Tinnitus is the perception of sound in one or both ears. The term “tinnitus” derives from the Latin word tinnire, meaning to ring. It is often referred to as “ringing in the ears”. This ringing can be intermittent or constant-with single or multiple tones and its perceived volume can range from subtle to shattering. Tinnitus is a symptom (and not a disease) and therefore reflects an underlying abnormality.
The commonly affected individuals are academics, business people, and “intellectuals,” in sedentary occupations although, it can affect anyone of either sex and of any age group. Tinnitus can be associated with a loss of sensorineural hearing, pulsatile tinnitus (which is a type of ear noise that is perceived as a rhythmic pulsing that is often in time with the heartbeat and can be experienced as a thumping or whooshing sound).
Tinnitus with vertigo ( also known as Ménière’s disease, is a disorder of the inner ear that causes severe dizziness or vertigo, and a ringing sensation in the ears or tinnitus, causing hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness or congestion in the ear.)
Unilateral tinnitus may also be known as a fluctuating tinnitus, the fluctuations occur in pitch or loudness, and can be in either ear; they are sometimes intermittent, and other times constant, and are even centred/ or unable to localize, as if the sound were in the centre of the head.
Within the science of Ayurveda, this condition is considered as a Vataja disorder and can, therefore, be correlated to karnanada or Karna Sweda.
The main causes of tinnitus are unknown. There are, however, several likely sources, all of which are known to trigger or worsen the effects of tinnitus, basically, Ayurveda considers the ears to be the seat of vata and all of the vata aggravating factors or conditions listed below can be considered as the causative factors;
* Reduced sleep.
* Increased stress levels
* General debility or exhaustion, such as Anaemia
* Excessive amounts of travel
* Old age and the physiological predominance of Vata
* A Vata aggravating diet and regime
* Noise-induced loss of hearing
* A wax build-up in the ear canal
* An ear or sinus infections
* Misalignment of the jaw
* Cardiovascular disease
* Specific types of tumours
* Certain Medications
* Trauma to the head and neck
There are various lines of recommended Ayurvedic treatments for Tinnitus:
Vata management is the prescribed main line of the treatment, considering the age of the individual, their strength and the disease or condition around which the treatments have been planned.
For Panchakarmic uses the inclusion of Virechana, Nasya and Basti.
For External therapies – Abhyanga, Shirodhara, Pichu, Basti, Karna poorna / Dhoopana, Kavala, Gandoosha.
For Internal therapies – Vata balancing herbs such as Ashwagandha, bala, Sariva, Amalaki should be considered.
For yoga practitioners – Pranayama and meditation should be considered.