Tinnitus has got to be one of the worst hearing problems ever! Luckily, when I had it mine was not a loud constant ringing in my ears, it was Pulsatile, which is a pounding noise with each heartbeat…still a huge pain in the r-ear, hee hee, but a little more manageable than some of the other forms. Some days it wasn’t very bad, and other days it was so loud that I literally could not hear the person sitting next to me. When it was at its worst I remember thinking “how on earth do people live with this” but of course I was a busy mom and put off going to the Doctor to see what could be done on my own when I had time.
I actually suffered from it for a couple of years before I was fed up enough with dealing with it that I figured I better try to get to the bottom of it. I am big on doing a little bit of research and doing some trial and error (only on things that are not life threatening) and see if I can’t figure out the cause myself and change my behavior whether it be a shift in diet, applying some common sense, changing products I’m using, or a combination of things. Obviously, I am no Doctor, and you should take my theories with a grain of salt. I just know that I have not had to suffer from tinnitus for a whole year now so the things that I did to solve my problem could just be the answer that someone else out there is looking for.
Here’s what I did:
I stopped taking NSAIDs on a regular basis.
I read somewhere that regular NSAID use can trigger tinnitus and guess what I had been doing for the last couple of years? I had been taking Ibuprofen on a near daily basis trying to heal a pesky back injury. Lifting that huge barrel by myself, and tweaking my back, did more damage that I could have ever imagined. I guess it was kind of a domino effect. So, what was I supposed to do to help my back heal besides taking oral anti-inflammatories? I started with doing things that I knew would naturally reduce the inflammation in my body. I reduced my sugar intake(I have a wicked sweet tooth so that one was hard), and started drinking a gallon of water per day, I also read up on what foods to eat that have naturally anti-inflammatory properties and started incorporating them into my daily life. Super simple changes that pretty much anyone can do…and guess what. My back finally healed a few months after I started doing this.
Next, I applied a personal theory and stopped showering too much. Sounds crazy, but keep reading ;).
I have had this theory (not picking on anyone in particular, it’s just something I have noticed when talking to several other parents through the years) that the parents that are Nazi’s about a night time bath time routine are also the same parents that are always complaining about their kids having chronic ear infections. I have always thought that kids should be bathed as needed, if they haven’t been out rolling around in the dirt, and they don’t have body odor yet, they really don’t need a full on bath every day (washcloths and baby wipes suffice in between) especially right before bedtime. The bedtime bath leaves moisture in the ears which can’t dry out when your head is pressed into a pillow which is why I think that ear infections are such a problem with these kids…moisture and warmth is a breeding ground for infection so it makes sense to me. Anyway, I’ve had four kids and we have had a total of one teeny tiny ear infection that had to be checked out by the Dr and he just said to see if it would heal on its own before we would do anything, and it healed just fine…so that is my theory about ear infections.
Here is how I applied it to myself to help cure my tinnitus. I noticed that my tinnitus got its very worst at the end of each summer right around the time that I was showering several times per day. At the time, I was a really big girl, (I’ve dropped 55 lbs since then and am still not exactly little), but being sweaty in the summer heat really grossed me out so I would sometimes shower two or three times per day, one right before bed, and guess which ear had the worst tinnitus? The right ear which is the side that I was sleeping on. So, I applied my theory to myself and started taking less showers/baths (wash cloths work on adults too, go figure) and then if I absolutely had to take one right before bed I made sure to sleep on my back so that my ears could dry out. What do ear infections and tinnitus have in common? I had read somewhere that many tinnitus sufferers had had many ear infections earlier in life so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try to keep my ears dry. You may have the same issue as I did if you notice that your problem gets a bit better in the winter, which is when a home is filled with dry hot air, mine was always considerably better in the winter when the heater was running.
That’s all I did and I haven’t had a problem with tinnitus since about two or three weeks after I started making these changes. Like I said, take this with a grain of salt, I wrote this in hopes of showing you that sometimes we are doing things that are detrimental to our health, without even knowing it and the solution doesn’t always require prescriptions or surgery… which saves a bunch of money. Of course always run things past your doctor before you do them, but these are some pretty simple changes that could drastically alter your quality of life for the better. They sure did mine…I no longer have the hearing of an 80 year old, which is good considering I’m only 31. If you think that this post may be helpful to anyone else, please make sure to send them the link to this post. I appreciate it. ~Sarah
P.S. I realized the other day that for those of you that don’t follow me on social media that you may not know what I look like these days…I’m going to be lots less camera shy in the future, but thought I’d share a recent pic with you all.