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There are many reports of teenagers and older listening to loud music, and later in life experiencing this persistent ringing in their ears. It's called tinnitus and it's annoying.

There are many reports of teenagers and older people listening to loud music, and later in life experiencing a persistent ringing in their ears. It's called tinnitus, and it's annoying.

Many people report they always hear it, but during the daytime, they are not quite as aware of it. In bed, however, they report it gets louder, and when they are under a lot of stress, it gets even worse. Doctors identified this condition as tinnitus. This is a medical condition causing hearing a sound without an outside source. This situation is annoying, which is why so many people wish to know more about tinnitus care solutions. Many of them would be thankful to hear of a solution that can stop this ringing in the ears. Although there is no cure for tinnitus, here are some tips on how to relieve your symptoms. [1]

What Is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a medical condition that causes sounds in the ears without an external source. This sound of tinnitus varies from person to person and may include hissing, roaring, whistling, pulsating, chirping or clicking. Some find the sound intolerable and very difficult to live with, while others hardly notice it. [1]

The reasons for the tinnitus vary. [2]

The first potential cause is a loud noise, one of the most common reasons for tinnitus. Over time, loud noises can also cause a loss of hearing. [3

Medications are also problematic since more than 200 medications can cause tinnitus. It's nice to know that often when you stop medication usage, tinnitus goes away. 

Ear or sinus infections can also lead to tinnitus, although this is often temporary and goes away after the infection is treated. 

A tumor in the brain or ears, as well as head and neck trauma, are also common causes. 

Idiopathic tinnitus, however, means we just do not know what the cause is.

Tinnitus does not necessarily accompany a loss of hearing because people with normal hearing also suffer from it. After a rock concert or even lawn mowing, your ears may ring, and this also called tinnitus. It usually goes away, but for some people, that constant sound stays.

Tinnitus particularly occurs in the case of damage to the microscopic hair cells in the inner ear. If you experience a loss of balance along with ringing in your ears for the first time, you should think about seeing your doctor. You could experience tinnitus for any reason, from an inner ear infection to a tumor. About 12 million Americans may have the condition to the degree that they need help from a hearing health care professional. Of all these people, one million have tinnitus so severe that it interferes with their quality of life. [4]

Hearing loss can worsen tinnitus because, without the ability to hear outside sounds, it becomes easier to hear the inner noise. A ruptured eardrum, earwax, and an ear infection, which block outside sound, can also worsen tinnitus symptoms. Many people experience an occasional ringing, roaring, hissing, buzzing, or tinkling in their ears. The sound usually lasts only a few minutes, but if it becomes persistent, you may have tinnitus. This condition called tinnitus is most common in people over age 40, and it affects men more often than women.

Types of Tinnitus

Vibratory tinnitus is caused by mechanical sounds created by muscle contractions near the ear, changes in the ear canal, or blood flow problems involving the face or neck. If this happens to you, you will be able to hear sounds such as your pulse or the contractions of your muscles.

Non-vibratory tinnitus is caused by problems in the central or peripheral nerves involved in hearing. In this case, you may hear sounds in one or both ears. Sometimes this type of tinnitus is described as coming from inside the head. [5]

Ear infections or eardrum rupture and dental or other problems affecting the mouth, such as temporomandibular (TM) problems could also cause tinnitus. In some cases, injuries, such as whiplash or a direct blow to the ear or head is the cause. Injury to the inner ear following surgery or radiation therapy to the head or neck, a rapid change in environmental pressure, severe weight loss from malnutrition or excessive dieting and repeated exercise with the neck in a hyperextended position (such as bicycle riding) could also be the cause of tinnitus you have experienced. [2]

Blood flow problems, such as carotid atherosclerosis, AV malformations, and high blood pressure and nerve problems, such as multiple sclerosis or a migraine headache are other potential causes. Other diseases such as acoustic neuroma, anemia, labyrinthitis, Meniere’s disease, otosclerosis and thyroid disease can also cause tinnitus. [2] 

Tinnitus usually comes and goes, and does not require medical treatment. However, if tinnitus came with other symptoms, became persistent, or localized to one ear, you will need a visit to a health professional. Often there is no cure for tinnitus, but your health professional can help you learn how to live with the problem and how to stop or at least relieve this ringing in the ears you have.

