Hearing Blog

Tinnitus Can Be Effectively Handled
Joshua Luekenga May 15, 2020

Tinnitus Can Be Effectively Handled

It is not uncommon to get the sudden feeling of ringing in your ears when your pressure fluctuates, or when you get up too quickly. But for some people, this noise never stops! Tinnitus is the persistent ringing sensation within the ears that occurs in the absence of any external stimuli.

Tinnitus is a common health condition that is experienced by approximately 50 million people in the United States. According to a study published in 2010, 10% of those 50 million people have a debilitating form of tinnitus that interferes significantly with their daily lifestyle.

As much as 16 million people tend to seek some type of treatment for tinnitus, with war veterans being one of the most commonly afflicted members of the population. Tinnitus can often be a sign of an underlying health condition and even hearing loss.

Although the actual causes of tinnitus are unknown, it is generally believed that tinnitus occurs due to excessive firing of the neurons within the auditory system of the brain. This causes a perceived sensation of a buzzing or ringing sound and is often a result of having been exposed to unsafe levels of noise. Even some type of medications can result in tinnitus as a side effect. At present, there is no known cure for tinnitus, although there are several effective methods that can help alleviate the discomfort caused by it.

As mentioned earlier, tinnitus is often a sign of an underlying health problem, and even an early sign of hearing loss. Schedule an appointment today to examine the potential causes for your tinnitus. In case you do have hearing loss, getting hearing aids can often help alleviate tinnitus. Sometimes ear infections or simple buildup of earwax can also cause tinnitus, in which case your doctor can prescribe antibiotics to help clear the infection or help clean out your ears professionally.

In case you have recently started a new medication that is causing your tinnitus, talk to your doctor about changing your medication. Certain medications have been attributed to the onset of tinnitus.

A popular method of tinnitus relief is sound therapy or habituation therapy. This introduces alternative sounds to mask the sensation of tinnitus and habituates you to focus on other sounds rather than the sounds caused by tinnitus.

As part of sound therapy, you can download an application on your smartphone or simply play soundtracks that have ambient sounds such as the sound of gentle waves or a rustling breeze. You can also play white noise to help block out the ringing sensation of tinnitus and give your brain something else to focus on.

Other methods of tinnitus relief include relaxation training. This can range from relaxation techniques that can be learned using cognitive behavioral therapy or meditation. Anxiety and stress often triggers tinnitus or worsens it, so learning to effectively deal with stress through relaxation training can significantly reduce tinnitus. Methods such as guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing are all effective cognitive behavioral techniques that help with relaxation. When your stress reduces, you automatically feel better and get more restful sleep. Lack of sleep is yet another trigger of tinnitus, so learning to get more restful sleep can help in alleviating your tinnitus symptoms.

Another treatment method that not only helps reduce tinnitus but also helps your overall health is the consumption of more nutritious food items. Research shows that symptoms of tinnitus tend to decrease with increased intake of green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts, fruits, seeds, and olive oil. Cut back on the processed food items as well as the red meat and limit your caffeine, alcohol and sugar intake. Smoking is also another trigger for tinnitus, so this may be yet another reason to quit smoking.

Lastly, getting some exercise is a great way to get the endorphins flowing and reducing tinnitus. By staying physically active, you improve the blood circulation throughout your body, including your ears. This can help reduce tinnitus while helping you stay fit at the same time. Tinnitus can be an uncomfortable condition to live with, but there are several effective strategies at your disposal to help you manage it well.

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