Tinnitus is a medical condition characterized by ringing and other unpleasant noises in the ears. Usually, the sounds heard don’t come from an existing source. The noises may also be constant or intermittent with a pitch that varies from loud to low. In extreme cases, tinnitus can have a negative effect on the afflicted person’s social well-being and overall health.
People with noticeable tinnitus have trouble sleeping or concentrating. This not only interferes with their ability to work, but also sets the stage for a whole range of emotional problems such as distress, anxiety, irritability, and depression. Sometimes, individuals with constant tinnitus fear that the noise will continue to increase over the years and that they will slowly go insane.
Other sufferers avoid social situations because they’re sensitive to certain sounds like constant talking or loud music. Fortunately, there are home remedies, conventional treatments, and alternative therapies that can manage tinnitus to not only make it less bothersome but also to help make the condition go away.
Home Remedies for Tinnitus
Before starting any type of treatment, it’s important to find out what’s causing tinnitus. Ringing in the ears may be triggered by multiple co-existing factors. For instance, this can be merely a symptom of an existing medical condition. Alternatively, exposure to loud music or problems like earwax blockage and auditory infections can be the cause of tinnitus.
Knowing why you have tinnitus in the first place makes it easy to choose an effective treatment. The ideal solution will be based on the underlying cause. Tinnitus tends to improve or go away when an existing condition causing it is treated. However, some patients are not lucky enough to find a definite diagnosis for tinnitus.
In such cases, it may be advisable to try a combination of treatment solutions. The following are a few tinnitus treatment remedies to stop ringing in the ears without using conventional drugs. While these home remedies might not provide a definite solution for everyone, they can at least help tinnitus sufferers to cope with the constant noise.
- Foods and Herbs that Cure Tinnitus Naturally
One of the most overlooked methods to treat tinnitus is with natural foods and herbs. What most people don’t know is that some forms of tinnitus may be due to a lack of nutrients that support proper functioning of the auditory system. Other foods provide the body with the nutrients it needs to fight off an underlying condition that is causing tinnitus. While the list of foods and herbs that help to improve tinnitus is long, here are some of the most effective options:
- Ginkgo Biloba
A well-known herbal remedy for tinnitus, Ginkgo Biloba is a viable natural treatment that can stop ringing in the ears. This herb has the ability to improve circulation in capillaries of the auditory system and skull. In most cases, it’s used to treat vascular disorders that cause tinnitus. Ginkgo has antibacterial and antifungal properties as well, so it can assist in the treatment of infections that contribute to tinnitus. It’s best to opt for supplements that derive Ginkgo Biloba extract from the plant’s leaves instead of seeds, as this may be less toxic.
The recommend dosage for this herbal supplement ranges from 120 to 150mg taken up to three times per day. It should be noted that Ginkgo Biloba is not ideal for children.
- Saline Solution
Swelling in the sinus cavity puts pressure on the eardrums, thereby instigating a ringing sound as one of the aftermaths of sinus infection. Using a saline solution in such cases can clear nasal congestion along with tinnitus noises.
Making a saline solution is easy:
- Mix two cups of water with one teaspoon of glycerin and salt.
- Next, pour this homemade saline solution in a nasal spray bottle.
- Inject the solution into both nostrils one at a time until it stars to drain into the back of your throat.
You can spray the solution into the back of your throat and gargle, but make sure to spit it when done. For the best results, follow this treatment regimen 3 times daily or until your nasal passages clear up.
Garlic is a natural herb that improves blood flow. It therefore reduces hypertension that causes ringing in the ears. It also has antibacterial properties and boosts immune function, thus helping to get rid of an infection that may be causing tinnitus. This herb treats tinnitus onsets that manifest in high altitudes or during cold weather.
To use garlic for tinnitus treatment:
- Mix 2 to 3 gloves with one tablespoon of sesame oil.
- Crush the garlic cloves with a pestle and mortar to extract its therapeutic ingredients then strain the oil and then let it cool.
- Collect the oil in a dropper and put two to three drops of it in your ear canal.
- Re-apply the oil once every day before going to bed for one week to see if there will be any change.
