A typical sign of aging is the dulling of the sensory organs, particularly the ears. Yet these days many young people also are experiencing an ear disorder called tinnitus.
Tinnitus is a condition in which sound is heard from the inner auditory system unrelated to externally produced sound. It often appears when a person with a weak physical constitution and lack of stamina is exposed to excessive noise, experiences extreme stress, irregular eating patterns, sleep deprivation, and/or is overworked without adequate relaxation. Symptoms include not only sound (such as a “ringing in the ears”) but also hearing impairment, a sensation of blockage of the ear, vertigo, migraine headaches, gastrointestinal disturbances, vomiting, nausea, joint and/or neck pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, neurasthenia, and more.
The following causes of tinnitus have been identified within Eastern medicine:
- Deficiency of qi. Severe long-term illness or compounded fatigue can weaken a person’s qi (original energy). This can cause tinnitus. Typical symptoms include weakness in the limbs, lack of appetite, and feeling easily fatigued.
- Lack of blood. When too much blood is lost during surgery or while giving birth, blood is not supplied adequately to the ears which can then cause tinnitus. Typical symptoms include pale complexion, heart palpitations, vertigo, anemia, and more.
- Weakened kidneys. According to Eastern medicine, the ear is “supervised” by the kidneys, this being one of their main functions. Aging, long term fatigue or an excessive sex life can cause blockage of qi and blood movement to the ears, resulting in tinnitus. The body becomes emaciated, the complexion darkens, lips become dry, and one urinates frequently. Sound is weak and lower than in other type. This is the most common form of tinnitus.
- Deterioration of spleen and stomach function. When the spleen and stomach are weakened by indigestion, food stagnation, or under- or over-eating, they are unable to send clear qi to the eyes or ears. This commonly results in feelings such as bloating or indigestion, weakness of the limbs, heavy-headedness, and more.
- Liver qi stagnation. This type of tinnitus occurs in a person who is testy, susceptible to stress, or has had a mentally traumatic experience. These cause the liver’s qi to stagnate, leading to “fire” moving towards the ears, and resulting in a hot temper, red complexion, and sleep disorder.
- Phlegm-fire. In this case, tinnitus occurs when phlegm transforms into “fire” and blocks the ear orifices. The distinctive feature is phlegm, and is frequently accompanied by migraines and vertigo. The nervous system becomes sensitive, anxiety is present along with heart palpitations and indigestion, and the tinnitus sound is very loud.
- And others: Otitis media, Injury of neck, Poisoning by drugs, toxins, or gas, etc can be the causes of tinnitus
Treatment of tinnitus depends on its causes. In general, it takes 2-6 months with acupuncture and herbs. But tinnitus is one of diseases which are not easy to cure because most afflicted patients are elderly people whose overall energy levels have decreased.