Have you ever heard a car alarm going off in your neighborhood and it just won’t stop ringing? That’s what having tinnitus is like. The ringing and noises are endless and can disrupt your day to day life. It can make it difficult to focus and sleep and even lead to fatigue, irritability, anxiety, depression, and memory problems. Nobody wants to live with tinnitus.
Fortunately, there are several remedies you can try to alleviate your symptoms and get your life back on track.
1. Hearing Aids
Some people develop tinnitus as a result of hearing loss. Once you lose your hearing, your brain changes the way it processes sound frequencies. As a result, it can cause a ringing sound in your ears. A hearing aid will help amplify the volume of external noises which can mollify the brain’s ability to process sound. By improving your hearing, the less you might hear your tinnitus. 60% of people who suffered from tinnitus experienced some level of relief from wearing a hearing aid.
2. Sound Masking Device
Masking the sound of your tinnitus is also another option to help you find relief. Sound masking machines are devices that produce sounds to hide the sound of your tinnitus. You can use a tabletop device or a device you wear in your ears. You can even use headphones and play background noises to listen to. Sound masking devices play white noise, pink noise, music, ambient sounds, or even nature noises. Some people also prefer to have background noise on like the TV or a fan. Masking the ringing sound can bring you immediate relief.
3. Sound Machine
Standard masking devices cover up the unpleasant sound of tinnitus but offer no lasting effects once you stop using them. Custom or modified sound machines on the other hand can provide long-term improvement. Modern medical-grade devices produce custom sounds tailored to your tinnitus. You wear the device intermitted and then it can provide long-term improvement in the sound of your tinnitus.
4. Behavioral Therapy
A high level of emotional stress is often a factor that contributes to tinnitus. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that involves talking about your tinnitus and finding a way to live with it. CBT is usually a treatment for anxiety or depression but it is also effective for tinnitus. Your therapist will teach you how to identify and alter your negative thought patterns around tinnitus to bring relief.
Exercise is amazing for your overall well-being and can help reduce some of the factors that can cause tinnitus including stress, depression, lack of sleep, illness, and anxiety. Consistent exercise can help you manage stress better, improve quality of sleep, and overall stay healthier. It might reduce your tinnitus as a result.
6. Treatment for Dysfunctions and Obstructions
Some causes of tinnitus are caused by hearing loss or a blockage in the ear. In these cases, a hearing aid or removing the blockage in the ears can help tinnitus disappear. An ear, nose, and throat specialist can examine your ear to search for blockages. You can also visit a hearing specialist to check for hearing loss.
Using mindfulness to reduce stress can help you pull away some of your attention from tinnitus, stress, depression, and anxiety. You can practice mindfulness by going through mindfulness training with experts, or by meditating. Practice, meditating and certain breathing techniques can help you remove your focus from tinnitus onto just daily life.
8. Alternative Treatments
In addition to the treatments listed above, you can also try out alternative treatments like nutritional supplements such as the herb ginkgo Biloba, zinc, and vitamin B12. Other alternative treatments include homeopathic remedies, acupuncture, and hypnosis. Although none of these are backed by science, they might bring some relief.
9. TMJ Treatment
The last remedy for tinnitus that is worth exploring is TMJ treatment. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint disorder and is a condition caused by a dysfunctional jaw joint. The jaw joint is located adjacent to the ears and often the dysfunction can cause ear problems such as tinnitus, clogged and itchy ears, and ear pain. Other symptoms of TMJ include jaw pain, frequent headaches, and migraines, back, neck, face pain, and lockjaw.
So why does TMJ cause tinnitus? It doesn’t always cause it. In some cases, it might make mild cases of tinnitus worse. The chewing muscles extend into the middle ear so when someone has TMJ, there is a direct connection between their dysfunctional jaw and their ear. The pain and inflammation can spread easily from the jaw area and into the ear which can cause tinnitus. In addition, the nerves connected to the joint connect with the area of the brain responsible for interpreting sound and hearing. TMJ can then affect the nerve and this area of the brain.
If you’re tired of suffering from tinnitus and think TMJ might be to blame, our Fort Atkinson TMJ dentist can help diagnose your condition and find the right treatment for you. Please contact Bite Align today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Stafford to find out if you have TMJ and how TMJ treatment can improve your tinnitus. Call us today at (920) 563-7323 to book an appointment.