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Ask Dr. Mike: Tinnitus and the Flu Vaccine

Here you'll find the answers to a wealth of health and wellness questions posed by Healthy Talk fans.

Listen in, because what you come to know will help ensure healthy choices you can actually live with! Today on Healthy Talk, you wanted to know:

Are there any supplements for tinnitus?

Tinnitus occurs when you have ringing or other sharp-pitched noises within your ear, but there is no external sound present. According to the American Tinnitus Association, one in five people experience this condition.

Even though doctors aren't quite sure why you may be experiencing tinnitus, there are some sources that could be contributing to the problem.

These sources include head or neck trauma, exposure to extremely loud noises (concerts, music blasting loudly in your headphones, construction work, etc.), wax build-up, cardiovascular disease, jaw misalignment, a tumor, or hyperthyroidism.

There are some supplements that may be able to help. The first Dr. Mike recommends is actually a hormone called Adosterone, which helps regulate your fluids. In some studies, Adosterone has been shown to improve hearing loss. Other supplements you may want to try are those that boost your overall nerve health such as CoQ10, omega-3 oils, B vitamins, Angelica Root, and ginger root.

I heard the flu vaccine isn't as effective this year. Is this true?

The flu vaccine has been a controversial subject for many years. Some believe that the vaccine will do more harm than good for your health and that you don't really need it. It has also been speculated that the flu strain created for this year's vaccine is not the correct strain.

Flu vaccines are essentially created by studying the flu patterns of the southern hemisphere, since it's winter down there while it's summer up here. The CDC looks at strains of viruses in the southern hemisphere that people might be getting infected with. So, the vaccines that are given to North Americans are based off of the strains that were seen in the southern hemisphere. This, unfortunately, can be a guessing game; ultimately, they don't really know which influenza strains will be prominent in the northern hemisphere.

If you're looking to improve your immune system, there are several natural ways you can do it. For example, you can take vitamin D, andrographis paniculata, lactoferrin, and garlic.

If you have a health question or concern, Dr. Mike encourages you to write him so he can provide you with support and helpful advice.