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How Do I Stop the Ringing in My Ears?

How Do I Stop the Ringing in My Ears?

Few who are required to live with the effects of tinnitus have not asked themselves the question: “how do I stop the ringing in my ears?” In response, while some may appear more successful than others, it’s only because the symptom is not always permanent. A once-off exposure to a particularly loud noise can induce tinnitus, but its effects will invariably fade within a day or two. For that matter, not everyone affected by tinnitus actually experiences the classic ringing sensation but, instead, he or she might be plagued by some alternative, but equally intrusive, sound.

More than half of those with hearing loss also experience tinnitus, so the latter is often considered to be a side effect of deafness. Unfortunately, just as there is currently no cure for deafness, the same is true of these annoying phantom sounds. For those who may ask: “how do I stop the infernal ringing in my ears?”, the honest answer is that you probably can’t. It is, however, perfectly possible to limit the extent to which these intrusive noises are able to adversely affect your lifestyle.

One of the most annoying aspects of tinnitus is that the subjective sounds, which can also take the form of buzzing, whistling, whooshing, and crackling, or even resemble ghostly voices, is that they tend to become far more noticeable during periods of silence. This can make tasks that are normally simple, such as concentrating on a book, far more difficult. At the end of the day, when tired, ready for bed, and the noises are intensified by the comparative silence, it’s hardly surprising that insomnia is another common reason for tinnitus sufferers to ask: “how do I stop the ringing in my ears?”

For those who, in addition to battling with tinnitus, may also be significantly hard of hearing, the act of dealing with the latter problem will often serve to alleviate the effects of the former. Although the sound enrichment provided by a good-quality hearing aid is not actually able to stop the phantom noises per se, it can mask them so effectively that the wearer is rendered unaware of them. Incidentally, this surprising effect lends some weight to the belief that there may be some commonality with regards to the origin of sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus. More significantly, this masking effect currently provides the best option for those who ask: “how do I stop the ringing in my ears?”

There are some medications, consisting mainly of a combination of essential vitamins and specific micronutrients, that are designed to protect one from the onset of tinnitus. Often issued to military personnel, they appear effective in the preventative role, but less so in the treatment of those who already have tinnitus. Stress is among the factors that can exacerbate tinnitus symptoms and the use of anti-depressants may not only prevent this, but can also sometimes lower the intensity of the subjective sounds. However, faced with the reality that there is no definitive cure, masking technology and counselling are currently the only viable answer to the question: “how on earth do I stop the ringing in my ears?”

While counselling may seem a little esoteric to someone plagued by phantom noises around the clock, it can be a surprisingly effective option. After all, most of us are able to ignore background noises and focus on a conversation with relative ease. Counselling, which may include cognitive behavioural therapy, can be equally effective in helping tinnitus sufferers to refocus their attention and force the annoying sounds to the back of their minds. For maximum effect and to stop you from repeatedly asking yourself: “how do I stop the ringing in my ears?”, however, the counselling will be best combined with the use of suitable sound-masking technology.

As it is not possible to focus on two different sounds simultaneously, the basic principle behind this technology is to generate sounds that are easier to live with. In practice, when those therapeutic sounds consist of white noise, these are far less intrusive and easily ignored, providing the welcome relief sought after by all of those affected by chronic tinnitus. For those in need of a hearing aid, some newer models have a built-in white noise generator and there are accessories to upgrade some older models. For those who continue to ask: “how do I stop the ringing in my ears?” – you can’t, but there are now effective ways to help you live with them.