Talk to your audiologist or doctor about these tinnitus treatments.
Tinnitus, a condition that creates a ringing or buzzing in your ears, can range from a mild annoyance to severe enough that it impacts your sleep, mental health, and overall wellbeing. There are several treatment options that have been reported to help with tinnitus — the trick is finding whether any of these individual options brings you relief.
While there isn’t yet a known cure for tinnitus, these tinnitus treatment options are worth discussing with your audiologist or doctor:
- Finding the source
- Using a hearing aid
- Earwax removal
- White noise/sound masking
- Lifestyle changes
- New and developing technology
Let’s explore each of these potential tinnitus treatments.
Finding the source
For some people, tinnitus may have some type of specific trigger. Sometimes, tinnitus treatment can be as simple as addressing this source or waiting for it to resolve itself. Examples of tinnitus triggers can be exposure to loud noises (this form of tinnitus is often short-lived) or taking certain medications, including antimalarial drugs, high doses of aspirin or other NSAIDs, antidepressants, and antibiotics. Your doctor may be able to suggest alternatives if they suspect a particular medication is causing your tinnitus.
Other causes of tinnitus could be ear infections, hearing loss, TMJ, or head and neck injuries. Sometimes treating the cause can resolve the tinnitus symptoms.
Using a hearing aid
Because tinnitus can manifest as a symptom of hearing loss, getting hearing aids may help treat both issues simultaneously. In one study, 60% of tinnitus patients found minor to significant relief when they started wearing hearing aids.
Blockages in the ear canal can put pressure on the ears and cause tinnitus. One common type of blockage, of course, is earwax! Never try to remove an earwax blockage yourself. Instead, if it doesn’t resolve naturally, see a professional who has the right tools to remove earwax without damaging the delicate inner parts of your ears.
White noise/sound masking
Sound machines can be a helpful tool to manage tinnitus. They work by producing external sounds that can help to mask the internal noises of tinnitus. White noise or “pink noise” have been proven to help in some cases of tinnitus, while options like nature noise machines don’t tend to be as effective.
There are four lifestyle changes that may help with almost every aspect of your health, including hearing:
- Exercise more
- Eat healthy (lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains)
- Get enough sleep
- Manage stress
Try these foods that promote hearing health, these yoga exercises, these stress reduction tips, and learn about the connection between sleep and hearing health. Improvements in your overall health may positively benefit your hearing health as well.
New and developing technology
There are some promising advancements in the field of tinnitus treatment. As of 2021, over 20 clinical trials are looking at tinnitus treatments. One exciting option is a non-invasive device that uses electrical stimulation to essentially retrain your brain’s neurons to suppress the circuits associated with tinnitus. Ask your audiologist or other hearing health professional to keep you in mind as they learn of new treatment options or technologies.
With such a variety of treatment options, a trial-and-error approach may be the best way to see whether any of these alternatives work for you individually. Be sure to talk to a hearing health professional about the current tinnitus treatment options and new techniques emerging.
For more tips and information about tinnitus and other hearing health-related topics, keep reading the CapTel blog.