Posted July 11, 2019
Medical professionals describe tinnitus as a perception of noise in one or both ears, despite no external sound. Currently, there are no cures or prescription drugs available to treat it. But researchers have identified six ways to reduce tinnitus or ringing in the ears.
Tinnitus Symptom Management
- Magnesium – Scientists at the University of Leicester found eating foods high in magnesium, such as dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, bananas, avocados and dark chocolate, helps control the ringing sound.
- Acupuncture – This medical practice can stimulate areas of the brain where ringing initiates.
- Minerals and vitamins – Scientists believe tinnitus may be linked to a deficiency in zinc and vitamin B12. One study showed taking ginkgo extract and melatonin provided relief from tinnitus.
- Black coffee – Researchers found that women who drank large amounts of caffeinated coffee reported lower incidences of tinnitus. They believe that caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and reduces tinnitus risk. (However, we aware of high blood pressure.)
- De-stress – Activities that lower stress, such as behavior therapy and hypnosis, can help people decrease tinnitus. Other ways to alleviate symptoms include exercise, meditation, laughter and relaxation.
- Sound therapy – Researchers have discovered that introducing other sounds can help take your mind off of the ringing in your ears.
These days many people wear earbuds to listen to music or podcasts. Often, they turn up the volume to block out sounds around them. Prolonged use of earbuds at a high volume can lead to hearing damage. Help prevent tinnitus by turning down the volume a bit. Also, take time each day to relax. Tinnitus can accompany chronic anxiety and stress.
Causes of Tinnitus
There are several reasons why people experience tinnitus:
- Loudness – Exposure to an explosion or loud sounds over time, such as those at music concerts or sporting events, can cause ear ringing.
- Excessive earwax – A buildup of earwax can muffle hearing and cause ringing in your ears.
- Aging – Adults often notice decreased hearing as they age.
- Ear infections – During a cold or the flu, nasal passages can swell, increase ear and sinus pressure, and impair hearing.
- Medications – Antibiotics, antidepressants, diuretics, aspirin and anti-inflammatory or cancer drugs, can cause temporary ringing in the ears.
- Jaw problems – Ear pain or experiencing popping sounds when chewing food may be an indication of jaw misalignment, such as TMJ (temporomandibular joint), and cause ear ringing.
- Blood pressure – Stress, alcohol, caffeine or hardening of the arteries can increase blood pressure, making the blood pump harder through the veins. In the vessels close to the ears, the pumping may sound louder and create ringing.
- Medical issues – Lyme disease, fibromyalgia and Meniere’s disease can create side effects that cause ear ringing.
Over 50 million Americans suffer from ear ringing caused by tinnitus. Nearly 20 million people have chronic tinnitus and about 2 million have an extreme or debilitating form of the condition. It’s safe to say that tinnitus has become a common health problem.
Hearing experts encourage people to protect their hearing. Wear earbuds and hearing protection in all loud situations. Carry one or two pairs of inexpensive ear plugs in your vehicle. They’ll muffle the loud sounds that can lead to hearing loss.