It is important to recognize that this sound comes from the inside of the
ear. In this case, there is no sound happening outside. Only you, the
Meniere's disease sufferer, are hearing it. Tinnitus, in its mild form, is
tolerable. We all have bits of it at times. In its loud, chronic form is
very destructive and stressful. It can lead to increased depression and
Tinnitus may well interfere with the ability to concentrate, to rest, or
to sleep. Understandably it will frequently cause psychological distress. It
is very important to remember that increased levels of
stress and tension can also be a
trigger for a Meniere's disease attack.
If you have Meniere's disease, there are two important things to remember
here. One is that the person, the sufferer, is almost always exposed to two
sounds. One comes from inside, his own internal source. And the other one
comes from someone speaking to him (external source).
These sounds compete for attention and this can be most frustrating,
irritating, and stressful! Neither sound will be clear. So once again the
person is shut out of his social environment. It is important to recognize
that one sound comes from the inside. That being the case: it is evident
that the person can't escape the sound. That has to be very depressing.
For the family, tinnitus, and Meniere's disease, is also frustrating and
can create feelings of guilt. They won't hear the sound, but they live with
the behavior of the person experiencing these sounds. It gets tiring to
repeat everything. It is difficult to remember which side of the person to
stand on so that they can hear. When they speak and realize they aren't
heard, both parties feel frustrated.
These are relatively minor things, but if the sufferer is already tired
and depressed, anything less than a positive, loving interaction can create
even more problems. The additional stress for the sufferer of having to live
with Meniere's disease everyday with your family can even trigger an attack.
"Is there a tinnitus treatment?" is one of the questions we get asked on
a regular basis. Are there ways of getting around the tinnitus symptoms?
Many people are inclined to or counseled to use white noise. For some that
works, for others it does not. I have spent years learning an amazing amount
of information about tinnitus, dizziness,
hearing loss and other
Meniere's disease symptoms!
I want to encourage you to keep on searching for the reason you have
Meniere's disease. Please don't give up. There is a reason, an underlying
cause(s) for this to be happening: you really need to find it. Absolutely
nothing ever happens in our bodies without a cause. Yes, even tinnitus.
You might want to ask yourself why there is ringing in the ears. This
noise is coming from deep inside the inner ear. You couldn't get at it from
the outside if you tried. But if this nerve was NOT bothered, it wouldn't
ring, right? So what is making it ring? In order to have it do anything,
“something” has to come into its "world". But because of its remoteness,
that's virtually impossible, UNLESS something IN your body is bothering or
irritating it and causing / creating the tinnitus.
And what could that be? It has to be something that can get into that
area FROM inside your body.
It could be a virus, bacteria or chemicals. I'm sure there are other
things as well, but I want to show you how to “think” this through. In a
"quiet, undisturbed, and peaceful" nerve, nothing out of the ordinary is
happening. There should be no unusual noise. Now along comes “something”
that is causing the hearing nerve to result in noise or ear ringing. In
other words something is now (not before) disturbing the "quiet and peace"
of the inner ear and its nerve. Otherwise you wouldn't be aware of an
"intruder". We take our health so much for granted that it is only when
something really unpleasant, like Meniere's disease, comes along, do we pay
Here is what gets our attention. The body has a great alarm system called
the “inflammatory process”.
And this alarm system will try to overpower the intruder. It does this by
bringing extra fluid to the area, which contains all sorts of good,
desirable healing ingredients: the actual fluid to wash away the "problem"
and special cells to eat it away.
One possible intruder could be a virus. If it is that, it should
disappear after a while. There isn't much to be done. If, after a period of
time, the situation is unchanged, sometimes doctors will prescribe
antibiotics. Next, it could be bacteria, resulting in an infection. Again,
you could get an antibiotic but if it persists, you'll know it's not that.
How about chemicals? Did you know that many drugs (which are chemicals)
have tinnitus as a side effect? Here is my favorite site for searching for
this kind of drug information.
http://www.rxlist.com That means this ringing in the ears may be
produced by a chemical being released into your body. I am guessing it
gravitates to the inner ear hearing/acoustic nerve. (It may also rest in
another part of your body, but for now, we’ll stick to the inner ear.)
But what if you don't take any drugs, how about other chemicals? You are
surrounded by chemicals all day long. And frequently, you get them onto your
skin, into your nasal passages, into your eyes, or through your mouth as you
breathe and just "live". These are all ways for it to enter your body.
Often, and most likely, you choose to put them onto and into your body with
sunscreens, cosmetics, drinks, etc.
I mentioned the inflammatory “fluid” before. How would fluid affect the
hearing nerve to get the ringing in the ears? That could be a reaction of
the nerve to the volume of the fluid.
I want you to picture a field of grass under water or a flood. This water
is creating a lot of pressure per square inch. So the more water, the more
pressure. Do you think the pressure could block the nerve? Or bother it to
the point where it creates a sound by pressing down on the nerve? And could
this block or pressure distort the signals bound for the brain? I would
imagine it could. And could it also follow that more chemicals would create
more pressure? You see, no one can look into your ear. So everyone is
guessing what YOU feel and hear.
Your job now is to really pay attention to your body's exposure to
chemicals, unless you take any drugs. Then check those out first. Ask your
pharmacist for help. Or go online and type in "drugs that cause tinnitus"
http://www.google.com . The results will surprise you! If you don't take
any drugs, check your blood pressure. Sometimes
blood pressure can be a trigger for Meniere's disease.
High blood pressure is more fluid, and that equals more pressure, right?
Explore all sorts of chemicals in your home. From air fresheners, bathroom
and shower cleaners to things kept in the basement, garage, or attic. And
check what you put on your lawn. Recently one lady finally discovered her
daily, early morning, horrible tinnitus symptoms came from the specialty
coffee she had first thing every morning. Let me encourage you to search
diligently, but make decisions slowly.
I want to offer one last idea and it will sound waaaay out! But it's real
and I have people very frequently tell me they have this. And it's a pain or
weird sensation such as an unpleasant, unexplained noise when they use
either their microwave oven or talk on their cell phones. That's originally
how we learned to ask about things like that. If you do have this annoyance,
it will most likely be because you have a weakness in that ear.
A healthy normal ear would be able to manage that irritation.
- Step No.1 is to seek ways of identifying the intruder. Monitor any
sounds as to when they happen. Try to notice when it starts and when it
seems to wane (hopefully it does).
- Step No. 2 is to eliminate the possible causes of tinnitus (the
reason for using the irritant) to the best of your ability.
- Step No. 3 is to heal the nerve so it doesn't react to such
irritants. In other words, you are going to drain the field of water and
restore peace and harmony to the nerve.
Your body will really appreciate your hard work. Know we can help heal
our bodies given the right things to do.
By Karin Henderson - Nurse, Retired.