Tinnitus: What It Is and How to Reduce It
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Published by TOP4 Team
If you have a constant noise in your ears, you may have tinnitus. The term refers to any ringing, rustling, humming or roaring sound that originates in the head, rather than from an external source of noise. Sometimes tinnitus goes away on its own, but usually these annoying auditory hallucinations can’t be cured – they can only be reduced. Causes for the condition range from infection to noise, stress, hearing loss and circulatory disorders.
If tinnitus sets in, there are a number of things you can do about it.
- Make time for relaxation exercises and regular breaks in the daily routine.
- Improve blood circulation by alternating hot and cold water in your morning shower and consider starting a light exercise program.
- Drink lots of fluids to thin your blood and improve circulation to the inner ear.
- Enjoy a cup of lemon balm tea after a meal. It can have a positive effect on tinnitus.
- Ginkgo extracts, available as tablets, capsules or tincture, promote circulation and can help some sufferers, but it takes several weeks for them to take effect. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Avoid exposure to noise to prevent worsening the condition. Wear earplugs or earmuffs if your workplace is excessively noisy. However, total silence is also inadvisable, as it makes the tinnitus more noticeable.
- Have a subtle source of noise in hand, such as a radio or sleep sounds CD, particularly at night. When you are outdoors, the rustling of leaves or the splashing of a stream can mask the tinnitus.
The purpose of earwax is to protect the eardrums, keep the skin moist and guard against dust and other particles. Normally the ear clean itself, but sometimes wax builds up in your auditory canal and hardens into plug. If water gets in, it will swell up and may partially or completely block your auditory canal.
Note: Removal of a wax plug should be left to a health-care professional – under no circumstances should you try to remove an earplug by inserting any kind of object into your ear.
- Mix a few drops of olive oil with a little lemon juice and water. Use a dropper to drip the mixture into your ear, softening the plug. Eardrops from a pharmacy are also suitable for this purpose.
If tinnitus is accompanied by sudden hearing difficulty, it’s advisable to see a medical doctor as soon as possible to eliminate rare but serious conditions.