Tinnitus is a common issue around the world. It is basically an unwanted and constant sound in the ears and involves the hearing of ringing, humming, murmuring, trilling, and continuous sound. Effectively, it is the brain and ears creating the sensation of sounds when there is no external cause. For example, it may feel like there is a low electrical hum of something when there are no electrical products or anything nearby that could possibly be the cause.
Tinnitus can be and is very distressing for the individual experiencing this as it can make you feel frustrated.
The noises can be persistent and may even change in frequency and volume based on the individual’s experiences. Generally, for most people, it is worse when in a location where there is not a lot of noise and is, therefore, more attuned to their surroundings and what is going on around them. In some cases, individuals suffering from tinnitus can actually hear their own body’s noises like the sound of their heart beating or other internal biological functions, which can be unnerving.
Tinnitus is actually extremely common and many adults will experience this at some point in their life. For those suffering, the fact that there is no cure can mean that is very hard to deal with. In very serious cases it can affect the afflicted individual’s concentration and sleep patterns. It can go on to affect the personal and private life of those who have to deal with the issue.
Despite the fact that most people associate tinnitus with loss of hearing, it does not actually cause loss of hearing nor does the loss of hearing cause tinnitus. To be clear, most people affected by tinnitus can hear very well and, in fact, are often really sensitive to sound.Therefore, they have to dim out other sounds by using ear defenders of headphones to dull out the external sounds of the world. It is true that loud noises can cause tinnitus, though.
Sometimes, tinnitus can be caused by infections or blockages actually occurring inside the human ear. They may disappear once the underlying cause is treated. Frequently, however, tinnitus can still cause issues once the cause has been addressed. In such cases, therapies conventional or otherwise may have the ability to cause respite for the patient, by either decreasing or, in some way, masking the unwanted sound.
Tinnitus is most commonly caused by the individual being exposed to loud sound over a long period of time, which is why most musicians—especially drummers—will experience this at some point in their lives. It is also the reason why when you go to a concert or gig you may see the musicians on stage wearing earplugs to try and tackle the issues of loud sound.
Around 90% of those individuals affected with tinnitus have some loud noise level in their lives and, therefore, can present as having a noise-induced hearing loss. The noise causes permanent damage to the sound-sensitive cells of the cochlea in the inner ear. The most affected individuals include all sorts of musicians, pilots, street repair workers or any individuals who work in environments which commonly experience loud noises, such as chainsaws, guns, and loud music.
Sudden loud noises have also been shown to induce tinnitus, which is why you may see in some films and TV shows when a gun is shot off near an individual they have to stop and a high pitched sound is generally used on the tv screen/cinema to demonstrate this.
So, what are some of the key causes of tinnitus?
- Wax blockages in the ear
- Ear infections
- Some drugs (such as aspirin)
- The natural aging process
- Meniere’s disease
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Jaw and neck problems
It has also been shown that some stimulants such as coffee, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages can cause the tinnitus to worsen. Stimulants such as these can make the feeling more difficult to deal with. Tinnitus may also feel worse if the individual affected is under a lot of stress or generally fatigued.
Stress and Tinnitus
There are a variety of emotional and physical factors that have been linked to the beginning of tinnitus in individuals, most common of these is stress. Although it hasn’t been medically proven how stress causes the onset of tinnitus or if it just a side effect of the tinnitus. It is most common for tinnitus to start at a time of high stress in an individual’s life.
The way an individual affected with tinnitus reacts varies from person to person. For one person, the effect of having tinnitus is the most stressful point of one person’s life, whereas,for the next person, they may handle it in a very calm way. This is generally caused by the way the individual views tinnitus and the effect on the person. Research has also shown that people with anxiety respond differently to loud noises and threatening information than those who don’t. Basically, those with tinnitus are highly likely to develop anxiety with the tinnitus and vice versa.
Although there a lot of different pills and physical activities such as yoga that can help with anxiety and, in turn, tinnitus, these solutions are not instantaneous and, in some cases, the need for a quick solution is something that is craved by the individual.
So, what is out there to help people afflicted with anxiety and tinnitus? The breakthrough “wonder drug”is currently CBD oil.
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol oil (CBD) and all other CBD oil products come from the cannabis plant, Cannabis sativa. (This is where hemp and marijuana are derived.) CBD products have been known to aid Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, cancer, liver disease, stress, anxiety, and even straightforward ailments like cold sores, it is also known to ease tinnitus. The cannabis plant can produce hundreds of chemicals and compounds and research is still being conducted into all of these. CBD is, however, the breakthrough at the moment. Unlike medical marijuana, which is available in some states, CBD oil does not contain THC, which causes the psychoactive effect (mind-altering). Therefore, it does not give you a “high” like with recreational and medical marijuana would (even if some strains are grown to have trace THC content).
