Tinnitus is not an uncommon problem, and there are thousands of others who have shared your unpleasant experience. As disturbing as the condition may be it is very often not a serious health problem, but instead is more of a nuisance. So, just what is tinnitus? Tinnitus describes a condition in which you can hear strange sounds in just one or both ears, despite no external sound source. The sounds seem to originate within the ear itself and individuals who have suffered from the condition describe the sounds as a buzzing, ringing, hissing or whistling. In reality there is no condition that causes these sounds, but the experience is a result of misinterpretation of signals sent from the auditory nerves to the brain.

Tinnitus can be a permanent problem or it could also occur in brief episodes. The sounds that you seem to hear can also vary in loudness and may be of a pulsating nature, often at the same rate as your pulse. Although the noise may appear to come from one or both ears, at times it may not even be possible to discern the source of the sound. Typically, you would be most likely to find the noise bothersome when in a quiet place, such as when relaxing your tube, or when lying in bed at night. As annoying as it may be, the sounds can also become a lot more noticeable when you are tired. Some individuals afflicted with tinnitus have also observed increased sensitivity to auditory stimuli and find the television or radio to be too loud, even though it may be at a normal volume.

Tinnitus does not always pose a serious health risk, but is problematic as it can severely compromise your quality of sleep and can even give rise to insomnia. The troubling sounds can also be extremely disruptive and can affect your concentration, cause anxiety and may also lead to depression. These effects are interdependent and can also affect the general quality of life, as weakened concentration will negatively affect your performance at any responsibilities, whether at home or work. This can have a damaging effect on your sense of self confidence and also add tremendously to stress.

Tinnitus is experienced by up to 15% of the population at some point of time, but is in most cases mild and untroublesome. The problem is more common among the aged, as it is most prevalent among individuals past the age of 60. For most individuals the experience of tinnitus remains just that – a brief experience. Tinnitus is not a disease or a condition in itself, but is usually indicative of some condition, and if the symptom persists, you should seek medical attention. In the meantime tinnitus natural remedies can help you cope with the problem.

Symptoms of Tinnitus

Tinnitus is actually a symptom in itself, but some of the phantom sounds that you are likely to hear include a ringing, buzzing, clicking, whistling, hissing, or roaring sound.

The sounds may be audible in one or both ears, or it may not be possible for you identify the source.

Tinnitus is also classified as subjective or objective tinnitus, depending on the nature of the symptoms. If the sounds are only audible to you then it is classified as subjective tinnitus. This is the most common form of tinnitus.

Objective tinnitus is a condition in which the sounds are not just audible to you, but can also be observed by the doctor or anyone examining you.

Causes of Tinnitus

Tinnitus is actually a symptom and could be caused as a result of various conditions. Very often an exact cause is not found however. Very often damage or abnormalities in the auditory nerve cells cause a misinterpretation of signals that are sent to the brain. Tinnitus can also be caused by some common ear problems, trauma, chronic health conditions and disorders that affect the nervous system, particularly the auditory nerves.

Some conditions that commonly cause tinnitus include:

  • Hearing Loss with Aging: Hearing loss is a common effect of the aging process, and this condition generally sets in once you cross the age of 60. This can also cause tinnitus and is termed as presbycusis.
  • Over Exposure to Noise: This is probably among the most common causes of tinnitus today, particularly among urban populations. High decibel levels from heavy machinery like chain saws and explosives can often cause hearing loss. Listening to music on headphones or earphones for prolonged periods can also cause similar hearing loss that may be accompanied by tinnitus. Short term exposure to noise, such as from attending a concert, usually does not last very long, but repeated exposure can cause permanent damage to your hearing.
  • Blockage: Ear wax normally plays an important role as it helps to protect the ear canal, by trapping dirt and restricting bacterial growth. When ear wax is allowed to accumulate over time however, it can cause some amount of hearing loss and irritation to the eardrum. In such a scenario you may experience tinnitus as a symptom.

These are of course not the only causes of tinnitus, but are among the most common. Tinnitus may also occur are a side effect of certain medications or due to the consumption of certain illegal substances. Objective tinnitus generally results from blood vessel problems or abnormal bone growths. Abnormal bone growth is often a hereditary problem and may cause a stiffening of the middle ear bones. This can compromise your hearing and result in tinnitus.

Remedies for Tinnitus

There are no known natural cures for tinnitus, but tinnitus home remedies can offer some amount of relief from the annoying symptoms. Tinnitus cannot simply be treated at home because it is impossible for you to make an accurate diagnosis of the underlying cause, without which there can be no lasting cure. For an effective cure for tinnitus you need to visit your doctor for a thorough diagnosis, before you can try out any home remedy for tinnitus.

The scope for home remedies in tinnitus treatment is limited by the cause. For example, if your case of tinnitus is a result of earwax blockage, you can simply release a few drops of warm olive oil in to the ear to soften the wax for removal.

Gingko biloba is an herbal supplement that some natural enthusiasts claim can work wonders for tinnitus. These claims have not been validated through any scientific research however.

No matter what home treatment you try if the home remedies for ringing ears is ineffective make sure you seek medical attention.

Diet for Tinnitus

A diet for tinnitus may not have any direct bearing on the condition, but it can often help to control the underlying problem. Individuals who suffer from tinnitus as a result of high blood pressure or Meniere's disease should cut down on the salt intake. Sodium intake can aggravate the problem in such a scenario. Poor circulation is also responsible for tinnitus in some cases, and nicotine consumption via cigarettes and tobacco products can aggravate the problem. It is also advisable to cut down on your intake of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.

A healthy diet would be beneficial in general because of its effects on your overall health. A diet with a good supply of fresh fruits and vegetables will provide you with most of your required intake of essential nutrients. This is important as a weakened immune system will leave you susceptible to infections that can contribute to or aggravate tinnitus.

Suggestion for Tinnitus

No medication works overnight, but if that buzzing sound in the ear is getting to be a bother, you don’t have to suffer it in silence! Right now you probably crave for some silence, but it probably isn’t the best thing for your ears. Tinnitus can be a lot more distracting in a silent room, as the lack of any sounds will cause you to focus on the buzzing or ringing sound. To solve this problem you can simply play some music or simply keep the television on. It doesn’t have to be loud, simply at a volume that you are comfortable with. This can be particularly helpful when you try to get some sleep. Try to focus on the external sounds rather than on the ringing sound. These are referred to as masking techniques and studies have been encouraging so far. Relaxation techniques like yoga can help greatly, as stress does tend to aggravate the problem. Some amount of physical activity is also important as light physical exercise can help to improve circulation, improving blood flow to the ears.

It is also very important that you avoid, or at the very least avoid exposure to loud noises that could contribute to the problem. If you do work with heavy machinery or in an area where loud noise is unavoidable, it would be wise to invest in some protective earplugs or earmuffs.

Make sure that you get adequate rest, as exhaustion can severely compromise your immunity, leaving you vulnerable to colds and flu, which can aggravate or cause tinnitus, because of possible swelling in the inner ear.


  1. Jack Vernon, Susan Griest, Linda Press, Attributes of tinnitus and the acceptance of masking, American Journal of Otolaryngology, Volume 11, Issue 1, January–February 1990, Pages 44-50, ISSN 0196-0709, 10.1016/0196-0709(90)90169-V.
  2. Ovidiu König, Roland Schaette, Richard Kempter, Manfred Gross, Course of hearing loss and occurrence of tinnitus, Hearing Research, Volume 221, Issues 1–2, November 2006, Pages 59-64, ISSN 0378-5955, 10.1016/j.heares.2006.07.007.

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