Anyone who suffers from the malady knows the sound. It’s that annoying ringing, buzzing, hissing or crackling noise that seems to come from inside the ear itself. What is responsible for this nuisance? Is there any treatment for ringing in the ears?
This exasperating condition, also known as tinnitus, is more common than many realize. Over half of all Americans suffer from it intermittently, and between 10 and 15 percent of the population lives with tinnitus on a continual basis.
Its causes vary, but exposure to loud noise tops the list. Allergies, ear infections and hearing loss are also frequent culprits, as are medical conditions such as diabetes, thyroid trouble, tumors and head injuries. Everyday medications like aspirin, sedatives and anti-inflammatories are often responsible, as well.
Although some people just ignore tinnitus or learn to live with it, this may not always be necessary. There are treatments available, and many have obtained tinnitus relief through one or more of them.
Practitioner-Assisted Treatment for Ringing in the Ears
– Acupuncture: Its adherents believe that acupuncture works by correcting the imbalance of “qi” energy inside the body that may be responsible for tinnitus.
– Craniosacral Therapy (CST): This hands-on osteopathic treatment aims to improve or eliminate tinnitus symptoms by reducing restrictions on muscles, bones and ligament attachments.
– Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT): Used for years in treating decompression sickness, HBOT may improve the symptoms of tinnitus by reversing a lack of oxygen in the cochlea that some feel could be responsible.
– Hypnosis: Hypnotic therapy for tinnitus works on the belief that reduction in stress can improve tinnitus symptoms.
– Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS): This new therapy utilizes magnetic force to reduce any excessive brain activity that could be causing the tinnitus.
Aromatherapy as Treatment for Ringing in the Ears
Aromatherapy can reduce the heightened stress levels that may be responsible for tinnitus. The Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies recommends the essential oils of rose, lemon, rosemary and cypress as particularly useful in this regard. Others recommend the use of lavender and juniper. Sufferers can apply the oils directly to the head or add them to the water in a vaporizer.
Herbal Supplements as Treatment for Ringing in the Ears
When it comes to herbs believed useful in relieving tinnitus, gingko biloba, black cohosh and hawthorn lead the pack. All three function as tonics to the circulatory system, thus improving circulation in the ear.
Vitamins and Minerals as Treatment for Ringing in the Ears
In the belief that certain nutritional deficiencies can contribute to tinnitus, many feel that dietary supplements can help. Zinc, magnesium, melatonin and potassium can be useful, as can vitamins A, B and C.
Relaxation as Treatment for Ringing in the Ears
Where tinnitus is concerned, relaxation techniques may work where all else has failed. Sufferers must, however, fully participate and give themselves over to these treatments. Proven relaxation therapies include massage, meditation, yoga and biofeedback. Each has as its intended aim a lowering of brain activity, reduction of blood pressure and slowing of the heartbeat.
Deep Breathing as Treatment for Ringing in the Ears
Anyone can perform this technique. It involves taking long, slow breaths through the nose and holding for a few seconds before slowly breathing out. While doing this, it is important to concentrate on feeling the tension float out of the body. After a number of repetitions, the tinnitus should significantly lessen.
No One Should Give Up Hope
A case of tinnitus doesn’t have to be a life sentence. Many people have found that the ringing in their ears has spontaneously resolved, but it could take some time. Until that happens, one of the listed treatments may help.