What to Do When You Have Ringing in the Ears

Ringing in the ears is an extremely common condition experienced by Americans of all ages and hearing abilities. Of course, in some cases this condition—known as tinnitus—is more severe for some people than for others.

Tinnitus is characterized by a ringing, whistling, chirping or hissing sound that can come from either one ear or both. It might sound far away, or it might sound like it’s happening right in your head. Ringing in the ears in Long Island, NY can also be either intermittent or constant.

Just about everyone has experienced this sensation at some point at least for a short time. It often occurs after you’ve been exposed to a loud noise, such as attending a loud concert or watching Fourth of July fireworks up close. There are also some medications that can cause tinnitus upon discontinuation of use.

The problem gets to be concerning when it becomes chronic. Research indicates there are as many as 60 million people in the United States who suffer from chronic tinnitus, and it is especially common among seniors as a symptom associated with hearing loss.

Treating tinnitus

Upon getting diagnosed with tinnitus, there are several possible treatment options, depending on what your doctor believes is causing the problem:

  • Dealing with Underlying Conditions: If your doctor believes the tinnitus is caused by a separate underlying health condition, then the best course of action will be treating that condition. Removing impacted earwax can help to treat tinnitus, as can treating a blood vessel condition that might be causing the issue. You may simply need to change medications as well to avoid the tinnitus side effect.
  • Noise Suppression: In some cases, suppressing the ringing sound may be sufficient to manage the condition. This could involve using hearing aids (especially if you have hearing problems as well), the use of white noise machines or fans at nighttime, the use of masking devices in the ear to produce continuous white noise and the use of a tinnitus retraining device.
  • Medication: There are medications available that can treat severe tinnitus symptoms, though medication cannot cure the condition. Xanax can reduce symptoms, though it may cause side effects like nausea or drowsiness. Some types of antidepressants have also been used successfully to treat symptoms of tinnitus.

There are other lifestyle changes you can make to better manage tinnitus. Reducing alcohol consumption can help you reduce some of the blood flow to your inner ear area, as greater alcohol consumption increases the force of blood via vessel dilation. You can also attempt to manage your stress better. High levels of stress are often associated with the onset of tinnitus, so find ways to relax and better manage the stress you experience if you wish to reduce your tinnitus symptoms.

These are just a few examples of some of the steps you can take to reduce tinnitus symptoms and their severity. For more information about what to do if you’re experiencing ringing in the ears in Long Island, NY, reach out to the team at McGuire’s Hearing Centers.