Tinnitus is popularly known as “ringing in the ears.” It is associated with any kind of sound, such as whooshing, ringing, clicking, hissing, or roaring – that doesn’t seem to go away. However, this is not considered an illness. It is only an indication that you might be suffering from ear problems and issues with certain parts of your brain that facilitate the sound. Besides this, it could also be a symptom of a different health complication.
How do I know that I have Tinnitus?
Generally speaking, your doctor will have the final say whether or not you have Tinnitus. But here are several ways on how you can determine if you have this condition:
Do you hear certain noises that other people around you don’t?
When you experience Tinnitus, you’ll be the only person who will hear buzzing, ringing, and other sides. The people who are in the same room as you don’t.
Are you under medication?
Over 200 drugs can cause ringing in ears or Tinnitus, most especially if you begin or stop consuming them. Medication for pain such as naproxen and ibuprofen, plus particular diuretics, aspirin, antibiotics, and chemotherapy medicine are some of the main culprits that cause Tinnitus.
Are you surrounded by loud noises?
Many ear deafening sounds on where you work or live can result in hearing loss that activities Tinnitus. These noises could range from sporting events to concerns and lawn equipment to clamorous machines. Tinnitus can progress over the years or branch out from a significant loud activity, such as engine backfire.
Are you suffering from the flu or ear infection?
Congestion, together with sinus and ear infections, can cause pressure to accumulate in your inner ear and it could lead to Tinnitus.
Do you experience migraines?
Alongside pulsing pain, light sensitivity, and nausea, migraines can also trigger ear-related symptoms, such as muffled hearing, fullness, and Tinnitus. Besides this, if you ever suffered from a neck or head injury, both can result in malfunctions in your blood flow, nerves, and muscles that could be a ground for Tinnitus.
Are you under a massive amount of stress?
Depression, anxiety, or tension can lead to Tinnitus. To release all of these heavyweights in your system, try yoga, hypnosis or therapies. It doesn’t only reduce Tinnitus, it is also good for your general well-being.
Do you have other medical complications?
Fibromyalgia, vitamin levels, diabetes, allergies, low hormonal changes, and autoimmune disorders that include rheumatoid arthritis and lupus have all been associated with Tinnitus. It is also linked to Ménière’s disease, a specific condition that results in vertigo and hearing loss.
What is the best treatment for tinnitus?
No two cases of Tinnitus are ever the same. This means that the cure or the best treatment is usually based on a wide variety of factors that are tailored to every patient. Here’s a list of treatment options that are grouped into general categories.
The ardency of Tinnitus can vary according to numerous factors that include the patient’s general health. There are a lot of easy things that patients can avail of to reduce some of the problems and most of them are free.
Tinnitus is linked to certain degrees of hearing loss. Increasing the perception and reception of external noise can typically offer a cure from the internal noise brought by Tinnitus.
Tinnitus is perceived as a non-auditory internal sound. However, patients can utilize external sound to counterbalance their reaction and perception to Tinnitus. Masking devices can conceal the sound of Tinnitus, while up-to-date therapies might offer stronger relief.
Presently, there are no FDA-approved medications that are specifically for Tinnitus. But, there are other pharmacological options to reduce the depression, anxiety, and stress caused by Tinnitus.
In certain cases, physiological functions or complications in the body can cause Tinnitus. In rare situations, resolving the primary physical cause might remove or dramatically decrease symptoms of Tinnitus.
Is there any natural treatment for Tinnitus?
Yes, there are a lot of natural treatments that could help Tinnitus. These include the following relaxation techniques:
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Guided imagery
Apart from these relaxation techniques, here are other natural help for Tinnitus:
1. Get a sufficient amount of sleep. Fatigue can usually worsen the symptoms for the condition, transforming a gentle hum into an earsplitting roar. If Tinnitus keeps you awake, this could turn into a vicious cycle.
2. Exercise more. Exercises provide relief to a lot of problems that are associated with Tinnitus.
3. Safeguard your hearing. Loud noise is a major culprit of tinnitus. Here are several ways on how you can shield yourself if you are exposed in a noisy environment:
- Utilize earmuffs or ear plus when using leaf or snow blowers, grass cutters, and power equipment.
- Wear earplugs at loud restaurants, concerts, and other loud events.
- Maintain music at 60% or less than the full volume when using earbuds. Don’t listen to music for over an hour.
- Always use ear protection in a loud workplace.
Making significant changes in your living environment and daily routine can make living with Tinnitus easier. These changes should go hand in hand with any hearing aids, therapies, and treatments recommended by your doctor. There are also reports that specific drinks, foods, or medications can worsen their symptoms. No two patients suffer from the same case of Tinnitus, so to avoid triggers, keep a log of everything. Though you don’t have to avoid all the potential triggers, make sure you notice which things impact your symptoms. These include:
- Caffeinated beverages
Smoking can also trigger Tinnitus and make their symptoms worse. It damages blood towards the sensitive nerve cells that facilitate your hearing. Cigarette smoking also serves as a stimulant in your body, which makes the sound in your ears even louder. Make it a habit to add relaxing and calming sounds to silence. You can also try these methods to distract yourself from the sounds in your ears:
- Listen to the radio
- Play light music in the background
- Switch on a fan
Here are other ways on how you can alleviate the effects of tinnitus in your daily life:
1. Use a white-noise machine. It mimics the sounds of rainfall, ocean, running stream, and waves.
2. Set some relaxation time every day. When you first encounter Tinnitus or when it strikes, it’s normal to feel frustrated and anxious. However, worry and stress can only make it worse. Try out various relaxation techniques to determine which one suits you best.
3. Accept that you have Tinnitus and get used to it. Though it might sound absurd but learning how to ignore the ringing in your ears can help mask it.
What are the causes of Tinnitus?
Here are the most popular causes of Tinnitus:
Many people who have Tinnitus also suffer from loss of hearing. Since they are usually associated with each other, these two conditions might be connected. Some researches state that subjective tinnitus can only happen in the case that the auditory system has already suffered from an injury in the past. The absence of several sound frequencies due to hearing impairment can alter how the brand facilitates sound, resulting it to adjust and bridge the gap using Tinnitus.
Ear Wax Buildup
Ear wax isn’t the sole culprit for the impediment in the middle ear that heightens pressure in the inner ear, resulting in Tinnitus. Other factors include foreign objects, dirt, and hair loss from the ear canal.
Ménière’s Disease is a complication of the inner ear that usually impacts the balance and hearing, and may lead to hearing impairment, vertigo, and Tinnitus. Patients with Ménière’s disease usually notice a sensation of fullness or certain pressure in the ear – it often impacts one ear only. This condition is prevalent among people who are in their 40s and 50s, however, it can also affect people in different age range, even children.
Ototoxic medications bring harmful effects on the ear and its nerve supply. In jeopardizing the ear, these medications can cause hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance disorder.
Different Disorders & Diseases
Aside from Ménière’s disease, other illness could trigger Tinnitus including:
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)
You can seek medical advice for tinnitus retraining for better health.