How Does CBD Oil Work?
CBD oil works the same sort of way that prescribed medications work like Prozac and Xanax. Medical research shows that CBD oil primarily interacts with a receptor in the brain called CB1. These receptors are attached to your brain in the form of tiny protein cells and receive signals through chemicals through different stimulants and respond accordingly. The way that CBD oil interacts with the CB1 receptor is that it stimulates the receptor to produce serotonin.
It is universally accepted in the medical world that low serotonin levels can cause depression so being able to tackle this issue is extremely helpful for some
Over-the-counter medications, such as Zoloft and Prozac, both have selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and are used by some people to help manage their anxiety.
How Does CBD Oil Help with Anxiety or Stress Management?
In recent years, a lot of medical research has gone into the use of CBD oils and studies on this often point to CBD not only help treat a number of ailments physically. They also show it helpspsychological issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),anxiety, and stress management.
In modern society, stress and anxiety are more prevalent than ever with estimations that up to 10% of the population suffering from related issues—if not more. Finding the perfect work-life balance is an ever-growing problem, taking this into consideration with high pressure or highly physical jobs where the risk of tinnitus is common. Things can spiral out of control quickly.
Medical research is still ongoing all over the world related to the effects of CBD oil on the mind and body of human patients; however, medical studies have produced evidence that the use of CBD oil can lower the action of the amygdala in the brain. (This is the part of the brain sometimes referred to as the “reptile” brain due to its similarities with reptilian creatures.) CBD also actually increases the activity of the prefrontal cortex. These two parts of the brain are directly involved in the production and action of the anxiety of an individual.
There has been research that also shows that CBD is able to restart hippocampus neurogenesis, which is actually regenerative neurons.These can, in turn, reactivate the user’s CB1 receptors and have a positive effect on the reduction of anxiety.
While animal studies are still taking place into the full effects of the long-term use of this product, early indicators are to suggest that it is a wonder drug. It has been shown to greatly reduce the stress of animal subjects (lowering the heart rate and other behavioral indicators that the animal is stressed).
Medical research has also shown that it can aid other forms of anxiety such as social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress syndrome. There was a study done in 2011 (taking place within humans) in which subjects were given a dose of CBD oil or a placebo. The results, in turn, indicated that participants who took the CBD oil had an overall reduction in anxiety.
This research, as well as other studies conducted, have had a lot of interest from doctors, scientists, and patients alike—and with good reason. CBD oil is fast acting, incredibly safe to use and well tolerated by the human body. This is not something that can be said by a lot of over the counter anti-anxiety medications and CBD oil is produced naturally by a plant that has been used by humans for centuries.
Because of this, many patients taking anti-anxiety medications are doing away with tradition prescriptions to try something that is more natural and can help with their symptom in a more natural way.
Side Effects of Taking CBD Oil
You’ve heard all the potentially amazing effects CBD oil can have on the body but, like everything, there are a few side effects, though not nearly the same amount as those from prescribed medications. However, there are problems that have been highlighted by some users although, in some cases, it hasn’t stopped them taking the CBD oil as the side effects aren’t as problematic as the issue they are treating.
Side effects can include:
- gastrointestinal discomfort
- difficulties in trying to get to sleep
- dry mouth
- fatigue changes in mood
But, to be clear, in the high majority of research studies, the use of CBD oil has shown little to no side effects in the participants in the medical trials. Even in those who have experienced some side effects, they don’t tend to be long-lasting or in any way debilitating.
More Research Is Needed.
Although there is a lot of hype with this product, there is still more research that needs to be done. There have been minimal tests actually carried out on humans, although positive results have almost universally been the case. Therefore, it is always best to talk to your medical advisor before undertaking any change in your own medication plans.
Tinnitus, anxiety, and stress have all been researched as having a strong link to one another. CBD oil has been tested and medically proven to assist individuals with anxiety and stress to lower the symptoms. It has been shown that individuals who sufferincreasedlevels of stress and anxiety regard their as tinnitus having worsened as a result of purely focussing on the issue, whereas individuals who have a more neutral and calm persuasion on tinnitus, have been shown to have fewer issues directly relating to their tinnitus as they do not hold it in as much focus as those with high anxiety levels.
While CBD oil has not been proven to impact upon tinnitus directly, it is an aid to the individual to take in order to reduce their stress levels and, in turn, to hopefully reduce their tinnitus.
There are many examples of anecdotal evidence on YouTube and on blogs that involve individuals with crippling tinnitus discussing the positive effects that taking CBD oil has had on their lives and, in turn, their relationships and work-life balance. With little to no downsides, CBD is worth a try for sufferers of tinnitus.