Tinnitus is those uncomfortable noises in the ears. Noises that can be in the form of buzzing, musical hallucinations, roaring, chirping, clicking, humming … among others. The condition comes with a high level of irritation and annoyance. It can lead to stress and depression in the people affected especially at its initial stages.
Tinnitus is contributed to by damage to the ear cells. This may be as a result of loss of hearing due to ageing. It could be a result of exposure to loud noises such as those from firearms and heavy machinery and equipment. Genetic ear bone deformities are a known cause as are injuries to the head and neck. Various diseases, injuries to the brain and the use of some medicines like cancer medication, aspirins, diuretics, quinine, some antibiotics et cetera are also known causes.
Tinnitus is noticeable, especially when in quiet environments. It leads to problems in concentration and people suffering from it are likely to have problems catching sleep. Stress and depression can also be caused by tinnitus if proper measures are not taken against it. Although there is no proven medication for tinnitus (despite extensive research by medical practitioners and other interested parties on the same), there are measures that can be taken to minimize its effects given that the primary causes are known. Some of these measures are known and recognised home remedies for tinnitus – detailed as follows:
Don’t Rule Out Home Remedies For Tinnitus
Protecting your ears against loud noises
If you cannot hear someone standing a meter away while they’re talking, then the noise in that environment is loud enough to interfere with your hearing system and cause tinnitus.
Loud noises, for example, those emanating from heavy machinery and equipment, firearms, music speakers, large crowds, and even MP3s and iPods playing at high pitches are known to have adverse effects on the hearing system as it tends to alter the normal functioning of it. As a result, exposure to these noises can result in tinnitus as they may damage ear cells that are responsible for the transmission of sound signals to the brain for interpretation.
It is, therefore, necessary to protect your ears while in environments with loud noises to prevent such an occurrence. This is done by wearing protective equipment such as ear plugs or ear muffs while in these environments or while engaging in activities that produce a lot of noise. Avoiding such environments and activities can also be a remedy for tinnitus
Stress and fatigue are also highlighted as possible causes or accelerators of tinnitus. In some cases, stress may worsen an already existing case of tinnitus. It is therefore important to limit the effects of the same. Getting involved in the appropriate exercises to relax your brain may work to reduce tinnitus. These exercises include; engrossing yourself in reading a book, going for a walk or jogging and engaging in breathing practices that lessen anxiety. Other relaxing exercises include practicing yoga, tai-chi, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and self –hypnosis. Include soft noises in those methods done in silence to cover the tinnitus and also improve your concentration
Avoid consumption of alcohol and smoking especially to excessive levels
Excessive consumption of alcohol causes the blood vessels to dilate. This, in turn, causes an excessive flow of blood especially in the inner ear area thus interfering with the normal functioning of the ear consequently leading to tinnitus. Smoking also affects the nerve cells that control hearing and also acts as a stimulant thus increasing anxiety in your body. Limiting the consumption of alcohol and smoking, therefore, works to minimize tinnitus to some extents.
Cover up/mask up the noises in your ears caused by tinnitus
When in a quiet environment, you can mask up the uncomfortable noises in your ears for example by turning on the fan or listening to soft music. This can also be done by using electronic devices that fit in the ears and produce ambient sound referred to as white sound or pink sound that covers the noises in the ears.
Reduce your intake of drugs or foods that worsen your tinnitus
Foods, drinks or drugs that contain some levels of caffeine or nicotine may cause your tinnitus to worsen. Drugs such as depressants/suppressants, antibiotics, diuretics and cancer medications are known to cause or worsen tinnitus. Reducing or avoiding the intake of such substances may reduce tinnitus. Taking antidepressants can also work as a remedy against tinnitus
Use hearing aids
The most common cause of tinnitus is the loss of hearing. Improving your hearing is, therefore, one way of reducing tinnitus as it is noticed in people suffering from tinnitus that improvement in their hearing makes their tinnitus less noticeable. Hearing aids are used to amplify external noises, therefore, masking tinnitus and also make the brain to function better in relation to interpreting sound signals.
Behavioral therapy for tinnitus teaches you how to positively respond to negative situations and occurrences in your life. Accepting tinnitus and living positively with it lessens the stress and anxiety associated with the condition.
Practice good sleeping habits
Make the conditions in your bedroom favorable in dealing with your tinnitus. It is paramount to get enough sleeping time, approximately 7-9 hours every day. Establish a regular sleeping time and getting up time schedule. Practices that are likely to deny you sleep just before getting to bed should be avoided 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. This includes doing exercises and taking alcohol. It is advisable to take a warm bath instead. Your bed should be as comfortable as possible. If the bedroom is too quiet you can turn on the fan or play soft music to help muff tinnitus
Join a community or group of people with the same condition
Talking to people with similar conditions may help you develop new ways of dealing with it. Knowing that you are not alone also releases the tension and helps you relax thus minimizing the effects of tinnitus especially on your concentration.
It is possible to get home remedies for tinnitus online and with help from friends and family. But it is important to run them by your doctor to avoid further damaging your ears.