Ringing in the ears happens to most of us every once in awhile. However, for more than 16 million people living with tinnitus, that ringing happens frequently and interferes with daily living.
If you have had recurring or constant ringing in your ears for a month or more, I recommend seeing your doctor. Tinnitus may also sound like buzzing, hissing, roaring, humming or chirping.
Sometimes tinnitus can be easy to fix. But even if it is persistent, there are several nondrug ways to quiet the ringing in your ears.
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist if any of your prescriptions or over-the–counter medications can cause ringing in the ears. Some examples include antibiotics, diuretics or water pills like furosemide (Lasix), anti-depressants like amitriptyline (Elavil) , nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Motrin), and aspirin. Be sure to never stop taking a medication prescribed by your doctor without his approval.
- Try eliminating ingredients that may make tinnitus worse such as caffeine, alcohol, salt, and artificial sweeteners. Eliminate them one at a time to narrow your suspects.
- Be sure to get your hearing checked, and get a hearing aid if you need one. Our brains have the capability to fill in the gaps in hearing with that ringing sound.
- Eat food rich in vitamin B12. Multiple studies show a correlation between low vitamin B12 levels and increased instances of tinnitus and hearing loss. As we get older, our ability to absorb B12 from the food we eat may decline. For that reason, I check each patient’s B12 level as part of their lab evaluation. I find many patients are B12 deficient. This is easily remedied with proper, easily absorbable supplementation. For a professional grade, easily digestible multivitamin and mineral supplement that contains therapeutic amounts of vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin), I recommend Diamond Nutritionals’ Foundation Vitamins.
- Nicotine can cause tinnitus, or make it worse. Please don’t smoke.
- Deficiencies in Vitamin D3 and zinc can cause tinnitus and affect hearing. To ensure normal levels, I utilize proper supplement with Diamond Nutritionals’ Foundation Vitamins plus Vitamin D3 5,000.
- Magnesium can help fight hearing loss and reduce tinnitus. About 80% of the U.S. population is deficient in magnesium. This mirrors my experience with initial cellular lab testing on patients in my office. Serum blood testing for magnesium will not reflect this deficiency, and will usually be reported as normal. This is due to the fact that about 99% of our body’s magnesium is located in tissues, while only about 1% is located in serum. Our bodies go to great lengths to keep serum magnesium within normal limits in serum, even at the cost of depleting body tissue levels. Cellular testing can be done through specialty labs such as Spectracell, but given that almost everyone is deficient in this very important mineral, I often go directly to highly absorbable supplementation in the form of Diamond Nutritionals’ Chelated Magnesium.
- Try masking sounds. For some, it is possible to drown out the annoying sounds. Humidifier, white noise machines, and nature sound machines
- Loud noises make tinnitus worse. Avoid or limit your exposure to loud sounds, and be ready to use earplugs at a moments notice to protect your ears.
- Stress aggravates tinnitus. Reduce or eliminate some of the stress in your life. Try relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.