McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

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What’s the best way to relieve the ringing in my ears? There’s no cure for tinnitus, but knowing what causes or exacerbates your symptoms can help you lessen or prevent flare-ups.

Researchers estimate that 32 percent of individuals experience a constant ringing, buzzing, or whooshing noise in their ears. This condition is called tinnitus, and it can wreak havoc. People who hear these noises have problems sleeping and concentrating, and they may also have associated hearing loss.

Because it is normally related to some other condition, there is no real cure for the tinnitus itself, but there are strategies you can take to quiet the noise.

What Should I Stay Away From to Minimize The Ringing in My Ears?

There are some things that have been shown to cause or worsen tinnitus symptoms and these are the things you should steer clear of. Loud noise is one of the most common things that aggravate tinnitus. If you’re exposed to a loud work environment, use earplugs and also try to avoid using headphones or earpods.

Some medications like anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, and even high doses of aspirin can make the ringing worse so check with your doctor. Never stop taking your medications without first consulting your health care professional.

Other common causes of tinnitus include:

  • infections
  • other medical issues
  • allergies
  • too much earwax
  • issues with the jaw
  • high blood pressure
  • stress

Tinnitus And Issues With The Jaw

Your ears and jaw are closely associated. That’s why issues with your jaw can result in tinnitus. The best example of this is an affliction called Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ for short), which comprises a breakdown of the shock-absorbing cartilage around the joints in your jaw. Tinnitus can be the outcome of the stress of simple activities such as chewing.

Is there anything that can be done? If your tinnitus is caused by TMJ symptoms, then the best way to get relief is to seek out dental or medical treatment for the root cause (no pun intended).

Stress And The Ringing in my Ears

Stress can affect your body in very real, very physical ways. Intensification of tinnitus symptoms can be brought on by spikes in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. Consequently, stress can trigger, worsen, and lengthen tinnitus episodes.

Can I do anything to help? If stress is a significant cause of the buzzing or ringing in your ears, you can try solutions such as yoga and meditation to try to unwind. Taking some time to reduce the stress in your life (whenever you can) could also help.

Excess Earwax

Earwax is totally normal and healthy. But ringing and buzzing can be the outcome of excessive earwax pressing on your eardrum. If you can’t wash out the earwax in a normal way because it has built up too much, the ensuing tinnitus can become worse.

How can I deal with this? The simplest way to decrease the ringing in your ears caused by excessive earwax is to keep your ears clean! (Do not use cotton swabs to clean your ears.) Some individuals generate more earwax than others; if this applies to you, a professional cleaning might be in order.

High Blood Pressure Makes Tinnitus Worse

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can cause a myriad of health issues, like tinnitus. It becomes difficult to ignore when high blood pressure intensifies the buzzing or ringing you’re already experiencing. High blood pressure has treatment options which may reduce tinnitus symptoms in relevant situations.

What can I do? High blood pressure isn’t something you want to neglect. Medical treatment is advisable. But a lifestyle change, such as avoiding foods with high salt content and getting more exercise, can really help. Stress can also increase your blood pressure, so practicing relaxation techniques or making lifestyle changes can also help hypertension (and, thus, tinnitus triggered by hypertension).

Will Using a Masking Device or White Noise Device Help my Tinnitus?

You can reduce the effects of the nonstop noise in your head by distracting your ears and your brain. Your TV, radio, or computer can be used as a masking device so you won’t even need any special equipment. If you prefer, there are hearing aids or specialized devices you can buy to help.

You need to take it seriously if you have continuous ringing, whooshing, or buzzing in your ears. It might be a warning sign that you also have hearing loss, or that you are going through a medical issue that should be resolved before it worsens. Take steps to protect your ears from loud noises, find ways to distract your ears, and see a professional before what started as a nagging problem causes bigger problems.