If you have tinnitus, you know how much suffering it can cause. Hearing sounds that aren’t there all day long can quickly become beyond frustrating. That’s why it’s so important to find a way to reduce the ringing in your ears and find some relief.
Here we discuss the truth about whether tinnitus goes away, whether certain treatments work and so much more!
What Is Tinnitus?
So how do you know if you have tinnitus? The most common symptom is a ringing in the ears that only you can hear. But other phantom noises show up too. Those suffering from tinnitus have reported humming, hissing, clicking, roaring, and even buzzing. Overall, tinnitus is defined by this experience of hearing a phantom noise, whether it happens occasionally or all the time. With nearly 25 million Americans, around 10% of the adult population, suffering from tinnitus, it’s clear that this is a fairly common condition. However, there’s no need to suffer in silence.
Tinnitus causes are many and varied. If you’re constantly exposed to loud noises and suffer hearing loss, this ups your risk for tinnitus. Hearing loss from aging can cause tinnitus too. As you can see, hearing loss is a major risk factor for tinnitus, and this is true for specific diseases that cause hearing loss as well, like Ménière’s disease. Other diseases and injuries are linked to tinnitus as well, such as cardiovascular disease, thyroid problems, high blood pressure, chronic pain, jaw misalignment, or head or neck trauma. Medications, particularly medications used to reduce inflammation, can be a risk factor. Prednisone is one example of this. Finally, plain old stress and tiredness can trigger ringing in the ears as well.
How Do I Prevent Tinnitus?
As you can see from this list, there are many ways to prevent tinnitus. Earplugs are one of the most accessible ways out there. If you spend a lot of time in environments that are noisy, that’s a tinnitus risk. Wearing earplugs can prevent some of the long-term damage that causes tinnitus. If you have a high amount of earwax, though, be careful of this method. Compacted earwax is another risk factor for tinnitus, and as earplugs shove earwax back into the ear, this can actually increase the risk of tinnitus in another way. So this one depends on your personal situation, but if you think earplugs could help your tinnitus, explore this method some more.
Here’s the big question, though. How long does tinnitus last? Tinnitus Hub states that “One thing that both our users and we share in common is a strong desire for a cure. The patient population, in general, feels frustration and impatience; why isn’t there a cure, why don’t we understand more, why are we not hearing of breakthroughs and feeling hope, where is the funding?” However, there’s no known, permanent cure for tinnitus, meaning that you can’t make it go away entirely. However, how long it lasts depends on the person who has it. Some people experience ringing in their ears all the time. Some people only experience it sometimes and have their tinnitus come and go. While there isn’t a cure, there are ways to control your tinnitus and learn how to make it show up less. We’ve taken a look at some of them.
What Treatments Are Available For Tinnitus?
Doctors can offer you a few different treatments for tinnitus. Getting rid of an earwax blockage can lessen sudden high-pitched noise in your ears. If your tinnitus is caused by hearing loss, getting hearing aids can also help. Specialized tinnitus counseling has been found to be helpful as well. Meanwhile, generalized sound therapy can help you mask the noise of tinnitus. If an underlying condition has caused your tinnitus, medications for that condition will usually lessen ringing in your ears.
There are also some great holistic medical treatments for tinnitus. Acupuncture is one particularly notable one. In acupuncture, long, thin needles are stuck into specific parts of your body, in order to balance the energies in your body. Naturally, acupuncture targeted to tinnitus focuses around the ear. Science has found mixed results for acupuncture helping with tinnitus specifically but confirms that when acupuncture is performed by a qualified acupuncturist, it is fairly safe. For more information about acupuncture and tinnitus, take a look here.
Meanwhile, other holistic therapies are well worth looking into. Vitamin B12 is often talked about when people discuss tinnitus. But is it a genuine helper, or another piece of snake-oil? This is explored in more detail elsewhere, but for now, we can give you hope. Multiple scientific studies have concluded that vitamin B12 is helpful for people with chronic tinnitus. It definitely reduces symptoms and is relatively cheap and accessible. If you want to try some other treatments for tinnitus, you can’t go wrong with this.
If you have a ringing in your ears, it makes sense to explore every possible avenue to treat it. Essential oils are often talked about as a cure-all. But how effective are they, really? We explore this in detail here, but in short, we’ve found that there is no scientific evidence to support that essential oils help tinnitus sufferers. Lavender oil has been found to ease anxiety, which can be a contributing factor to tinnitus. With that being said, given the unknowns here, it is always best to consult with a health professional to come up with the best strategy to alleviate the pains from tinnitus.
Ringing in your ears can be hard to deal with. If your tinnitus comes and goes in one ear, in both ears, shows up occasionally or is there all the time, it can feel almost impossible to deal with. But there are things that can help. We’ve explored some of the most common treatments here, and given you an overview of the secrets of treating tinnitus. In consultation with your doctor, try some of these now, and get some relief from the persistent sound in your ears.
- “Why Is There No Cure for Tinnitus?”, Frontiers in Neuroscience, accessed 11th March 2021, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2019.00802/full.
- “Therapeutic role of Vitamin B12 in patients of chronic tinnitus: A pilot study”, US National Library of Medicine, accessed 11th March 2021, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4918681/.
- “5 quality of life hacks for tinnitus sufferers”, Healthy Hearing, accessed 11th March 2021, https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/52964-Quality-of-life-hacks-for-tinnitus-sufferers.
- “Tinnitus”, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, accessed 11th March 2021, https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/tinnitus.