Improving Tinnitus with Sinus Rinse
By Stephen Chandler, MD |20 October 2021|
Do you suffer from annoying ringing or buzzing in your ears that just won’t seem to go away? Depending on the cause, medications have a limited role in treating tinnitus and other methods of intervention require unpleasant lifestyle changes. Fortunately, Complete Rinse can help bring back the clarity to your hearing that is caused by sinonasal inflammatory induced tinnitus. Below we will review tinnitus, what it is, what causes it, and how to treat it!
What is tinnitus and what causes it?
Tinnitus is a sound inside of your head (literally) that can be continuous or intermittent. In most cases, hearing loss is the primary cause of the ringing. As peripheral hearing declines, the space in the brain no longer receiving that input creates a substitute signal. Voila! You’ve got tinnitus. Don’t worry though, no one else can hear it and you’re not going crazy. The sound is most often reported as a buzzing, ringing, roaring, or humming, and it’s a common problem that affects almost 20% of people – mostly older adults. Although tinnitus is typically caused by nerve-related hearing loss, there are other conditions that may also cause ringing. Underlying conditions like head trauma, a problem with the vascular system or sinonasal diseases need to be considered.
Sinusitis occurs when a virus or bacteria infects the tissues of your nose and sinus cavities. This irritation can lead to swelling which, in turn, can lead to congestion and mucus build-up. Your sinus cavities and ears are interconnected systems. Consequently, congestion in the nose may block the natural pressure equalization tube — known as the Eustachian Tube — that connects the middle ear to the external world. When the Eustachian Tube is blocked, a negative pressure is created in the middle ear which tends to collapse the eardrum; this chain of events often causes ringing in the ears, aka tinnitus. Whether you have an acute sinus infection or a sinus infection that persists, as long as the congestion remains, tinnitus can be a factor.
While not common, pulsatile tinnitus — tinnitus during which patients report hearing a sound similar to and in rhythm with their heartbeat — may occur. This type of tinnitus is typically caused by a blood vessel narrowing and should be investigated promptly.
How do I treat it?
To determine the causes of your tinnitus, doctors will likely examine your ears, head, and neck, and run a series of tests. In particular, the physician may have you take a hearing exam, perform specific head movements, or have CT and MRI imaging done. Once the likely cause of tinnitus is determined, doctors will move on to the options for treatment which may include something as simple as ear wax removal or may involve more complex interventions such as surgery for correcting vascular conditions. Hearing aids are frequently recommended and can not only restore lost hearing, but can also improve tinnitus by using sophisticated masking circuitry.
Sometimes tinnitus can not be fully cured and lifestyle changes will be required to make the condition more manageable. Adopting the use of white noise machines, noise-canceling headphones and environmental modification can help to reduce the annoyance factor. Therapeutic options are also available like tinnitus retraining therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. These methods of counseling will help you feel less distressed by the prospect of incurable long-term tinnitus.
What should I do first?
Tinnitus is generally not a life-threatening problem. However, new-onset pulsatile tinnitus should be investigated promptly. A hearing performance analysis and appropriate hearing aid fitment could do wonders at improving your lifestyle and reducing tinnitus. When it comes to sinonasal inflammatory conditions and tinnitus from Eustachian Tube dysfunction, products like Complete Rinse can cleanse your nose and sinuses. Removing nasal debris and decreasing swelling can help restore normal Eustachian Tube function. The bottom line is that tinnitus can be complicated and if conservative measures are not effective or the condition worsens, you should make an appointment with your doctor. Please DO NOT attempt to remove ear wax on your own, this often just pushes it further into the canal and worsens the condition.
Dr. Stephen Chandler is a practicing Otolaryngologist in Montgomery, Alabama and Clinical Director of Sandler Scientific, LLC, manufacturer of CompleteRinse®. To schedule a visit with Dr. Chandler call 334-834-7221 Learn more at https://www.jacksonclinicent.org/. Complete Rinse is available on Amazon and at www.completerinse.com.