night. It can disappear at certain time periods. However, it is often still present most of the day.

Possible symptoms

Some possible symptoms include:

  • Noise: Persistent noise in the ear(s) such as ringing or other high pitched or low pitched noises. A rhythmic sound is also a common symptom.

  • Blockage: The individual could sense blockage in one or both ears.

It is common for patients to experience both a blockage and noise in the ear at the same time. The quality of an individual’s hearing is often impacted. This makes effective treatment even more necessary.

Chinese medicine view

Let’s take a look at Chinese medicine’s take:

Aetiology – causes

There are two types of Tinnitus, that is, Excess and Deficiency. Each requires a particular type of treatment.

  • Excess type: Rising Liver and gall-bladder Fire are the cause. It’s usually a sudden onset and the patient can hear a loud sound. Chinese medical theory connects this type of tinnitus to emotional strain. This manifests as irritability. Headaches and dizziness could be experienced and it is possible that a bitter taste in the mouth is noticed. Constipation, frequent thirst and redness of face are also quite common. Your tongue could be red, with sides being slightly redder. The pulse tends to be wiry and rapid while the coating is often yellow.

  • Deficiency type: Kidney-Essence deficiency is the cause in this case and the onset is gradual. The sound is low and can sometimes sound like rushing water. It comes in bouts. You could notice slight dizziness along with a feeling of emptiness of the head. A few more symptoms are blurred vision, worsening memory, as well as soreness in the knees and back. There could also be a diminished sexual desire or performance. The tongue is pale (Kidney-Yang deficiency) or red (Kidney-Yin deficiency) with no coating.  If a deep and weak pulse is there, this usually indicates Kidney-Yang deficiency. Whereas a floating-empty pulse suggests Kidney-Yin deficiency.

Chinese medical theory links the health of the ears with Kidneys and Heart. This is also applied to the sense of hearing. The Kidneys and Heart supply blood to the ears and essential energy (Qi). Thus, tonifying Kidneys is the tinnitus treatment that Chinese medical theory focuses on. Other areas within the body are also targeted for tonification.

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    Acupuncture treatments

    After the diagnosis, our practitioners will perform acupuncture. Relevant acupoints are stimulated on the patient’s body during the treatment.

    The purpose of acupuncture is one of the following:

    • Mobilise the body’s essential energies and boost their circulation: This is a natural, gentle process. If tinnitus is caused by Deficiency type, then this approach could be useful. That is, the sound in ears is low-pitched like rushing water. Symptoms could also include fatigue and back pain.

    • To gather the energies and place them under control: This is useful if the cause of tinnitus is ‘Full’. That could indicate that the body’s energies are scattering. The circulation lacks healthy balance which causes a high-pitched noise in the ear(s). Some other symptoms could also include headache and constipation.

    Our practitioners, at Long Life Health, will be looking at the entire circulatory systems of the body. Acupuncture works to provide a natural, careful rebalancing of energy that flows through the body.

    The focus of acupuncture will be twofold:

    • To balance energy channels: Acupuncture seeks to regulate the body’s energy channels, especially in areas where the imbalances have led to tinnitus. For instance, the patient’s hand and foot could be stimulated points.

    • To stimulate the points linked to the ear(s) affected by tinnitus. The stimulation of points around the ear can cause a sensation of warmth inside the ear. It’s a pleasant feeling. The doctor’s acupuncture technique could have ‘clicked’ with the patient’s body. It can indicate that they have selected the correct acupuncture points for that patient and the required treatment has been set in motion.

    Chinese Herbal Medicine Treatments

    Our Chinese medicine practitioner would also prescribe a combination of Chinese herbs. Each herb has natural affinity with the affected energy channel in the patient’s body. Such prescriptions often function to support the work of acupuncture. The formulation of the herbal prescription reflects Chinese medical theory.

    Herbs can boost the patient’s energy if the tinnitus is due to a shortage of essential energies. The prescription should work to improve blood circulation and reduce fatigue.

    If it is due to an imbalance in the circulation of energy, the herbs will calm the body. The prescription could be helpful in acupuncture’s efforts to restore a balanced circulation in the body.

    Make an appointment with our team at Long Life Health for more information on how we can help! Call our clinic on (03) 93752928 or make a booking online for your treatment today. You can also drop us an email at info@longlifehealth.com.au.