4 Effective Tinnitus Treatment Options

According to the Mayo Clinic, tinnitus affects up to 20 percent of people. Tinnitus is often referred to as ringing in the ears. Besides ringing, some people may experience other noises in their ears, including buzzing, clicking, humming, or hissing. Tinnitus is not a serious issue, but it can be annoying and may slightly reduce one's quality of life.

Patients may experience tinnitus because of age-related hearing loss, changes in the ear bone, earwax blockage, exposure to loud noises, and certain medications. Thankfully, there are some effective ways to treat this condition.

Here are four tinnitus treatment options.

1. Hearing Aids

For people who have tinnitus related to hearing loss, hearing aids can help. According to the American Tinnitus Association, about 60 percent of people with tinnitus found some relief from their symptoms by wearing hearing aids. About 22 percent of the people who treated their tinnitus with hearing aids found significant relief.

There are a few reasons that hearing aids help with tinnitus related to hearing loss. Hearing aids help to mask the sound of tinnitus, plus these electronic devices increase the brain's auditory stimulation, which provides a more soothing kind of background noise for the ears.

2. Sound Therapies

For those who have tinnitus for reasons other than hearing loss, sound therapies may be an effective tinnitus treatment option. During sound therapy, patients learn to use external noises to cover up noises created by tinnitus.

Examples of sound therapies include:

  • Masking
  • Distraction
  • Habituation
  • Neuromodulation

There are several kinds of devices used for sound therapies. Some of the most commonly used devices include white noise machines, notched-music devices, and combination devices. Some people use special sleep apps to drown out the noise of tinnitus as they sleep.

3. Medications and Supplements

If the tinnitus is caused by a mood disorder, such as anxiety, depression, or high stress levels, prescription medications may be necessary to treat the underlying problem. However, there are also off-label medications that some people use to treat their tinnitus.

These medications include antihistamines and anticonvulsants. It should be noted that off-label medications have not been approved by the FDA for that specific use. You should speak with your doctor before using medication to treat your symptoms.

4. Diet

Some people add certain supplements to their diets to reduce tinnitus symptoms. Some of the most commonly used supplements include magnesium, vitamin B12, and zinc.

Other people with tinnitus add certain foods to their diet. Some of the foods that are believed to help with tinnitus include pineapples, bananas, and garlic. Foods that can worsen tinnitus symptoms include salt, alcohol, caffeine, late-night sweets, and process foods.

For more information on tinnitus treatment, contact a doctor.