Posted January 30, 2015 by Mike Mineo in Features

How to stop the ringing in your ears


Tinnitus can affect people of all ages and backgrounds and has a profound effect on a person’s everyday life if it cannot be eased through medical treatment.

The condition can be temporary – it is most commonly caused by an ear infection or build up of earwax – and your GP or a hearing specialist will try to rule out basic causes before helping you manage the condition on a daily basis if you are suffering from a more serious case.

Tinnitus itself cannot be treated. Those suffering from it must learn to live with the condition. However, there are ways to ease the frustration and help you get on with your life like normal. You can read more about tinnitus information here.

Hearing ringing, buzzing, whistling, humming and hissing constantly are the most common complaints for those living with tinnitus and the condition can be diagnosed by your GP or a hearing specialist through tests.

The condition is caused by an inflammation in the inner ear and many describe it as an experience likened to that brief period after leaving a loud concert or a school disco as a child.

Considering the cause is inflammation, first try to reduce this by avoiding drinks such as coffee and red wine because they are considered an irritant to hearing cells. You should also try taking in more anti-inflammatory foods and medication, such as ibuprofen, turmeric and pineapple.

Diet can make a real impact on tinnitus, so ensure you are eating healthily with as little salt as possible and cut out foods such as high fat cheese, fried food and baked produce. It might be hard at first but you’ll thank yourself in the long run.

Relaxation techniques can also really help someone suffering with tinnitus to overcome the daily frustration and persistence of such an annoying sound, which cannot be blocked out.

Creating constant white noise is an effective way of coping with tinnitus. Play background music or have the TV on low when at home alone or in a quiet room to help distract you from the sound. If the constant noise is disrupting your ability to fall asleep play relaxing sounds such as rainfall or the ocean to relax and help you drift off peacefully. Fans and dehumidifiers are also effective and can be easily moved from room to room.

Many doctors also suggest masking devices, which are fitted over the ears and produce continuous white noise. The Daily Mail reported this year that there is a new gel on the market which can help reduce the effects of tinnitus, and the results of early clinical trials suggested that it could reduce the volume of the noise by about 40%.

Tinnitus can be extremely frustrating, so learning to cope with it calmly is not only good for your mind but for your health in general; high blood pressure (which weakens blood circulation making Tinnitus worse), sleep deprivation and depression are common side effects for those suffering from it.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help you develop coping techniques to subdue your frustration with your condition. Changing the way you think about Tinnitus will reduce stress in the long run and help you feel more positive. It’s important that you learn to tolerate or even learn to ignore the noise and a therapist can help you on your way to doing this.

If you have Tinnitus, which cannot be treated by earwax removal or medication for an ear infection, then employ these techniques to make your everyday life a little more bearable and reduce that frustrating noise in your ears.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound. I used to write for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine. Send your music to [email protected].