Tinnitus is a persistent noise or ringing in the ears which may be
described as a sensation similar to buzzing, whistling, chirping,
clicking, and other sounds. The noise in the ear may come in short
bursts or it may be prolonged, varying in length of time with each
individual. Each person will experience tinnitus in a unique way. The
intensity of the sound will range from a low, barely audible hum only
discernible when there is minimal background noise, to a loud sound
quite distinct from other noise. In some cases, tinnitus sounds in sync
with the rhythm of heart beats, and is referred to as pulsatile
How Common is Tinnitus?
According to a report by the
Hearing Health Foundation, as many as 50 million Americans suffer from
tinnitus, with about 16 million of them seeking medical attention due to
the discomfort from the condition. Tinnitus can lead to hearing loss in
90 percent of the cases, especially in debilitating cases that interfere
with daily activities.
from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication
Disorders (NIDCD) estimates that about 10 percent of the entire adult
population in the United States has experienced tinnitus lasting up to
five minutes within the past year.
What’s the Cause of Tinnitus?
The ear is made up of three parts. The inner ear interprets sound waves,
translates them to nerve messages, and sends them to the brain. The most
common cause of tinnitus is prolonged exposure to very loud sounds,
which leads to permanent damage to sound-sensitive cells located in the
cochlea, an organ located within the inner ear. Other causes of tinnitus
include the use of certain prescription medication, ear infection, neck
and head injuries, allergies, thyroid issues, and cardiovascular
disease. Complications from tinnitus include anxiety, insomnia,
depression, and irritability, which respond favorably to the
cannabidiols that are found in medical marijuana.
What are the Effects of Tinnitus?
Loud, persistent tinnitus makes life unbearable for those afflicted with
this condition, and they are often irritable and fatigued, restless, or
depressed. In cases where tinnitus is loud enough, the person suffering
from the condition finds it difficult to hear properly, since the
buzzing within their ear tends to dominate other normal auditory
Medical marijuana may help in the management of tinnitus, as suggested
by a 2009 study by a leading
tinnitus researcher. The study showed that auditory circuits in the
brain are involved in tinnitus, and an auditory imbalance causes the
constant ringing in the ears.The study involved the use of mice with
tinnitus and demonstrated that the endocannabinoid system that controls
brain elasticity will react favorably with medical marijuana, providing
relief from tinnitus. Some the conditions that cause tinnitus may be
managed with medical marijuana and complications arising from tinnitus
can also be eased with the use of medical marijuana.