How to Get Tinnitus Relief

What Is Tinnitus?

Do you hear noise in your ears that other people can't hear? Annoying sounds, like ringing, buzzing, whistling, whooshing or hissing? If so, you are not alone. Over 36 million Americans suffer from Tinnitus – a condition characterized by sounds that originate from within, rather than from without, your ears.

Tinnitus takes on many forms:

  • The most common “garden-variety” type produces soft-to-loud ringing, humming or rushing-water sounds
  • Tonal Tinnitus causes a constant chiming sound, like a musical note played over and over again
  • Pulsatile Tinnitus produces sound that pulsates in time with ones heartbeat
  • Mixed Tinnitus causes multiple noises to be heard simultaneously
  • Objective Tinnitus is extremely rare, and produces noise heard not only by the affected individual, but by others as well!

What Causes Tinnitus?

Tinnitus can develop gradually or appear out of nowhere – and its causes are varied and difficult to pin down. Tinnitus is most common among senior citizens. That's because as we age, our auditory nerves begin to deteriorate. This causes changes in the way sounds are heard, and can lead to a perception of “noise”. While Tinnitus does not cause hearing loss or deafness, people with hearing loss complain about the condition more often than people without hearing loss.

Other factors are thought to cause Tinnitus:

  • Physical blockages, such as ear wax, that make us more aware of the sounds occurring inside our heads
  • Fluid, infection, or disease in the middle ear or ear drum that causes us to hear noise
  • High blood pressure & hardening of the arteries
  • Exposure to excessively loud sound, including workplace noise, high intensity music & firearms
  • Medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter remedies, vitamin & mineral supplements
  • Diseases of the inner ear, such as Meniere's syndrome
  • Too much stress, as well as, over-use of artificial sweeteners, sugar, alcohol, tobacco & caffeine
  • In very rare cases, brain issues such as aneurysms or acoustic tumors

Find Relief from Tinnitus

Although frustrating, Tinnitus is rarely serious and often resolves on its own. But, if you are experiencing constant, unexplained noise, it's important to see a hearing care practitioner for a comprehensive hearing test screening, including an audiogram, medical history, physical ear examination, and tests designed to pinpoint the origin of your Tinnitus.

Tinnitus has no cure, but can be relieved through a few simple steps. Try to avoid loud noise. Control your blood pressure, and decrease salt and nerve stimulants, including coffee, cola, tobacco and aspirin. Monitor your stress level, and make sure to get ample rest and exercise.

Try experimenting with masking noise. Use a competing sound, such as a radio, white noise maker, or fan, to “cancel out” the noise you hear in your ears. Ask your hearing aid practitioner about small hearing aid devices that generate sounds to “offset” the sound your Tinnitus makes. Some Tinnitus patients swear by biofeedback! And, many “habituate” to their condition, meaning they get used to it and notice it less over time.

Try keeping track of what triggers your Tinnitus, and give remedies a chance to work. It can take longer than you expect to experience Tinnitus relief.

Finally, seek out a Tinnitus support group for coping methods, compassion and the latest information on tinnitus relief. Educate your family members and friends if necessary, and ask for their support. And, stay abreast of ongoing research – successful treatments for Tinnitus are right around the corner.

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