Tinnitus is hearing sound when no outside source is producing sound. It has been described as clicking, hissing, roaring, and ringing. Out of every 5 people, 1 suffers from tinnitus. It can cause depression and interfere with a person’s concentration. The chance that a person will develop tinnitus increases as he ages. So one may wonder, what causes tinnitus to occur?
First, it is important to know that tinnitus is not a disease. Rather, it is related to an underlying condition. It is also vital not to simply ignore the noise, but to find a professional who can help figure out what exactly is causing it.
The ear is comprised of three parts: the outer ear that we see, the middle ear, and the inner ear. Sound waves travel through the outer ear and are automatically sent to the middle ear. They are then transformed in the inner ear from simple sound waves to nerve messages that the brain reads as sound. Tinnitus is a problem of the inner ear.
Here is a list of some common causes of tinnitus:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Circulatory problems
- Ear infection
- Emotional stress
- Foreign object in the ear
- Head and/or neck injuries
- Hearing loss
- High blood pressure
- Loud noises
- Medication side effects
- Meniere’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Nasal allergies that cause or prevent fluid drainage
- Neck or jaw problems (ex: TMJ)
- Oxidative stress
- Underactive thyroid
- Wax build up
- Withdrawal from psychoactive drugs
Finding Relief for Tinnitus
Some of the above-mentioned conditions and tinnitus itself can often be linked back to a misalignment of the upper neck vertebrae. This can place pressure on the brainstem causing the signals being sent to and from the brain and body to be distorted. If the signals from the inner ear are disrupted, tinnitus may occur. By seeking the care of an upper cervical chiropractor, one can have the spine realigned, allowing the body to begin its natural restorative process.