Advertisement

What to Do About Ringing in the Ears

What to Do About Ringing in the Ears

Tinnitus is a continuous or pulsating sound only you can hear; it’s often described as ringing, hissing, static, screeching, whooshing, roaring, or buzzing. Research indicates tinnitus affects around 10 percent of adults and of those, 25 percent have had it for 15-plus years. For most it’s temporary, but for others it produces a din that interferes with thinking, sleeping and even conversation.

What causes it? It may come from over-exposure to loud noises/hearing loss; inner ear issues; wax build-up; head or neck trauma; temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ); sinus problems; taking prescription or illicit drugs; high blood pressure; or thyroid disease.

Only around half of sufferers mention it to their doctor and they’re often told medication and herbal supplements may be helpful. However, the American Academy of Otolaryngology guidelines explicitly state cognitive behavioral therapy and hearing aids are the most effective approaches available. And newer treatment options are being actively studied.

If you’re plagued by persistent in-your-head white noise, ask your doctor about treatment options and/or a referral to a tinnitus specialist. The Hearing Loss Association of America lists organizations that can help you cover the cost of a hearing aid and findcbt.org will help you locate a therapist in your area.

Medically reviewed in February 2019.

How is tinnitus treated?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
Doctors usually aim tinnitus treatments at finding the root cause of the problem. If your tinnitus i...
More Answers
Should I worry about tinnitus?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
You need not worry about tinnitus. In fact, sometimes, worry (or stress) is what causes the disease....
More Answers
What causes subjective tinnitus?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
Subjective tinnitus—hearing noise in your ears that isn't really there—is believed to be caused when...
More Answers
How to Diagnose Tinnitus
How to Diagnose Tinnitus