Tinnitus is a common and extremely disturbing symptom – hearing noise or sounds when there are no actual sounds. It can cause great distress, no matter the kind of sound you hear.

Of course you must consult with your doctor and have the appropriate examination and investigations performed. Sometimes you could be lucky and it is merely wax in your ear. Or an infection. If the sound is like a pulsing noise or vibration and if it is only on one side, then a specialist consultation is best.

There are more serious causes of tinnitus which your doctor can detect. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking any medications like anti-inflammatories or other types of medication that can lead to tinnitus.

It is more common to have tinnitus when you get older, and that is because tinnitus is common with certain types of hearing loss. All the more reason to be careful with your headphones. Loud music can cause tinnitus and hearing loss. Use safety gear at work or around noisy machinery.

There is no cure for tinnitus. Sorry. But I think if you work on some of the factors that make tinnitus worse, or even cause it, you may find some relief.

Too much coffee, (some people seem very sensitive to even a small amount of coffee), alcohol, lack of sleep, high sugars, all can lead to tinnitus.

Tinnitus causes anxiety and anxiety causes tinnitus. I know anxiety causes my ears to ring. I always joke, when I answer the ringing, then it stops. I’m lucky. Just noticing the ringing in my ears makes it stop. If that doesn’t work, distraction can. Try working on a jigsaw puzzle, or any other puzzle that occupies your brain.

Some of my patients find listening to certain types of music helps. Even some of my sleep meditation videos may help.

You could consult a hearing aid specialist or audiologist. If you can afford it, there are devices that provide a sort of white noise that lowers the stress of tinnitus.

Researchers are trying to find a cure for this awful condition. In the meantime, do what you can to avoid stress and manage the stress you have. Not the easiest advice to hear, I know, but the best we have for the moment.

Good luck and have a safe weekend.  Judy

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