There are nearly 24 million adults in the United States who have suffered from tinnitus this year. For those of you who wonder, tinnitus is defined as a constant hissing, ringing, whistling or several other sounds in the ears. It can occur in both ears or just one. It is either a constant sound or intermittent, depending on the severity of the condition. Caffeine may be effective in protecting people from being saddled with dire symptom.
Boston-based Brigham and Women’s Hospital recent research on the condition has evidence higher than average levels of caffeine may be connected to a lower rate of the continuous buzzing in the ears. The American Journal of Medicine published their new research in August. More than 65,000 women signed up for an academic inquiry called the Nurses Health Study II. The women were then analyzed as part of the research concerning tinnitus and caffeine related intake.
In the current study, researchers followed-up on self-reported outcomes concerning the medical history and lifestyle of the women aged 30-44-years-old. There were 5,289 identified cases of women who reported incidents of this constant ringing. The interesting observation among the women concerned the amount of caffeine ingested and the reduction in this symptom.
The women who drank between four to six cups of coffee a day compared to women who only drank approximately one and a half to two cups of coffee had a lower incidence of tinnitus or a reduction in amounts of ear ringing sounds they experienced. Drinking more than six cups of coffee a day, or approximately 600 mg/day is considered heavy caffeine use. This much intake of caffeine has several adverse effects which include insomnia, nervousness and irritability.
There are no conclusive results concerning the use of caffeine as an effective protector to reduce or eliminate annoyance. There are associations connecting the symptom and its reduction with the ingestion of caffeine. More research is recommended to establish a direct link between them.
Those afflicted with this symptom have other alternatives to avoid these constant sounds. Loud noises are a direct cause and one might consider avoiding those whenever possible. Some obvious sources of it are firecrackers, chain saws, table saws, rock bands and gunshots. One can wear earplugs or noise cancelling headphones to avoid loss of hearing and the onset of this constant irritation.
The most common sound heard by those who have this irritating, and sometimes debilitating symptom is a ringing sound in the ears. Other forms of this symptom of hearing loss can be buzzing, hissing, clicking or roaring sounds.The pitches vary for low to high or loud or soft. Earwax in the ear canal can actually be a source of this ailment, though other conditions are more likely to be at fault.
For example, those who work in environments where loud noises are common may eventually suffer with this impairment. Heavy machinery road crews, construction workers and musicians are all likely candidates. Exposure to loud noises over a long period of time damage minute hair cells that pick up sound vibrations inside the inner ear that transmit sound to a person’s brain.
If a person suffers from tinnitus a first course of action may be contacting a family doctor. A physician will examine a person and attempt to determine the cause of the ringing sound, or if there are other medical conditions or in some cases medications that may be causing this disorder. If nothing is found by a family doctor the next step is to see an Ear Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist.
A thorough exam by an ENT will include a hearing test, and if a hearing loss is found an audiologist can measure the degree of loss and gauge a person’s affliction. Wearing hearing aids does alleviate some types of ailment, though some cases are so severe other measures may be available to dampen its effects. Effective protections against tinnitus may include caffeine, there is serious doubt a prescription for six cups of coffee a day will be a doctor’s first order.
By Andy Towle