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Ways to alleviate tinnitus

Question : I've been suffering from ringing in the ears for almost five years. I have difficulty sleeping at night as the sound is really irritating. Please help!

Answer : Ringing in the ears (or tinnitus) is the general term to describe a condition in which a person perceives sounds that have no acoustic origin.

The noises can be in many forms -- whistling, buzzing, humming or roaring -- and can range from a soft hum to a high-pitched squeak. Some people hear the sounds constantly in one or both ears, while others hear them only intermittently.

Tinnitus can be a result from ear damage from exposure to very loud noise, infection, anaemia, medications, high blood pressure, blocked Eustachian tube, obstruction by earwax, poor blood circulation or the progressive growth of spongy bone in the middle ear.

Since no treatment for tinnitus is available, efforts are directed to eliminating the underlying causes. An easy one to remedy is tinnitus caused by medication. Stopping the drug or substituting another usually solves the problems.

Gingko biloba has been used to treat tinnitus. Poor blood circulation can cause nerve cell death in the inner ear.

Ginkgo helps to improve blood flow and increases oxygen supply to the capillaries and veins which can help to improve the condition.

Vitamin B12 deficiency has been reported to be common in those exposed to loud noise and who have developed tinnitus and hearing loss. Thus, increasing vitamin B12 intake may be helpful.

Avoid food which may be contaminated with heavy metals. Examples are seafood or fish obtained from contaminated sources.

Here are some ways to improve your condition:

1. Deep breathing and other meditation methods, perhaps combined with visualisation, may make the tinnitus less intrusive and bothersome.

2. Music therapy. Playing background music to mask tinnitus is a time-honoured remedy that many ear specialists recommend.

3. Wear earplugs when you find yourself in an excessively noisy environment.

4. Avoid listening to loud rock music, especially through a headset.

5. Be active all the times by incorporating moderate exercise in your daily routine. Exercise improves blood circulation and mental functions and promotes physical fitness.

     
     

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