Prevention Is the Best Cure or Solution for Tinnitus

You may be able to prevent ringing in the ears following individual steps. 

First, limit or avoid exposure to loud noises [3], such as music, power tools, gunshots, and industrial machinery. If you cannot avoid loud noises, wear protective earplugs or earmuffs, but do not use wadded-up tissue or cotton balls. These do not protect adequately against loud noises, especially the more dangerous high frequencies, and they may become lodged in the ear canal in some cases. You must be careful when using stereo headphones; if the music is so loud that others can hear it clearly, or you cannot hear other sounds around you, the volume is too high. 

Try to cut back on or eliminate alcohol and beverages containing caffeine, stop smoking and using smokeless tobacco products. Nicotine use may cause tinnitus by reducing blood flow to the structures of your ear. [6

It is good to exercise regularly, since exercise may prevent tinnitus by improving blood flow to the structures of the ear. Maintain a healthy weight could help you stop ringing in the ears because tinnitus occurs more frequently in obese adults. [7]

However, it is important to add sources of vitamin B12 to your diet. Vitamin B12 helps the body produce a substance that protects the nerves in the inner ear, and some think it protects against tinnitus. Good sources of vitamin B12 include milk and dairy products, meat, and eggs, so eat these foods to prevent your tinnitus. [8]

Home Treatment for Tinnitus

It is clear that you need help to relieve the symptoms of annoying tinnitus. To have appropriate home treatment, limit your use of Aspirin, products containing Aspirin, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen

As you already know, you should try to quit alcohol and nicotine, and try to exercise regularly. Exercise improves blood flow to the structures of the ear, which can help stop the ringing in the ears. However, you must avoid extended periods of exercise, such as bicycle riding, that keep your neck in a hyperextended position. 

Stress and fatigue seem to make tinnitus worse. You could try relaxation techniques such as biofeedback, meditation, or yoga. [9

Quiet rooms can cause tinnitus to seem more distracting, while background noise may reduce the amount of noise you hear. 

Play music or white noise when trying to fall asleep or anytime you find yourself in a quiet place and your tinnitus feels even worse. You may consider buying a machine that makes soothing sounds, such as ocean waves to relieve these symptoms. Many people find that herbal supplement such as ginkgo Biloba helps with tinnitus. Some studies suggest that it may help relieve tinnitus, but other do not show a benefit of these herbs.

Symptoms You Should Watch Out For During Home Treatment

Symptoms related to nerve damage, such as loss of coordination or numbness or weakness on one side of the face or one side of the body, can sometimes occur. In this case, you should contact your doctor. [10

Other symptoms could also develop, such as significant hearing loss, vertigo, loss of balance, nausea, or vomiting. 

Tinnitus often localizes to one ear, with hearing-loss that becomes worse within 24 hours after an ear injury, or does not improve within 1 week of an ear injury. 

You must take note if your tinnitus continues for two weeks, despite the use of home treatment. You have to report to your doctor also if your symptoms become more severe or more frequent. 

Although tinnitus does not have a cure, it is manageable. If you suffer from tinnitus, there are coping methods and some cure solutions each patient should know. 

Maskers are small electronic devices that look like hearing aids and give immediate relief for tinnitus. They make a sound to make the tinnitus less noticeable, but you must know it does not cure or make the tinnitus go away. Tinnitus can keep people awake at night, so maskers can help them sleep better. You could also try hearing aids. Because many individuals with tinnitus often have hearing loss, hearing aids make outside sounds louder, helping reduce the effects of tinnitus. [11]

While not a cure, medicines can reduce tinnitus and ringing in the ears. Anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants such as nortriptyline, antihistamines, and anticonvulsants can help some people with tinnitus. 

You must also know if your tinnitus developed because of your medication, quitting may help. 

Tinnitus retraining therapy with TRT sound generators are worn in the ear and emit a quieter sound than maskers do. Often someone using this device gets a unique kind of counseling called directive counseling which teaches the brain to stop noticing the noise. TRT is relatively new, and the overall effectiveness of the treatment is still up for debate and study, but your best bet is prevention.[12]

Besides Tinnitus retraining therapy and treatment options mentioned above, there are some of the cutting-edge therapies currently in development, but some of them have not yet been fully validated for effective clinical use [13]: 

  • Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)
  • Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)
  • Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)
  • Brain Surface Implants
  • Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)