30 million Americans have Tinnitus! I started talking about this topic in our BNI group and 5 members know someone with this condition. It is a perception of sound in the absence of acoustic stimulation.
Most people will experience some ringing in the ears after exposure to loud noises. Other causes are barotrauma, cerumen buildup, Meinieres disease, or as a side effect of a medication that causes toxins to build up on nerve endings in the ears.
I have seen some other causes in my practice: idiopathic, which means no one knows why it happens.
Chiropractors are doctors who study and work with the nervous system. I study brain stem anatomy and physiology as an upper neck specialist.
In my experience working with alleviating pressure on the Trigeminal nerve, the 5th cranial nerve and the Vestibulocochlear nerve (cranial nerve 8) really go a long way in relieving this annoying, disturbing and sometimes painful problem.
A man came to me who had tinnitus after a flight for 10 years and the experience of being not able to hear a conversation in a room if more than 2 people were talking. He said it was like having cotton in his ears. I x-rayed him and found a misalignment in C1 vertebrae. I adjusted him with a precise instrument called an Atlas Orthogonal machine and he experienced a 30% reduction by his estimation but what really eliminated it all the way was a techniqe called Nasal Specifics. You can read more at www. nasalspecifics.com This technique involves opening up the sinus entry way through the 3 turbinates or channels on each side of the nose with tiny balloons which are gently inflated. This pressure change was what he needed to reverse what he had experienced in flight. This is an example of someone who had tinnitus caused by barotrauma, excess pressure in the ears and sinuses.
The second man who had tinnitus was in a severe motor vehicle accident 12 years prior and was in a coma after for 2 weeks. He also had the C1 misalignment and got 50 % less ringing in his ears after being adjusted with Atlas Orthogonal, another big percentage reduced his tinnitus after we started tractioning his neck with a hand held device for the bulging discs he has and then 100% of it was gone after the excess ear wax was removed from his ears by an EENT. This case is an example of excess cerumen from above in the first paragraph but also the cause was cervical as well. There are hundreds of mechano and proprio receptors in the neck and over a thousand in the C1 area. These have a feed back loop which affect cranial nerve 5 as mentioned previously.
Unfortunately there is usually hearing loss associated with tinnitus.
One must rule out possible infections of the nerve sheathes, a space occupying lesion (tumor or cyst) causes of Tinnitus. I always refer out for an MRI if one has not been done.
Ringing in the ears can be accompanied by Vertigo. A person may experience the room spinning, or rocking or they perceive themselves to be off balance in a profound way.
As a Chiropractic doctor, working with the brainstem and alleviating pressure by repositioning C1, has shown me that the upper cervical spine really has an effect on the Vestibular Cochlear nerve and helps Vertigo dramatically.
There have been 3 females and one male a lawyer who had relief from the first careful re-alignment of their neck, righting their head over their shoulders.
Most people have already seen a Neurologist and have had other causes explored to no avail before they see a Chiropractor.
Learning about the upper spine and its affects on health in general is enlightening and can lead to a better understanding of the delicate nature of the nervous system and how to function better and live free from devastating aspects of disease.