Do you find yourself struggle with a ringing noise in your ears? Maybe a buzzing? Perhaps, a humming in your ears that doesn’t seem to go away? You could be struggling with tinnitus.
Tinnitus is a constant or intermittent sound that you can here without any outside source causing it. It can be either a high-pitched or a low-pitched sound, occurring intermittently. Tinnitus can be in one ear or both, mild or severe, and can be sudden or gradual in its development.
While there is no cure for tinnitus, it can become less noticeable over time and handled with a variety of treatment options. Hearing loss is often linked to tinnitus, so a comprehensive hearing exam by audiologists is the best way to begin the evaluation to combat the ringing or buzzing.
Once that test is completed, a hearing care professional can proceed with specific tinnitus testing. The impact of tinnitus can cause negative mental, physical, and cognitive consequences, so it is important to have an understanding of each individual case before pursing successful tinnitus treatment.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses in on our reaction to tinnitus, aiming not to eliminate the perceived hissing or buzzing, but to reduce or correct the negative response to the sounds. It also aims to change negative automatic thought associated with symptoms of tinnitus, and change it into more positive and realistic thought.
This allows patients to reduce distress and anxiety, through a time-limited and structured therapy that centers on relaxation techniques and mindfulness to combat negative thought processes, including the potential use of hypnosis as effective treatment.
Tinnitus Sound Therapy
Sound therapy uses external noise to alter the perception of tinnitus, lowering the perceived burden and intensity of these audible disturbances.
Tinnitus sound therapy was designed to serve as a distraction for patients, as doctors used low-level sounds as background noise to help manage the condition. Background noise is believed to help to distract from the ringing brought by tinnitus, and effectively calm the hyperactivity within your brain that may be triggering tinnitus.
Therapeutic intervention is most effective when it is a combination of counseling and education about this health condition from qualified health care professionals.
Hearing aids have been shown to provide significant tinnitus relief when hearing loss is present. While hearing loss is not directly correlated to this medical condition, there are amplification modules designed with certain software to specifically aid in tinnitus relief.
Hearing aids not only amplify sound, but also help to suppress the ringing and buzzing associated with tinnitus, helping your brain redirect focus away from the sound of tinnitus.
Biofeedback is the process of gaining greater awareness of your own body’s functions, with the goal of manipulating your body’s systems at will. It has become a common form of treatment by hearing care professionals to treat severe cases of tinnitus.
When muscle tension and mental distress appear to cause magnification of tinnitus symptoms, biofeedback was found to relieve anxiety. That relaxation in turn reduced hissing, buzzing, or other symptoms.
Home remedies are available to combat some of the tinnitus symptoms, with one of the most successful being the intake of caffeine. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and reduces tinnitus risk.
A buildup of earwax could also be the cause of your tinnitus, making intervention as easy as hygienic practices. Earwax buildup can lead to the difficulty to process sound, which can trigger tinnitus symptoms.
Magnesium has been shown to control the ringing sounds patients may hear, with health care professionals suggesting foods like bananas, nuts, and dark leafy greens as part of a diet to counteract those triggering noises.