Tinnitus can be a real nuisance when you’re trying to get some much-needed sleep after a tough day at work or whether you’re simply trying to get on with your daily life.
Tinnitus at night or during the day can be extremely annoying or even get to the point of becoming stressful when having to deal with it day in, day out.
If you’re an avid listener of music (at loud volumes especially) and have found that you keep getting a ringing, hissing (almost static-like), or ticking noise in your ears, chances are you have Tinnitus.
You may be wondering what Tinnitus is and how do I get rid of Tinnitus?, is it inflammation or linked to an illness of some kind?, or simply…how did I manage to get Tinnitus?
What is Tinnitus & is there a Cure?
Well, Tinnitus isn’t related directly to an illness (although this may be worth checking with your local audiologist just to be sure), so what are the most common causes of Tinnitus? and what is it exactly? This annoying ringing sound is actually caused by your auditory nerve becoming damaged which could be caused by a number of factors.
The most common of these factors is noise-induced hearing loss.
Listening to music above a certain level can cause damage to your auditory nerve which connects the inner ear to the brain.
Now, there is no cure for Tinnitus, but there are ways to manage and reduce the intensity of the effects of Tinnitus which will give a massive sense of relief to those who suffer from the more extreme cases.
Now that we have established that Tinnitus is caused by damage being inflicted to the auditory nerve and leads to hearing loss in the affected ear, we can make a justified recommendation for using hearing aids to combat the amount of ringing, ticking, or static-like hissing that you may be experiencing.
Using a hearing aid will improve your ability to hear sounds clearly which in-turn will assist your auditory nerve to process the noise that it is receiving and communicate this to the brain.
You can check to see what level of hearing loss you may be experiencing by taking our quick 3 minute hearing test which will give you an indication of whether you may need a hearing aid.
If you would like more information in regards to which hearing aids will be best for your needs you can take a look at some of the hearing aids we provide or get in contact with an experienced Audiologist in Milton Keynes to walk you through some of the next steps that you will need to take.
With what has already been covered so far, you may be thinking that playing more noise to help your Tinnitus would be contradictory, however, some people with Tinnitus prefer to play white noise or sound to drown out the ringing in their ears.
Tinnitus can occur due to the small hairs in your ear becoming damaged, once these hairs are damaged, the brain can’t process sounds as clearly as it used to because these small hairs are used to amplify the sound that is sent through to the auditory nerve.
The ringing noise that you can hear is an attempt to recreate/produce the sound that the brain should be hearing. With this knowledge, we can see that having sounds played at night can help to stimulate your brain through the auditory nerve and replace the downtime of no audio stimulation while you’re sleeping.
There are a number of triggers for Tinnitus, one of them being an increased blood flow which can be caused by stress or anxiety.
Ensuring that you have a night-time routine that relaxes you and incorporating stress-relief management methods such as meditation which will only take you 10 minutes as well.
4. Ear Wax Removal / Fluid Removal
As we now know, the brain will try and replicate the level of sound that it should be receiving when there is damage to the small hairs in your ear (Cochlea – inner ear).
The same applies when there is a blockage in the ear canal or cochlea which blocks sound from being received as efficiently.
If you’re prone to ear wax build-up and are suffering from Tinnitus, it is definitely worth booking an appointment with an Audiologist to see if there is any fluid or ear wax blockage from a build-up of ear wax or as a result of an infection.
5. Ask your doctor/audiologist about any drugs that you are taking
According to Harvard.edu, there are certain drugs that can result in the triggering/worsening of Tinnitus.
if you are taking Aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, or another drug listed within this article, then it is worth asking your doctor/audiologist.
about any alternative drugs that you may be able to take or seeing if you can treat the underlying issue that you are suffering from that will enable you to come off the problem-causing drugs.
6. Musculoskeletal stress and strain
Teeth grinding, clenching your jaw, and straining your neck can all trigger your Tinnitus.
Stress and general tension in the jaw, mouth, and neck can potentially worsen the sound that you hear in relation to your Tinnitus.
Massage therapy or even seeing a chiropractor to help with any muscular imbalances, pressure synovial fluid build-up, or correction therapy can help with relaxing your muscles.
7. Seek therapy for any mental struggles
If you’re struggling with Tinnitus, then it becomes imperative that you look at each aspect of your physical and mental wellbeing to ensure that there aren’t any contributing factors to your Tinnitus from your diet, lack of exercise, or mental health.
Depression and anxiety cause stress in the body which promotes an increase in blood flow around the body and can trigger Tinnitus.
Seeking therapy to talk through and help with your mental health issues is an extremely positive step to take and can even help with your Tinnitus as well.
8. Reduce your exposure to loud noises
Hearing loss caused by constant or regular exposure to loud noises is another factor that can cause Tinnitus.
Reducing your exposure to said loud noises by using hearing protection such as hearing muffs, ear defenders, earplugs, or custom hearing protection devices will help dampen the level of noise that you are hearing.
Dampening any loud noises through the use of ear defenders or ear muffs will protect your ears (and auditory nerve) from damaging levels of sound.
9. Fix your sleeping pattern
Insomnia has a direct effect on Tinnitus according to a new study.
Tinnitus can be linked to being triggered by psychological disturbances and cognitive impairment. Insomnia leads to a person’s ability to tolerate their experience with Tinnitus as a lack of sleep has been shown to impair cognitive function.
Getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night will allow for you to rule out another potential cause for your tinnitus.
10. Check for Thyroid problems (Hypothyroidism)
Your thyroid gland is found in the neck so it’s not a surprise to find out that having an inactive or less effective thyroid.
Having an underdeveloped thyroid can cause more sensitivity to pain and nerve stimulation which, considering that your auditory nerve has been potentially damaged which has lead to your Tinnitus, this can trigger the hissing, clicking, droning sounds that you experience.
In this instance, it would be best to consult your General Practitioner to seek medical advice on the best steps to take.
Although there is no cure for Tinnitus at the time of writing this article, there are a number of ways to manage the effects that Tinnitus has on your daily life and wellbeing.
More involved methods of dealing with Tinnitus can even range into Tinnitus Retraining Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which gives you all of the tools possible to cope with the sound that you are hearing.
If you need any more information on Tinnitus or any other hearing issue that you may be having, feel free to contact us or book an appointment if you’re looking for an Audiologist in Milton Keynes.
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