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Tinnitus and vertigo

Don’t Turn a Deaf Ear!

Do you hear whistling in your head? Is everything around you spinning? Maybe your ears are playing tricks on you! Not only do our ears allow us to hear, but they also help us maintain our balance.

The ear is divided into three parts, each of which plays a very specific role:

External ear: collects and directs sound waves through the ear canal to the eardrum

Middle ear: amplifies sound (vibrations) and equalizes air pressure

Inner ear: converts the vibrations into nerve impulses so that the sound can be decoded by the brain.

The inner ear is also responsible for balance. The vestibular system, located in the inner ear, is what helps us keep our balance. Among other things, it is comprised of tubes and sacs filled with fluid. Each movement of the head triggers a wave of movement in this fluid, which is detected by nerve cells. This information is relayed to the brain, allowing us to establish our spatial equilibrium.

Problems in the vestibular system can cause dizziness, balance problems or even ringing in the ears. 

Insidious noise

Tinnitus is the name given to those whistling, buzzing or ringing noises in the ears that occur in the absence of external sounds and that are produced by our neurological system. Often, these noises are a symptom of hearing loss related to aging or excessive exposure to noise.

Other possible causes of tinnitus include:

  • Medication (such as ibuprofen) taken in high doses or over prolonged periods, which can damage cells in the inner ear;
  • Inner ear infection;
  • Diseases affecting blood vessels, such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, etc.;
  • Head injuries;
  • Stress, etc.

Practical tips:

  • Avoid the accumulation of ear wax;
  • Reduce exposure to loud noise;
  • Adopt relaxation techniques;
  • Avoid stimulants such as nicotine, alcohol and caffeine, which stimulate the auditory nerve in the inner ear;
  • Consider taking Ginkgo: by facilitating the microcirculation of blood in the head, it helps improve problems related to the inner ear.

Infernal spinning

Vertigo: a spinning sensation, dizziness, loss of balance, nausea… Obviously, something’s not right! Vertigo is most common among the elderly, but it can also affect men and women of all ages. Often, it is an early symptom of an inner ear or neurological problem.

The main causes of vertigo are:

  • Inner ear viral infection;
  • Ménière’s disease;
  • Head trauma;
  • Positional vertigo;
  • Some antibiotics, when used in high doses or over prolonged periods, can damage the vestibular system;
  • Insufficient blood flow to the brain (ischemia).

Practical tips:

  • Avoid sudden movements;
  • Avoid walking on uneven ground;
  • Drink lots of water. Insufficient hydration tends to increase the frequency and intensity of vertigo episodes;
  • Reduce consumption of tobacco, alcohol and caffeine;
  • Reduce intake of salt, which causes water retention in the inner ear, affecting balance;
  • Adopt relaxation techniques;
  • Exercise regularly;
  • Consider taking Ginkgo: it helps to improve blood flow and the circulation of oxygen to cells. Ginkgo can’t be taken if you are on aspirin or warfarin.

Whether the problem is vertigo or tinnitus, treatment depends on the cause. Don’t hesitate to consult your physician if the symptoms persist or worsen.

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