Not getting enough vitamin A could be the reason why there’s a ringing sound in your ears. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that supports proper functioning of the inner ear. A deficiency of this nutrient causes several hearing related problems, one of which is tinnitus.
You can include pumpkin in your soup, salad, or prepare it the way you prefer. Alternatively, go with a natural supplement to meet your daily dietary intake of vitamin A.
- Holy Basil
Holy Basil is another great natural remedy for treating tinnitus at home. Its antibacterial properties can help treat ear infections that cause tinnitus. Moreover, this plant has analgesic properties, which can relieve pain during an ear infection.
To treat tinnitus with Holy Basil:
- Take a handful of fresh leaves from the plant and process them in a blender.
- Extract the juice by sieving the leaf pulp through a strainer.
- Warm the basil juice then transfer it into a dropper.
- Add two or three drops of the Holy Basil extract into the affected ear two times every day.
- Continue the treatment for about 3 to 4 days.
- Supplements or Foods Rich in Zinc
Studies have found that Zinc deficiency is one of the probable causes of tinnitus. Therefore, adding this nutrient to the diet might provide some relief from tinnitus. Of course, much of this depends on whether your body is getting enough Zinc or not. The daily dietary intake of Zinc for a health adult is about 15mg. Foods rich in this nutrient include lamb, liver, oysters, roasted beef as well as seeds from sesame, watermelon, pumpkin and squash.
- Black Cohosh
Anecdotal studies show that Black Cohosh is an effective natural remedy for tinnitus. To relieve ringing sounds in your ear, mix one teaspoon of Black cohosh root in water then boil and drink it. This solution can be taken up to 3 times daily.
Loud noise and other conditions cause lesions in the cochlea, which is the the auditory organ that’s responsible for reception and transmission of sounds. Goldenseal has special therapeutic properties that heal lesions in the inner ear. Its main active ingredient is an alkaloid called berberine, which is responsible for much of the herb’s healing power.
Management of Tinnitus
If treatments fail to get rid of tinnitus, lifestyle changes can make this condition less bothersome. Here are some of the most effective ways to manage tinnitus:
Stop or Limit Consumption of Alcohol, Caffeine and Nicotine Products
Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol make tinnitus worse, so it is best to quit smoking, cut back on caffeine and stop drinking when trying to treat this condition.
- Limit Intake of Salt
Too much salt encourages the body to hold on to water. This in turn increases blood flow to the ears, thereby increasing pressure in the auditory system. Since hypertension is known to aggravate tinnitus, reducing salt intake can help to keep this condition under control.
- Protect Your Ears from Loud Noises
Even if you don’t suffer from chronic tinnitus, loud noises leave a ringing sound in your ears. For someone that already has tinnitus, exposure to loud noises only aggravates the condition. You can keep tinnitus from getting worse by avoid noisy places. If workplace hazards expose you to loud noises, make sure to wear protective gear such as earplugs or earmuffs. It’s also advisable to avoid listening to loud music on an MP3 player or iPod for long periods.
- Start an Exercise Regimen
Exercise provides a great channel for relieving stress, which is one of the factors known to intensify tinnitus sounds. Furthermore, being more active improves circulation in the body and this reduces chances of tinnitus that is associated with blood vessel disorders.
- Reduce Stress through Biofeedback Therapy
Biofeedback is a therapy that trains the body to not focus on body responses that cause stress, which in turn leads to tinnitus flare-ups. During a session, electrodes will be attached on your fingers and connected to a machine. The biofeedback machine collects information on physiological processes such as muscle tension, pulse, and temperature then displays feedback on a screen. You can learn how to recognize bodily reactions and alter them through thought patterns, emotions, or behaviors that reduce the body’s stress response.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT is a relaxation technique that changes how a patient’s thinks about and responds to tinnitus. The therapy uses cognitive restructuring and relaxation techniques to change unhelpful thinking and behavior. The treatment spans a period of 2 to 6 months, during which a patients keeps a journal to document coping skills.
Through this therapy, you can learn ways to focus your attention away from tinnitus and control stress associated with this condition. While CBT doesn’t necessarily reduce tinnitus sounds, it helps to make the condition less bothersome hence improving the patient’s quality of life.