- The ringing in your ears could be just a symptom of a more serious health issue
- Tinnitus doesn’t just cut the silence, it may also be stealing your rest
- Find out how tune out the noise with one easy solution.
Bob Dylan sang, “My ears are ringing, ringing like empty shells,” in his song “Call Letter Blues.”
It’s rumored that the constant ringing in Dylan’s ears he referred to in his lyrics was caused by tinnitus.
And Dylan isn’t alone. Many musicians have suffered from tinnitus, including Bob Seger, Peter Frampton, Robert Plant, and my personal favorite, Trent Reznor, who’s penned many lyrics about the ringing in his ears, including “G****** this noise inside my head.”1
But tinnitus doesn’t just affect professional musicians. It can happen to anyone.
In fact, there’s a good chance you may be experiencing it right now.
If you hear a constant buzzing, hissing, humming, clicking, or ringing sound in your ears, you may be one of the millions who suffer from this chronic and sometimes debilitating symptom.
That’s right — tinnitus is a symptom, not a disease.
In many cases, it’s the first sign of much more dangerous underlying health problems — we will talk more about his in a bit.
Plus, I will offer you a simple and natural solution to relieve tinnitus, but first let’s take a look at some numbers and how tinnitus works.
Hearing by the Numbers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about one in five adults, or 50 million Americans, suffer from some form of tinnitus. Sixteen million of these sufferers have sought medical attention, while 2 million have severe and disabling cases.
Although, tinnitus is sometimes a temporary complaint, for many— 20 million, to be exact — it’s a chronic state.3
And if you are a veteran, your risk is even greater. Hearing loss and tinnitus are among the top service-related disabilities. In fact, 60 percent of soldiers who served in Afghanistan and Iraq experience hearing loss.4
This makes sense, because a leading cause of tinnitus is exposure to loud noises. Soldiers and musicians alike typically experience long-term exposure to loud noise in their careers.
Sometimes these long exposures can cause damage to the ear resulting in hearing loss.
While tinnitus isn’t typically considered dangerous on it’s own, it can indicate you have a serious condition like hearing loss, blood pressure issues, heart problems, or possibly tumors or other problems in the blood vessels, neck, or jaw.5
Not to mention, even if it’s not indicative of a larger health issue, over 200 medications can cause tinnitus symptoms. Be sure you read all of your medication side effects if you experience tinnitus.
If you are experiencing tinnitus, you should see your doctor.
But besides just ruining your hearing, tinnitus may also be ruining your sleep.
A study shows that there is a strong correlation between insomnia and tinnitus sufferers.
Kathleen L. Yaremchuk, M.D., a researcher in the study and the department chair of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Henry Ford Health System, reports:
Tinnitus involves cognitive, emotional, and psycho-physiological processes, which can result in an increase in a patient’s distress. Sleep complaints, including insomnia, in these patients may result in a decrease in their tolerance to tinnitus.
Simply put, the added stress of sleep deprivation can increase the effects of tinnitus and vice versa.
She goes on to say, “Treating patients with tinnitus is challenging. A chronic tinnitus patient presents a challenging clinical picture that may include anxiety, depression, annoyance, or self-reported emotional distress. And one of most frequent self-reported complaint of tinnitus patients is ‘getting to sleep.’”
Fortunately, research indicates that nature may have a solution for tinnitus and sleep support.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial done by the Ear Research Foundation found melatonin to be powerful solution for tinnitus and sleep issues.
In the study, patients’ tinnitus was gauged by the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) and then were given 3 mg of melatonin for 30 days.
The researchers reported, “Among subjects reporting difficulty sleeping attributable to their tinnitus, 46.7% reported an overall improvement after melatonin.”
The study went on to conclude:
Melatonin has been shown to be useful in the treatment of subjective tinnitus. Patients with high THI scores and/or difficulty sleeping are most likely to benefit from treatment with melatonin. In light of its minimal side effects, melatonin should be a part of the physician’s armamentarium in the treatment of tinnitus.6
But the research doesn’t stop there.
A study published in Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology also found success with melatonin with tinnitus and sleep support.
With the same dosing amount as the previous study, 3 mg, they found that “Melatonin is associated with a statistically significant decrease in tinnitus intensity and improved sleep quality in patients with chronic tinnitus.”
Sounds like a melatonin might just do the trick for those noisy, sleepless nights!
If you have any tinnitus experiences you would like to share, please do! email@example.com
Managing editor, Living Well Daily
 Between my ears
 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
 Tinnitus Symtoms and Causes
 Effect of melatonin on tinnitus