Advertisement

14 effective tinnitus cures to try if you have ringing in your ears

14 effective tinnitus cures to try if you have ringing in your ears
Getty Images

Ringing or buzzing in your ear or ears may come and go, or it may be constant, and is often associated with hearing loss. Tinnitus may have been caused by a misspent youth listening to loud music, or from a noisy worksite. It may also be caused by an ear infection or even a dental issue. Whatever the cause, these effective remedies should relieve the maddening ringing in your ears.

Medically reviewed by Dr Michael Spertus

Firstly, find the underlying problem

Firstly, find the underlying problem
Getty Images

A treatable medical condition might be behind the sound you’re hearing, says oto-neurologist Dr Michael J. A. Robb and a previous director of the American Tinnitus Association. An ear infection, Ménière’s disease, blood flow problems, or even dental issues could cause you to hear the noise, he says. Make sure you rule out all the possibilities with a doctor before accepting tinnitus as part of your life.

White noise

White noise
Getty Images

Feeding your brain more sound takes attention away from the ringing in your ears. “If you were in a restaurant and had candles on the table, you’d see them but wouldn’t be focusing on them,” says research audiologist Dr LaGuinn Sherlock. “But if the lights went off, you’d have to pay attention to them because there’s a sharp contrast between light and dark.” For a similar reason, your tinnitus could reduce or go away entirely while you have white noise playing in the background.

Classical music

Classical music
Getty Images

If you find white noise annoying – a bothersome sound will leave you aggravated instead of relieved – play a bit of music for a tinnitus cure. Neutral tunes will give your brain something else to focus on, like white noise does. You can pick any genre, but stick to instrumental versions. “Lyrics are words, words have meanings, and the brain gets distracted more easily,” says audiologist Norma R. Mraz. “With instrumental versions with no lyrics, your focus can be the task at hand.”

Invisible earphones

Invisible earphones
iStock/Maica

Wearing headphones to feed you music or white noise when you’re at work or socialising probably won’t go over well, so consider investing in a wearable device. They fit like a hearing aid but feed your ears a low-level noise that’s “quieter than a whisper,” Dr Robb says.

So you think you may have a hearing problem. Fill out our self-test questionnaire to find out if you really do have a reason for concern.

Hearing aids

Hearing aids
Getty Images

Even if you think your hearing is perfectly fine, visit an audiologist. Hearing loss causes your brain to work overtime to listen, which in turn amplifies the noise from tinnitus, so you might benefit from one of these tinnitus cures, more specifically a hearing aid. “We hear with the brain and not with the ears. Ears collect the sound and the brain interprets it,” Mraz says. “With a hearing aid, you hear the outside world more than the internally generated sound.” Once your brain stops straining so hard to hear outside noise, the noise from inside your head could start to fade away.

If you’re going down the hearing aid route, check out Australia’s latest hearing aid, it’s nothing like what you’ve seen before.

A just-in-case hearing aid feature

A just-in-case hearing aid feature
Getty Images

No need to decide between two different devices – most hearing aid companies offer a feature called ‘tinnitus sound generator’ or ‘tinnitus masker’. “Even if a patient has just hearing loss, they never have to turn on the sound generator, but it’s there,” Mraz says.

Cochlear implants

Cochlear implants
Getty Images

One of the tinnitus cures that patients with hearing loss can consider is cochlear implants, which are devices placed surgically in the ear to bring back their hearing. Cochlear implants bypass the damaged part of the ear and stimulate the hearing nerve directly, enhancing sounds including speech. Reintroducing outside noise could help in the same way hearing aids do, by giving the brain more to focus on. Dr. Robb says they can work for those who are deaf in just one ear too.

Earplugs

Earplugs
Getty Images

“Tinnitus is often an early sign of damage to the auditory system,” Sherlock says. “There might not be hearing loss yet, but it could be coming.” Whenever you’re in a loud place – attending a concert, using a leaf blower, or visiting a loud bar – make sure to protect your ears. And don’t worry, earplugs won’t make you miss out on the fun. Some earplugs block out all noise, which is perfect when you’re mowing the lawn, but others filter out sound without muffling the music or conversations you want to hear, Mraz says.

Is hearing an issue, or do you just have a listening problem?

Neuromonics

Neuromonics
Getty Images

Using special music with therapeutic sound frequencies, a neuromonics device is a tinnitus cure that trains your brain to pay attention to the noise it’s delivering. Your brain will start making new neural connections so that it pays less attention to the tinnitus. “The downside is some of these devices are expensive,” Dr Robb says.

Never miss a deal again - sign up now!

Connect with us: