Essential tips to manage ringing in the ears
In medical terms, experiencing ringing in the ears is known as tinnitus. It can occur in one or both ears. The ringing is not an external sound, and other people cannot hear it. Nonetheless, this is quite a common hearing ailment that affects about 15 to 20 percent of people. It is more common in older adults. Thus, it is generally an age-related condition, but it can occur in certain cases due to an underlying health condition. There are cures for ringing in the ears; however, the treatment depends on the cause.
Here are a few common treatment options and home care tips for ringing ears:
- Earwax removal
This treatment is usually used for a low degree of tinnitus. This is not really a cure for ringing in the ears but a way to lower the symptoms of tinnitus. An ear specialist will remove earwax blockages so that tinnitus symptoms are alleviated.
- Treatment for blood vessel condition
In certain cases, tinnitus is caused by an underlying health condition associated with the blood vessels. Medications, surgery, and other forms of treatment used to remedy the condition can be a cure for ringing in the ears.
- Using hearing aids
In many cases, tinnitus is often accompanied by hearing loss. The use of hearing aids can be useful in such cases. These aids lower the effect of tinnitus. Moreover, many hearing aids these days are equipped with tinnitus removal features. These help to mask unwanted sounds. They are compatible with smartphone apps that teach relaxation and behavioral techniques to manage tinnitus better.
- Using noise suppression devices
These devices are worn in the ear, similar to hearing aids. They produce white noise to compete with the ringing in the ears. The noise can be a constant signal or tonal beats. Some devices also play notched music that notches out the tinnitus.
- Use free-standing white noise devices
These devices reproduce static or nature sounds. The white noise of ocean waves or falling rain often suppresses the ringing in the ears. These devices can be placed in areas where there is silence since complete silence makes tinnitus worse.
- Tinnitus retraining therapy
These are customized programs that bring together sound masking techniques with counseling. This is a treatment done by an audiologist to cure ringing in the ears. This is a long-term treatment that lowers the severity of tinnitus symptoms.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
A licensed psychologist conducts this form of therapy. The therapy involves learning certain techniques and coping mechanisms to make the symptoms of tinnitus less annoying.
Medications are not cures for ringing in the ears. However, doctors often prescribe medications to alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus. In addition, they are prescribed to treat underlying health conditions that are causing tinnitus.
- Regular exercise
Stress is often a major trigger for tinnitus symptoms. A regular exercise routine can help in keeping stress at bay. Exercising at least two to three times a week can help in managing tinnitus.
- Practicing mindfulness
This is another effective way of managing stress. Mindfulness training and meditation can help manage the situation. It can help in taking away the attention from the annoying symptoms of tinnitus.
- Be aware of triggers
In some cases, certain foods, beverages, or substances can worsen the ringing in the ears. However, not everyone is affected by these triggers in the same way. Keeping a written log can be useful. Being aware of these triggers can help in managing tinnitus.
- Quit smoking
Smoking has been known to cause obstruction in the flow of blood in the sensitive nerve cells of the ears. Moreover, nicotine acts as a stimulant in the body. Both these factors can worsen tinnitus. It is best to avoid smoking for those who want to alleviate symptoms of tinnitus.
- Use soothing sounds
Often being in quiet environments can worsen the ringing in the ears. If there is no access to white-noise machines, there are other ways to suppress tinnitus. Using soothing sounds can be helpful; these include playing soft music in the background, listening to the radio, or turning on the fan for white noise.
- Get enough sleep
Being extremely tired can worsen the symptoms of tinnitus. Fatigue can turn a soft hum of the tinnitus into a loud roar. In many cases, this becomes a vicious cycle; the loud ringing in the ears prevents one from falling asleep. This is why getting sufficient sleep is essential. This can be done by practicing good sleep habits that will give a restful sleep.
- Protect the ears
In many cases, loud noise is often a major cause of tinnitus. It also worsens the symptoms. It is suggested to employ methods to protect the ears to make the cure for ringing in the ears more effective. This can be done by keeping music at a maximum of 60 percent of the total volume. When one is using headphones, the volume must be low. Wear earplugs or earmuffs to places, such as concerts, restaurants, or workplaces, that are quite noisy. Always cover the ears while using power tools.