Tinnitus is ringing of the ear and can be associated with many forms of hearing loss. It can also be a symptom of other health problems. Roughly 25 million Americans have experienced tinnitus. Some cases are so severe that it interferes with a person's daily activities. People with severe cases of tinnitus may find it difficult to hear, work, or even sleep. Some causes of tinnitus include hearing loss, excessive exposure to loud noise, and medications. There are more than 200 types of medication that cause tinnitus. Allergies, tumors, and problems in the heart and blood vessels, jaws, and neck can cause tinnitus.
How is Tinnitus Treated?
The most important thing you can do is to go see your doctor. Your doctor can try to determine what is causing your tinnitus. He or she can check to see if it is related to an underlying health condition.
In some cases white noise may help suppress the sound so that it's less bothersome. Your doctor may suggest using an electronic device to suppress the noise. Medications can't cure tinnitus, but in some cases they may help reduce the severity of symptoms or complications.
There are also steps you can take at home to reduce the symptoms associated with tinnitus. These include cutting back on your intake of beverages containing alcohol and caffeine, quitting smoking, exercising on a regular basis, and avoiding large amounts of aspirin. Try to stay away from noisy environments if possible. If unavoidable, wear ear protection. Participate in meditative exercises like yoga. Playing white noise while sleeping can mask other sounds and help you achieve a good night’s sleep.