An irregular ringing in your ears may indicate tinnitus rather than merely being an annoying distraction that makes it hard to focus. A quiet or loud buzzing, whistling, roaring, sizzling, or humming sound in your ears can be the result of tinnitus. Ten to twenty-five percent of adults struggle with this common disease.
Our advice can assist if you are experiencing ringing in your ears. We’ll go over what to do if you start having tinnitus as well as some possible treatments your doctor may look into.
How to treat tinnitus
The first place you should go if you have ringing in your ears is to the doctor. To find out what’s causing your tinnitus, your doctor can do the necessary tests. Alternatively, they may suggest that you get hearing tests done by an audiologist. They will then lay up a plan of treatment to assist you in managing it.
Treat the underlying condition
Tinnitus frequently indicates an underlying medical issue, such as a head or neck injury, TMJ, upper respiratory illness, or infection. Furthermore, the American Tinnitus Association states that tinnitus can be brought on by a number of drugs, including antidepressants, NSAIDS, and antibiotics. To find out if your tinnitus could be caused by any of these illnesses, your doctor can do a complete medical history.
According to the ATA, hearing loss is one of the most frequent causes of tinnitus. Your brain doesn’t receive as many external inputs from sounds when you have partial hearing loss. According to one idea, tinnitus develops as your brain fills in the missing frequencies as it adjusts to this new environment.
A hearing aid can be helpful if your hearing loss is the cause of your tinnitus. A hearing aid is a little electronic gadget that works to reduce internal tinnitus noise by boosting outside noises so your brain can process them. Cochlear implants, which resemble hearing aids but are surgically inserted, may also be recommended to people with profound hearing loss.
Sound treatment is a common alternative to consider, as tinnitus sufferers need more external sounds to gain relief, according to the AARP. This can involve using white noise generators, turning on an air conditioner to create the impression of white noise, or simply playing calming music through conventional speakers or headphones. To get the sound you desire, you can utilise a white noise smartphone app or access white noise playlists through a variety of streaming music services.
specialised masking devices
According to the AARP, customised in-ear masking devices offer a more individualised kind of sound treatment. Though they look like hearing aids, these gadgets produce a low-level white noise that is perfectly tuned to your tinnitus. According to the ATA, certain hearing aids also provide masking.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
According to Healthline, tinnitus is linked to anxiety and depression, and stress can both cause and worsen it. For this, talk therapy can be helpful. In contrast to sound therapy, you’re learning to control and manage your emotional reaction to the sounds rather than immediately dealing with it. Research indicates that patients with tinnitus who receive cognitive behavioural therapy eventually see improvements in their quality of life despite their symptoms.
Treatment for tinnitus retraining
Training your mind to become used to the tinnitus to the point where it is no longer irritating is an additional possibility. According to the ATA, cognitive behavioural therapy and a low-level masking sound therapy component are both included in tinnitus retraining therapy.
Progressive management of tinnitus
Healthline reports that the US Department of Veterans Affairs developed this multi-step tinnitus treatment plan. The patient is first given information about tinnitus, and then they have weekly sessions with a licenced counsellor or therapist to acquire coping mechanisms for the disease. Additionally, there may be sound therapy of some kind.
control of stress
Given the strong correlation between stress and tinnitus, managing stress is essential to treating symptoms. As part of your treatment, your doctor or therapist may recommend stress-relieving exercises, yoga, meditation, getting enough sleep, journaling, and other practices. Being completely conscious of and accepting of the present moment is a common therapeutic practice known as mindfulness-based stress reduction.
Anti-anxiety medicine or antidepressants
There are drugs that can help in different ways, but there isn’t one that can cure tinnitus. These include antidepressants and anxiety medications. Anti-anxiety drugs can alleviate tinnitus-related stress or anxiety. According to Healthline, research has shown that antidepressants may lessen symptoms by inhibiting the action of the GABA neurotransmitter, which is in charge of sending sound impulses to the brain. More research is needed as the relationship between GABA and tinnitus is not fully understood.
According to the ATA, a happy and healthy lifestyle can help control tinnitus. These include regular exercise, decent sleep patterns, social interaction, staying hydrated, eating well, and reducing alcohol and tobacco use.