If you suffer from tinnitus, you’ll probably have many questions on your mind. One of the most pressing questions you’ll want answered is, “does tinnitus ever go away?” The answer to this and other related questions is detailed below. Here are all the essential details about this condition…
What is Tinnitus? The Basics:
Tinnitus is described as ringing or other sounds such as humming, hissing, buzzing, roaring or whistling in one or both ears when there is no actual external sound present. It is quite common and affects roughly 15-20% of people to some degree. Tinnitus is more common in men than women and can occur in any of the four parts of the auditory system (the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear, and the brain).
What Causes Tinnitus and Does Tinnitus Go Away?
Tinnitus may come and go intermittently, or it may be continuous. In terms of sound, volume and pitch, it varies from one person to the next. For some it may be a high-pitched ringing or whistling noise, while for others it may resemble a low roaring or a pulsing or swishing noise.
Major Causes of Tinnitus:
- Exposure to loud noises or music
- Age-related hearing loss
- Drugs such as aspirin and pain killers, antidepressants, steroids, sleeping pills, and certain types of antibiotics
- High blood pressure
- Excessive stress
- Infections in the ear
- Excess build up of wax in the ear, or inflammation of the middle or inner ear
- A hole or rupture of the ear drum
- Head or neck injury
- Consumption of certain foods, beverages and food additives. These include very sugary foods/sugar, artificial sweeteners (aspartame), salty foods/sodium, and saturated fat. Tinnitus can also be caused or aggravated by caffeine, alcohol, and quinine/tonic water.
Types of Tinnitus:
There are two major types of tinnitus: objective, and subjective. With subjective tinnitus, only the person suffering from the problem can hear the ringing or buzzing sound inside their ears or head. However with objective tinnitus, when an examination is performed, both the patient and the doctor can hear the tinnitus or clicking and pulsing sounds.
Does Tinnitus Go Away On Its Own?
The answer to this question really depends on the cause of your tinnitus. It may get better or go away on its own after a certain period of time. For instance, if you developed tinnitus after going to a loud rock concert, it might go away by itself after a few days.
If your tinnitus is the result of a certain medication or excess wax buildup, it will often go away after you discontinue the medication or remove the earwax. In other cases, tinnitus goes away on its own within two to three months. While in some instances, it can remain ongoing for years.
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How is Tinnitus Diagnosed?
As tinnitus is considered to be a multifaceted problem, it is essential that you first understand and evaluate its underlying root cause. Your first port of call should be your family doctor. An initial evaluation will usually include a complete history check for obvious causes, a full hearing test, which then may be followed by a physical examination of the head, neck and other nerve areas.
Other tests may also be performed depending on the type of tinnitus you are experiencing. Pulsatile tinnitus for example, can indicate more serious problems and may require further testing to be done. Some of these tests include:
- Audiogram tests: These are done to test your sense of hearing.
- TMJ tests: These may be done to help your medical specialist determine if your tinnitus is caused by temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
- An auditory brainstem response (ABR) or a brain scan may also be performed to determine if your auditory nerves are damaged.
- Blood tests for hyperthyroidism may be taken.
- Spinal tests may be performed to measure the fluid pressure in the skull and spinal cord.
Does Tinnitus Go Away Naturally?
As mentioned above, if the specific underlying root cause of your tinnitus is established, it is possible that treating the cause effectively will reduce the noise. As a result, the tinnitus will go away naturally. However if the underlying cause is not determined, it is unlikely that your condition can be cured. Some people report significant relief from natural remedies for tinnitus so these are well worth checking out.
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Here are 8 Ways to Relieve Tinnitus Naturally:
- Protect yourself from loud noise or music. These Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs are brilliant for concerts, musicians, or motorcyclists. If your tinnitus is due to loud noise exposure, wear adequate hearing protection whenever possible.
- Try cutting back on caffeinated beverages; teas, coffee and colas, as these are known to aggravate tinnitus.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol.
- Reduce stress or anxiety, and avoid focusing on your tinnitus.
- Add more fresh and raw fruits and vegetables into your diet.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise is essential as it increases blood circulation to the inner ear.
- Try taking zinc, magnesium, vitamins A, B and E – these supplements are known to help reduce tinnitus.
- Avoid silence whenever possible. This will prevent you from constantly focusing on your tinnitus. Try listening to some relaxing background music whenever there would otherwise be silence. Alternatively you can use a sleep therapy system such as this Sound+Sleep mini system. This is particularly useful if your tinnitus is bothersome in the evening when you’re trying to sleep. Improving the quality of your sleep can help to relieve tinnitus.
Can Tinnitus Be Cured With Medical Treatments?
Normally, medical specialists will try various drugs, tinnitus maskers, biofeedback and even surgery in rare cases. Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is an effective treatment, particularly for severe cases. Depending on the severity of your tinnitus, you might also get relief from alternative treatments such as acupuncture and physical therapy.
Your doctor may prescribe the following medications to bring some relief. However, you must be aware of the possible side effects or unimpressive results. These medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), furosemide (Lasix), Mysoline or carbamazepine in doses used for epilepsy, amitriptyline, nortriptyline or citalopram.
Surgery may be used if your tinnitus is caused by a tumor, or if it is due to a venous source. Furthermore, surgery may be a good option to consider if your diagnosis is Meniere’s disease, otosclerosis or fistula.
Currently there is no one specific cure for tinnitus. However it is important that you consult your doctor immediately if you begin to suffer from it. This will help determine the cause of your tinnitus and rule out the possibility of serious problems.