Posted October 7, 2013
Medical professionals estimate that 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus. Described as persistent ringing sounds in the ears, tinnitus often impacts people’s ability to concentrate, sleep or just enjoy living. Recently scientists identified new strategies that may provide relief from tinnitus.
Scientists believe that tinnitus frequently is caused when people have prolonged exposure to loud sounds. Approximately 90 percent of individuals diagnosed with tinnitus have some degree of noise-induced hearing loss. For example, hundreds of people close to the Boston Marathon bomb blasts in April 2013 experienced severe injuries to their hearing. There are possibly many others at least 100 feet or more from the blasts who also may be dealing with tinnitus.
Medical professionals report that there is no permanent cure for tinnitus, but there are some strategies that may be helpful in providing relief from the ringing sounds. First find out if it is being caused by certain medications or excessive earwax. Then follow these helpful tips:
- Mind management – Tinnitus sufferers often struggle with anxiety and depression; doctors believe the brain’s limbic system regulates emotions, and cognitive therapy or acceptance therapy may help patients manage their emotional responses
- Good posture – People who spend considerable time using a computer or mobile device may be at greater risk for developing tinnitus; doctors encourage the practice of good posture, with the ears in alignment with the shoulders and hips
- Relaxed jaw – Researchers have identified a connection between the auditory system and the muscles in the brain used for chewing; they recommend that individuals with tinnitus avoid chewing gum, clenching their jaw or grinding their teeth
- Vitamin B and Zinc – Medical professionals have linked tinnitus with deficiencies of Vitamin B and zinc, which are believed to be essential for normal nerve function; although taking these natural supplements may not be helpful to everyone with tinnitus, doctors believe that at least 30 to 40 percent of patients may find some relief
- Regular sleep – Researchers have found patients who enjoy restful sleep and listen to soothing natural sounds find it easier to cope with tinnitus
To learn more about new strategies to relieve tinnitus, read this article from Prevention magazine.