Have you ever suffered from brief periods of ringing in the ears? This is known as tinnitus, and over six million people in the UK suffer persistently with the condition.
Of those six million people, around 600,000 experience it to a degree that seriously impacts upon their quality of life. However, there are many treatments and remedies that can help you to alleviate the condition's symptoms. Here are 10 of the best.
Silence can make the symptoms of tinnitus worse. Sound therapy works by filling silence with neutral, repetitive sounds that distract you from the ringing in your ears caused by the condition. Natural sounds like the sea, the rain or the wind are the most effective. You can install apps to mobile devices or buy electronic sound generators that create these sounds.
Taking the time to understand tinnitus can play a massive part in learning how to cope with the condition. Talking about the condition with a trained specialist will help you understand tinnitus, which may help you to manage its effects. Tinnitus counselling is usually carried out by a hearing therapist, audiologist or doctor.
The Tinnitool Ear Laser – available here from Tower Health – is a portable device that produces the same laser therapy technology used in ear, nose and throat (ENT) hospitals. As such, the device is used to accelerate the regeneration of damaged cells in the auditory system. In most sufferers, a 15-20 minute treatment once or twice a day is enough to reduce the associated symptoms of tinnitus.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is usually used by psychologists to treat mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. CBT works by retraining the way you think to modify your behaviour. Therefore, changing the way you think through CBT can help you to minimise the effects of tinnitus.
If you like the idea of herbal remedies, then look no further than Gingko Biloba. The herb helps to improve your blood circulation, which in turn can help improve the functionality of the ear and lessen the effects of tinnitus. In addition, Gingko Biloba has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which could help cure an underlying infection that is making your condition worse.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)
The neurophysiological model of tinnitus suggests that the limbic system – the area of the brain which regulates emotions – prioritises tinnitus sounds. TRT taps into your natural ability to compartmentalise some everyday sounds into background noise. As such, TRT helps you to place the sound of tinnitus into your subconscious, rather than your conscious perception.
High levels of stress can make your tinnitus much worse. Therefore, relaxation can be very good for minimising the effects of the condition. Listening to calming music at a low volume, exercising in the form of yoga and meditation are three excellent techniques that help tinnitus sufferers to relax.
A Healthy Diet
Caffeine can reduce the flow of blood around the head. Similarly, a high salt intake can raise your blood pressure. Therefore, some studies suggest that avoiding caffeine and reducing your salt intake help to relieve the irritating symptoms of tinnitus. In addition, similar studies into the effects of lifestyle on tinnitus suggest quitting smoking can also help to alleviate symptoms.
Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine that involves inserting fine needles into your skin at certain points in the body. Advocates of acupuncture believe the treatment redistributes energy sources and restores balance to your body. Many people have tried acupuncture for tinnitus with high levels of success. Note: always use a qualified acupuncturist.
Finger Drumming Technique
According to Dr. Jan Strydom, the following technique reduces tinnitus ringing in your ears. Place the palms of your hands over your ears, resting your fingers gently on the back of your head. Place your index finger on top of the middle finger on each hand and snap them onto your skull, making a loud drumming noise. Repeat 40-50 times and several times daily, if required.