Tinnitus is a condition that causes ringing in the ears, often accompanied by other abnormal sounds and sensations. Most experts believe that the causes of tinnitus can be attributed to an underlying disorder that affects the auditory sensations and nerves near the ears. The symptoms of tinnitus often include listening to ghost sounds, along with changes in the intensity of sound, tone, and volume. Natural tinnitus treatment methods can help patients find pain relief and coping methods to control symptoms.
Tinnitus Causes and Risk Factors
- A history of ear disorders or ear infections
- Cardiovascular disorders that affect blood flow, arteries and nerves
- Nerve damage
- TMJ symptoms, jaw, head or neck injuries
- Overcoming an upper respiratory infection, a cold or an ear infection
- A history of drug use or excessive alcohol consumption that causes neurological changes
- Acute anxiety, insomnia or depression
- Being exposed to high amounts of noise, wearing loud headphones or having a job that exposes you to high-pitched noises
- Hearing loss that is linked to aging.
1. Try Counseling, Coping Strategies, and Education
Patients who receive education about tinnitus and learn about coping strategies may be better able to manage irritating symptoms. Coping strategies can help with the emotional symptoms caused by tinnitus, such as anxiety, insomnia, lack of concentration and depression.
2. Use Masking Devices
Masking devices and hearing aids can help reduce the intensity of unwanted sounds or increase the volume of soft sounds too quiet the noise of tinnitus. A white noise machine can help patients relax, concentrate or have a better night’s sleep. Other devices for the treatment of tinnitus include:
- White noise machines or sleep machines
- Masking devices worn in the ears, such as earplugs or hearing aids
- Certain hearing aids that can be custom fit to your ears
- Free apps on your phone that play soothing sounds, including falling rain or ocean waves
- Natural sources of light noise, such as fans, humidifiers, dehumidifiers and conditioners
3. Avoid Very Loud Noises
Being exposed to very loud noises, such as heavy machinery, construction equipment, shooting or even loud music, can cause hearing loss. To help protect your hearing, keep the volume of your phone, iPod, and other devices at the low end when using headphones, and do not hear the loud noise for long periods of time.
4. Don’t Use Q-tips
Using a Q-tip to clean the ears can cause blockages in the sows, along with ear infections and ear damage. Earwax acts as a barrier to protect the ear from harmful substances, by trapping dirt and bacteria. If you have excessive earwax, talk to a health professional to get rid of it safely.
5. Avoid Drugs and Alcohol
Research has shown that some medications, including over-the-counter pain relievers, can make tinnitus worse. Smoking and drinking alcohol are also related to tinnitus. Consult your doctor if you are taking a medication that can contribute to hearing damage.
- Antibiotics: polymyxin B, erythromycin, vancomycin, and neomycin
- Cancer medications: mechlorethamine and vincristine
- Diuretics: bumetanide, ethacrynic acid or furosemide
- Quinine medications
- Some antidepressants
- Aspirin when taken in high doses
6. Reduce Stress and Inflammation
High-stress levels and inflammation can increase the risk of ear problems. Stress can also worsen symptoms of tinnitus. Participate in stress-relieving activities on a regular basis to help reduce anxiety and lower inflammation levels. Try exercising, yoga, meditation, warm baths and spending time outdoors for stress relief.