Tinnitus is a persistent ringing in the ear that can be annoying to live with. Unfortunately, there is no medical cure, but our healthy living tips explore the holistic treatments for sufferers. The official number of tinnitus sufferers is almost 50 million Americans, according to the American Tinnitus Association, so you are not alone in suffering with this common problem.
Healthy habits and lifestyle changes may help Tinnitus sufferers.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is an ongoing ringing, hissing or buzzing noise in a person’s ear. It may affect the sufferer’s hearing but is not necessarily restricted to those with some degree of deafness. Tinnitus often develops after an ear infection, damage to nerve endings in the auditory canal, or exposure to a loud bang.
Our hearing works when vibrations caused by sound pass through the bones of the eardrum and reach a fluid-filled cavity in the inner ear. Tiny, sensitive hairs pick up the vibration and send an impulse to the brain through the auditory nerve. If these hairs are damaged or for some reason permanently vibrate, the brain “hears” non-stop noise vibrations which are known medically as tinnitus.
To prevent tinnitus you should only play music at 60% when wearing earbuds, and wear ear plugs when operating noisy machinery or at a concert.
Doctors may prescribe a hearing aid to help control the noise, but there are some healthy living tips to help you live with tinnitus.
Related: The Inside Scoop on BPPV
Healthy Living Tips to Treat Tinnitus Naturally
Some people suffering with ringing in the ears find that some food, drinks and medication can affect their symptoms. Keep a diary of the days when the ringing is worse and see if there is a common cause. These may include caffeine (tea, cola and energy drinks as well as coffee), salty foods, taking aspirin or after drinking alcohol.
If you smoke, consider quitting. Smoking affects the blood flow to the nerve cells that control your hearing. Nicotine also creates a kick of adrenaline which can make the tinnitus sound much worse.
Other healthy habits for tinnitus include creating soft background noise from a radio, white-noise machine or even a fan to help mask the ringing.
Stress and worry can make tinnitus even worse, so introduce some relaxation techniques into your life. Yoga, tai-chi, meditation and muscle relaxation CDs can all help reduce ringing in the ears.
Of course, getting your overall health checked out by your doctor is a healthy habit to consider if you develop tinnitus. The ringing noise may be caused by other conditions such as a buildup of ear wax, fibromyalgia, hypertension, thyroid issues or Lyme disease. Hopefully these healthy living tips will help improve the problem over time.