Tinnitus is the name used to describe ringing inside the ears. Sometimes, it could sound like hissing, clicking, buzzing, or roaring. These sounds are heard in your ears when you have tinnitus, even when there isn’t any external noise present. The sound may either be very hard or very soft. It could be low-pitched or high-pitched. More so, the sounds could either be in one ear or both. The sounds you hear if your ear is ringing as well as their characteristics may differ from one person to another. In this article, we will show you how to stop ringing in ears.
Tinnitus can become so severe that it affects your day-to-day life, giving you problems with hearing, sleeping, or working. The sounds could be so disturbing that you may become disoriented. But then, tinnitus cannot be called a disease condition. At best, we would call it a symptom. It is only a sign showing that something may have gone wrong along your auditory pathway. This pathway includes the outer ear and the inner ear, as well as your auditory nerve. Anything that affects this pathway could cause tinnitus. If it is not cared for, tinnitus could lead to total hearing loss. However, there are many ways to temporarily stop ringing and reduce its intensity over time. We will show you how to.
What You Should Know About Tinnitus
When a bell rings, it is often seen as a warning sound. In the same way, ringing in the ears is often a warning signal that you must not overlook.
Tinnitus usually starts in the inner ear due to damage to the sensory hair cells (nerve cells) present in a part of your ear called the cochlea. Sometimes, it is the inner ear itself that is damaged.
Tinnitus can come in a variety of ways. It could present as ringing, ocean-like sounds, clicking, buzzing, whooshing, or hissing. The sound may occur occasionally and it could be constant. In some cases, it could be loud, and in others, it could be soft.
The time that you notice tinnitus the most is at night when there is no distraction from family or work. If you don’t address it on time, tinnitus could eventually lead to hearing loss.
You may realize how that tinnitus is fairly common, much more than you may think. About one out of every ten adults in the U.S has had one form of tinnitus or the other in the past year. These episodes usually last for more than five minutes.
Tinnitus may occur for different reasons. But in most cases, as we have said before, it is linked to changes that occur in the activities of your cochlear nerve.
The reason behind these changes could be any of the following:
- Being exposed to a very loud sound from things like loud music, chainsaws, jackhammers, and so on.
- Injury to the head or concussion
- A build-up of wax in the ear
- Medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin, drugs for blood pressure, and a few antibiotics
- Meniere’s disease, a disease related to the fluids of the inner ear
How to Stop Ringing In Ear
1. Reduce your exposure to very loud sounds
The damage caused to the cochlear nerve can be repaired naturally by your body. But while that repair is going on, you would have to reduce your exposure to any form of loud sounds.
This has to start with you. You should talk very quietly. Then you should avoid loud bars, events, and concerts where loud music would be played, and in-ear headphones. When you watch television or listen to your radio, keep the volumes low. All these would help your ears recover faster.
2. Make use of distraction
In some cases, the only time you notice ringing is when there is no other sound to engage your ears. In such cases, what you can do is to distract your ears from the disturbing sounds by distracting your ears with soft music
3. Take advantage of white noise
If tinnitus is beginning to affect your sleep, you can distract your brain with the use of white noise. When you do this, your brain’s focus would be shifted away from the ringing sound and it would seem as if it’s not even there at all.
White noise includes turning on the fan in your room, and let the humming sound distract you. This could sometimes be enough to get you to sleep. You could also use ocean-wave sounds. The static sound from your T.V set could also help.
4. Head tapping is also usually effective
Head tapping is another method that could help reduce ringing. It could also eliminate it. This process involves placing your palms over your ears, with your hands resting at your skull base behind your head.
While your ears are firmly covered, raise your index fingers, and use them to tap your head. This sound made by this tap would be similar to a drum sound. About 50 taps would give you lots of relief.
5. Reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol could trigger ringing or worsen it. So if you have tinnitus, you should stop drinking caffeine and alcohol until it is fully resolved. This would greatly reduce your symptoms.
When Does Tinnitus Become An Emergency?
Tinnitus could become an emergency in the following situations
- When it is accompanied by sudden deafness. In case there is sudden hearing loss, you should get medical attention immediately. If you start treatment on time, you would have higher chances of full recovery.
- Pulsatile tinnitus. If the sound you are hearing is pulsatile, pulsing alongside your heart rate, then what you have is pulsatile tinnitus. Pulsatile tinnitus may be harmless, but you need to investigate it thoroughly. It could indicate a serious vascular condition.
- Suicidal thoughts. If you begin to experience suicidal thoughts, talk to a friend or family, and seek expert care right away.
Ringing can happen to anyone at any time due to various factors. But if you know how to stop ringing in ears, you would be able to deal with it effectively.