About Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a condition described by the American Tinnitus Association as the perception of sound when no actual external noise is present. Tinnitus is commonly associated with “ringing in the ears”, but manifestations can vary, including buzzing, whistling, and clicking noises. The condition is experienced temporarily, but for some, it’s a chronic condition.

 

The CDC estimates nearly 15 percent of people in the U.S., over 50 million, experience some form of tinnitus. 20 million people struggle with it chronically, and about 2 million have extreme and debilitating cases.

 

Some patients with tinnitus report hearing music, which is actually a rare form of tinnitus also known as Musical Ear Syndrome. Other forms include Pulsatile Tinnitus, in which patients perceive sounds rhythmically, often in rhythm with their pulse, and Tonal Tinnitus when patients perceive near-continuous and sometimes overlapping frequencies of sound.

 

What Causes Tinnitus

Tinnitus is the symptom of an underlying health condition or injury and is commonly associated with hearing loss. When the ear and auditory system are damaged, there may be a sensorineural reaction in the brain that is perceived as ringing, buzzing, singing, or music. Tinnitus is also a symptom of head and neck trauma, TMJ, sinus pressure and barometric trauma, brain trauma, and ototoxic drugs like NSAIDs and certain cancer medications.

 

Age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, is a common cause of tinnitus in seniors. Noise-induced hearing loss can result in Tinnitus. It can be caused by exposure to damaging noises by machinery at work, or at concerts and sporting events, or even by a backfiring engine. The biological process correlating hearing loss and tinnitus is not yet understood, but it's thought that the phenomenon could be the result of a neurological process in which the brain is compensating for the loss of perception at specific frequencies.

 

Normal Treatments for Tinnitus

Each individual perceives tinnitus uniquely. Unfortunately, there is no cure and current treatments only focus on reducing the perceived intensity and improving patients’ quality of life. Research shows that mental and physical health can improve the symptoms of tinnitus. Hearing aids may be of benefit to many as well as various types of sound and behavioral therapies.

 

There are also a number of experimental therapies being researched for treating tinnitus such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. Sound scary? Well, basically the therapy consists of a carefully placed magnetic coil next to the patient’s head delivering repetitive electromagnetic pulses into the brain’s neural cortex. If that doesn’t work, there is transcranial direct current stimulation, in which electrodes are placed directly on the scalp. If tinnitus still doesn’t respond, surgeons can even place electrodes directly into the brain in an invasive treatment called deep brain stimulation.

 

Beyond exposing the brain to repeated electromagnetic currents from outside, on the surface, or in the brain, doctors are at a bit of a loss on how to treat tinnitus. Most patients are prescribed various medications for anxiety and depression. However, these drugs can be habit-forming, toxic to the brain and body, and could even worsen conditions and symptoms. For more information about the adverse effects of these types of medications follow the conditions links throughout this article.

 

How Medical Marijuana Can Help Tinnitus

Tinnitus is sometimes referred to as an auditory-epileptic like symptom due to the strange audio neural perceptions. Everyone experiences his or her tinnitus differently; similarly, everyone will experience cannabis differently. There is little scientific research on marijuana and tinnitus. What we have learned about tinnitus and cannabinoids is that it is possible for cannabinoids to worsen symptoms and perception levels of tinnitus. It’s hard to tell from evidence exactly why this may be, especially considering there is a mounting body of anecdotal patient reports of [CBD-oil] suppressing tinnitus. Doing so in some cases, in just a few minutes.

 

Reviewing Tinnitus Talk, an online support forum for tinnitus sufferers reveals patents’ first-hand accounts of the effects of cannabis and CBD oil on their tinnitus. Many people report that cannabis relieves their anxiety and stress, which in turn improves their tinnitus condition. Some accounts report that within 5 minutes of taking CBD oil, tinnitus was nearly ameliorated.

 

While it may be difficult to know if marijuana should be used to treat tinnitus, it’s easier to understand how cannabis’ effect on anxiety, stress, and depression can help those who suffer. Tinnitus is related to neural activity, sometimes abnormal or excessive in nature, and the [cannabinoids] found in marijuana are able to modulate our neurological and biological processes, often inducing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in the brain and body as a result.

 

Marijuana will affect individuals uniquely, especially those with neurological or mental health issues. Consult with a physician and medical marijuana professional about using cannabis. Find linked below strains of cannabis that have been reported to alleviate tinnitus and associated anxiety and stress.

 

·   [[Afghan CBD]]

·   [[Alaskan Ice]]

·   [[Alpha Blue]]

·   [[Atomic Northern Lights]]

·   [[Belladonna]]

·   [[Black Tuna]]

·   [[Brooklyn Mango]]

·   [[Buddha Tahoe]]

 

Sources:

American Tinnitus Association (2016) Understanding the Facts

Tinnitus Hub (2016) Tinnitus Talk Support Forum. Forums.

Zheng, Yiwen (2015) Frontiers in Neurology. Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor Agonists Do Not Decrease, but may Increase Acoustic Trauma-Induced Tinnitus in Rats

Top Strains That May Help With Tinnitus

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