Tinnitus is abnormal ear noise. The condition causes a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears much like a loud concert. However, unlike a night of good music, the ringing and buzzing do not go away. According to the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), tinnitus is a neurological condition experienced by nearly 50 million Americans. Although there is no ultimate cure for tinnitus, there are current treatments and lifestyle changes that ease the effects of tinnitus. So please read on to find relief from the symptoms of tinnitus.
A hearing evaluation with an ear doctor is needed to determine the cause of tinnitus. After a thorough exam that includes a medical history, testing, and tinnitus-specific testing, the ear doctor will determine a course of treatment that could include:
- Medications. Pharmaceuticals do not cure tinnitus, but a few drugs will help to suppress the symptoms of tinnitus. Tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline and nortriptyline are among the most commonly prescribed medications for tinnitus. Niravam and Xanax are also tinnitus treatments.
- Alternative treatments. Alternatives to traditional methods of treating tinnitus include homeopathy, hypnosis, meditation, and acupuncture. These remedies are used to suppress loud noises, echoing, and humming.
- Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT). This treatment is a cognitive therapy used in conjunction with a masking device to assist you in learning to ignore ringing in your ears.
- Hearing aids. Many hearing aids now include tinnitus features. These hearing aids provide sound amplification and tinnitus relief.
Changing one’s lifestyle lessens the effects of tinnitus. Moderate tinnitus affects a person’s ability to work and socialize whereas severe cases are debilitating. Depression, anxiety, mood swings, sleep problems, and poor concentration accompany tinnitus. Combat these symptoms with the following lifestyle practices:
- Avoid irritants. Just reduce your exposure to those things that exacerbate tinnitus. Irritants include loud noise, nicotine, and caffeine.
- Mask the noise. Often a fan, light music, or a low-volume radio will mask tinnitus noise.
- Reduce alcohol consumption. Alcohol dilates blood vessels which in turn causes increased blood flow to the inner ear.
- Stress management. Tinnitus, exacerbated by stress, is relieved through relaxation therapy, biofeedback, or exercise.
A nice cup of ginger-spice tea, ginkgo biloba, and traditional Chinese herbs are believed to be effective home remedies to lessen the effects of Tinnitus. Try these tips too:
- See an ear doctor as soon as your symptoms begin.
- Monitor your medications. Aspirin, NSAIDs, antibiotics, cancer drugs, diuretics, and certain anti-depressants exacerbate the adverse effects of tinnitus.
- Reduce exposure to loud noises.
- Eat foods that support hearing health.
- Exercise regularly.
- Keep a journal to record tinnitus symptoms, severity, and triggers.
- Get therapy for managing tinnitus symptoms.
- Keep a positive attitude.
Tinnitus is a neurological condition experienced by many Americans. The ringing, buzzing and echoing that accompany tinnitus is incurable but treatable. Medications, alternative therapy, and hearing aids reduce the aggravation of tinnitus. Lifestyle changes, a proper diet, exercise, and reducing noise exposure alleviates symptoms and aids in good hearing health. It is time for that buzzing to stop interfering with your life.