Tinnitus is a noise in your ear that presents as whistling, hissing, pulsating, or a high-pitched ringing. Ringing in the ear or tinnitus is widespread and affects more than 50 million Americans. For some, it’s a very deliberating experience affecting their daily lives.
Although you hear sounds, there is no external source linked to them. While some describe it as a buzzing and whooshing sound, others hear it as a persistent ringing in one or both ears. This can be frustrating, leading to depression, anxiety, and stress.
Tinnitus can be either objective or subjective. Objective tinnitus is when you and a medical professional can hear the noise in your ear, usually by using a stethoscope. It’s rarer than subjective tinnitus and can often be identified and cured.
Subjective tinnitus refers to when only you hear the ringing and roaring sounds. Unfortunately, it is seldom curable.
What Causes Tinnitus
According to experts, the primary cause of tinnitus is damage to the inner or middle ear. This usually happens when your middle ears pick up sound waves and prompt your inner ear to transmit electrical waves to your brain. When you’re inner or middle ear is damaged, it alters how your brain processes sound, and you hear high-pitched ringing instead.
Those in professions exposed to music, chainsaws, jackhammers, and other heavy equipment that produce loud sounds are likelier to get tinnitus.
Some other common causes of tinnitus include:
- Exposure to loud noises through headphones or live music
- Eardrum blockage (wax build-up is common)
- A diet high in fat and starch is associated with a higher risk of tinntus
- Hearing loss (prevalent)
- Stress can exacerbate symptoms
Certain medications can also cause damage to your hearing ability. Drugs known to cause tinnitus are:
- Large doses of aspirin
- Antimalarial drugs such as chloroquine
- Certain Antibiotics, i.e., gentamicin and erythromycin.
- Some Anti-Cancer drugs such as Vincristine.
Best home remedies for tinnitus
Before visiting your audiologist, you can try home remedies to see if the buzzing and ringing sounds will disappear. Below are a few things you can try at home.
1. Get rid of Earwax. Most people suffering from tinnitus complain of having their ears full of wax. Your ear should naturally push the wax out for you to clean. You can try an earwax removal kit from the pharmacy to see if this helps. However, if excessive earwax is a problem, it’s best to see a hearing specialist.
2. Manage your stress levels. Stress is a known factor that triggers tinnitus. Most people find that prolonged periods of stress make the ringing and hissing sound louder. A possible solution is for you to find those hobbies and activities you find relaxing. For some, it’s reading, watching movies, painting, meeting friends, or art therapy.
3. Get enough sleep. Fatigue, a known stress factor, can make your tinnitus grow louder and more disturbing. Sleeping at least eight hours daily can help reduce your tinnitus symptoms. Also, if you’re the type who consumes too much caffeine, now is the time to start cutting down gradually!
What are the treatments options for tinnitus?
Hearing Aids for Tinnitus
if you’re experiencing hearing loss and tinnitus, hearing aids can prove beneficial in managing both conditions. Hearing aids will help you amplify those sounds you want to hear, thereby drawing your attention away from tinnitus. The use of hearing aids can help mask the ringing sensation of tinnitus.
Tinnitus Masking Device
Masking devices fit in the ear to drown out the internal sounds of your tinnitus. They use specific tones and noise to dampen the annoying sounds in your ear. This allows you to sleep well, relax, and stay focused.
To see if you want to see if a masking device would work for you, try turning on a water faucet. If the water drowns out your tinnitus, a masking device may be a promising treatment for you. See us for more information.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, or TRT, can help you learn to live with your tinnitus. This means you will no longer feel as troubled when you hear hissing and roaring sounds.
TRT involves direct counseling, sound therapy, and time. The treatment will teach you how to ignore those sounds in 12 to 24 months. But you will need an experienced therapist, and that’s where El Dorado Hearing comes in.
How can we help you relieve your tinnitus?
At El Dorado Hearing, our audiologists will first study your medical history, examine your ears, and thoroughly evaluate your hearing.
Our staff will determine treatment options with you, including but not limited to TRT.
If you or a loved one suffers from tinnitus or needs hearing aids, our team at El Dorado Hearing is here to help you start receiving treatments immediately and find relief for your tinnitus.
Contact El Dorado Hearing for more information or to schedule an appointment.