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Coping with Tinnitus

Man with Hand to Ear

Tinnitus can be an incredibly frustrating condition to deal with, whether you experience it constantly or intermittently. Often described as a ringing, buzzing or whirring you hear that is actually not caused by an external sound source, it’s important to seek treatment for this condition if you experience it for longer than two weeks. While tinnitus can be experienced temporarily after exposure to loud noise like at a rock concert, this will typically resolve within a few days. To better understand how you can cope with tinnitus, learn more about the causes of this condition, how it can be prevented and the best solutions to get the relief you need.

What causes tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be caused by a number of different factors, from lifestyle habits to loud noise exposure. The most common causes of tinnitus include:

  • Loud noise exposure
  • Trauma to the auditory system
  • Medications
  • Whiplash
  • Meniere’s disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Unhealthy habits, including smoking, high alcohol consumption and poor diet
  • Ear infections
  • Untreated hearing loss

What treatment options are available for tinnitus?

Finding the right treatment for tinnitus requires careful inspection of the underlying cause for the condition you’re experiencing. If your tinnitus is temporary and caused by a condition like ear infection or impaction, the hearing professional can remove the blockage and the ringing should resolve. Additionally, if you are taking a medication that lists tinnitus as a side effect, you may be able to speak with your doctor about switching medications to alleviate symptoms. Keep in mind, you should never stop taking or switch medications without first consulting your physician.

Tinnitus that is not caused by a temporary factor cannot be officially cured. However, there are a number of effective treatment methods that can be used to provide the relief you’re looking for. The most common treatments for tinnitus include:

  • Hearing aids: Hearing aids are the most widely recommended solution for treating tinnitus. Untreated hearing loss can actually lead to tinnitus, and if this is the cause behind your ear-ringing sensation, hearing aids can easily remedy this. However, even if you do not have hearing loss, these devices can be equipped with masking features that help you block out the tinnitus sounds and finally get the relaxation you need.
  • Sound machines: Another common recommendation for individuals coping with tinnitus is a sound machine. These work similarly to the masking features of hearing aids, but are an external unit that produces sound. These are typically utilized at night time when trying to sleep, or focus in a quiet environment. You can also select the type of sound you find most helpful, whether it’s ocean waves or simple white noise.
  • Tinnitus retraining therapy: In addition to the technologies to help treat tinnitus symptoms, tinnitus retraining therapy is something that can be used in tandem to increase effectiveness. This therapy teaches you how to essentially block out the sounds of tinnitus you are struggling to cope with, and can help provide relief when hearing aids or sound machines aren’t being worn.

Can tinnitus be prevented?

Luckily, many of the causes of tinnitus can be prevented with knowledge and preparation. From addressing hearing loss to healthier lifestyle choices, consider the following simple ways you can help reduce your risk of developing tinnitus:

  • Protect your ears. A lot of people assume that it is too late to do this, and so they don’t worry about ear protection anymore. However, the last thing you want to do is make the condition even worse. 
  • Lower your stress levels. Taking your medication or practicing different ways to be more relaxed can lead to significant improvements in terms of your tinnitus symptoms. 
  • Exercise more. Regular exercise is important because it helps to boost your circulation, which is beneficial because tinnitus has been linked with low blood supply to the inner ear.
  • Look after yourself. Habits that are detrimental to your body, for example, drinking and smoking heavily, can cause your tinnitus symptoms to get worse. 

When to seek treatment

Tinnitus can drastically impact your quality of life if you don’t seek the treatment you deserve. At My Hearing Center, we have a multitude of different hearing aids from the top manufacturers that can help meet your treatment needs.

If you suspect you could have tinnitus and you would like to see a hearing instrument specialist, contact My Hearing Center today. You can contact us at one of our convenient locations below: