Ringing in the Ears
Millions of people have some degree of tinnitus, described as a ringing, buzzing, whooshing, or humming sound in the ears. Tinnitus isn't a disease but rather a symptom that can be caused by a number of medical conditions, age-related hearing loss or ear injury. Although the noise of tinnitus may be annoying, the condition is rarely a warning of a serious problem. If tinnitus is due to a health condition, a doctor may be able to take steps to reduce the noise, such as removing impacted earwax or correcting the underlying problem. If a medication appears to be the cause, a doctor may recommend a change in dose or switching to a different medication. Researchers at the University of Iowa reported three possible mechanisms may link zinc deficiency to tinnitus. Four of five small studies indicate that administration of zinc has a beneficial effect on tinnitus but these results still have to be confirmed in larger clinical trials. One small study found that blood zinc levels were lower than normal in 31% of patients before treatment. After 2 months of treatment with zinc 50 mg orally each day, clinically favorable progress was detected in 46.4% of patients.