Ear ringing can be a warning indication, much like a bell ringing can. It’s important to pay heed to your body’s signals.

Your inner ear is where tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, begins. It usually results from harm or loss of sensory hair cells in the inner ear, or cochlea.

The sounds of the ocean, ringing, buzzing, clicking, hissing, or whooshing are just a few of the various ways that tinnitus can manifest. The sound might be loud or mild, continuous or sporadic, and present in one or both ears. When you’re not preoccupied with family or work at night, it’s usually easier to see. It is frequently connected to hearing impairment.

Plus, it happens more often than you might think. In the recent year, the National Institute on Deafness and Hearing Disorders estimates that 10 percent of adult Americans have had tinnitus that lasts for at least five minutes.

Otolaryngologist Ashok Jagasia, MD, PhD, adds, “It can be debilitating, but it’s not life threatening; it’s more of a symptom of other problems rather than a disease itself.” “In some people, the distracting sound can cause depression, anxiety and/or insomnia.”

Reasons for tinnitus

Why does one get tinnitus? In reality, the cochlea—a portion of your inner ear that resembles a snail shell—is the source of the ringing. Tinnitus may result from modifications in the cochlea’s nerve activity.

Any of the following could be the source of these modifications:

loud noises exposure, including loud music, chainsaws, and jackhammers
a concussion or head trauma
Buildup of wax in your ears
Numerous drugs, such as blood pressure meds, aspirin, ibuprofen, and some antibiotics
Meniere’s disease is a possible inner ear illness associated with fluids in the inner ear.
Handling tinnitus: Despite the fact that it can occasionally go away on its own, tinnitus is frequently permanent.

Despite the fact that there is no treatment, there are strategies you can try to manage. Here, Jagasia provides ten tactics:

Take into account cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

You will learn at CBT sessions how to reframe the circumstance in order to alter how you respond to tinnitus. Additionally, CBT can teach you muscle relaxation and breathing methods, as well as help with the anxiety and despair brought on by tinnitus.

Have your hearing aid needs assessed.

To cover up the tinnitus, hearing aids can increase the level of surrounding noises. If an audiogram indicates that you have a considerable hearing loss, hearing aids may also be beneficial.

Get rid of the wax in your ears, but don’t do it at home.

“Doctors can use a microscope and a small tool to remove ear wax,” Jagasia states. “Never attempt to take it off by yourself, either for your child or yourself. The attempt to remove the wax with a cotton swab actually serves to exacerbate the situation by pushing the wax deeper into the ear canal.”

We frequently find some hearing loss along with the ringing in people who are older than sixty.

Generate “white noise.”

You can muffle the sound of tinnitus by creating a background hum, especially at night. Use a cool mist humidifier in the winter and an air conditioner or fan in the summer, for example.

Turn on a soft tune.

Your brain has something else to focus on than the ringing when you hear a soft music.

Steer clear of caffeine.

Your blood pressure may rise due to caffeine, which may accentuate your tinnitus.

Give your meds another thought.

While occasionally taking ibuprofen is acceptable, taking it frequently or in excess can result in tinnitus. Perhaps other options exist to alleviate your discomfort,” remarks Jagasia.

Examine acupuncture.

Acupuncture and other complementary therapies have helped some patients, according to reports.

Incorporate lipoflavonoids.

For six to eight weeks, lipoflavonoid, or vitamin B6, supplements available over-the-counter can be beneficial for certain individuals.

Put on earplugs.

Use earplugs to protect your hearing if you know you’ll be operating or near loud machinery, like a lawnmower or chainsaw, to avoid further injury.

When to get tinnitus assistance

See your general practitioner if the ringing continues for a few weeks. An audiogram, a test for hearing, may be prescribed by an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist once you are referred to them.

“It helps us get a sense if there is nerve-related hearing loss associated with the tinnitus,” Jagasia explained. “In patients over the age of 60, we usually find some hearing loss with the ringing.”

If you have ringing in one ear and vertigo symptoms or are feeling lightheaded, you should consult a doctor immediately as these symptoms may indicate Meniere’s disease.

Pulsatile tinnitus, which is another potentially dangerous warning sign, is audible heartbeat whooshing. More serious issues include middle ear infections, stroke, high blood pressure, blocked arteries, benign tumours, and high blood pressure can also induce this sensation. Jagasia advises getting in touch with your physician right away if it occurs to you.

“As we get older, it’s common to start experiencing ringing in our ears at some point,” he explains. “Tinnitus can interfere with your daily life, although it’s usually not a serious condition. We can train our bodies to ignore it, which is fantastic news.”


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