Most people have experienced the phantom sensation of hearing a sound that wasn’t really there, often described as a ringing in the ears. This sound is called tinnitus, which can also be perceived as a buzzing, static, roaring, hissing, or other repetitive, monotone sounds.
Stopping the ringing in your ears can be as easy as simply being patient. For most people who experience tinnitus, the ringing in their ears will go away in a matter of minutes or a couple of hours. However, if your tinnitus symptoms last longer, that’s when additional steps should be taken.
Immediate Steps To Take To Stop Ringing In The Ears
If you are experiencing ringing in your ears that won’t go away, there are some immediate steps you can take to help reduce the intensity and help it go away.
- Avoid being in silence – Tinnitus is far more noticeable when you have no other audio input. Rather than allowing your ears to be filled with a ringing sound, you can distract from your tinnitus with some other soothing sound like white noise or ocean sounds.
- Find something to concentrate on – Many people have the urge to concentrate on the things that are bothering them, but when it comes to tinnitus, focusing on the sound can make it worse. Rather than listening for the phantom sound, try to concentrate on something else like watching a show or listening to an audiobook.
- Lower stress levels – A major trigger for tinnitus is stress—as well as loud noise exposure. To help lower your stress levels, try to meditate and recenter yourself or engage in exercise, as it can release neurochemicals that help reduce stress.
Does Ringing In Ears Last Long?
A common question our hearing professionals here at Hearing Associates of Las Vegas are asked is how long do people normally hear ringing in the ears. How long tinnitus lasts can vary widely.
For many people, their tinnitus will go away in a matter of minutes, while others may hear the ringing in their ears for a few hours. However, there is a smaller demographic of people who have permanent tinnitus.
How To Manage Tinnitus Long-Term
For those individuals who have permanent tinnitus, there are various tinnitus management methods to choose from.
Make Lifestyle Changes
There are several types of tinnitus, and some of them can become worse, depending on your lifestyle choices. For instance, if you are struggling to manage a medical condition like diabetes or high blood pressure, these conditions can make tinnitus symptoms worse.
Also, stimulants like caffeine can increase the intensity of tinnitus, as well as alcohol, which increases the blood flow to your ears and can make the ringing in your ears more pronounced.
On top of decreasing your intake of these substances, making other lifestyle changes like exercising regularly, managing stress levels, and getting enough sleep can help you decrease the intensity of your tinnitus.
Utilize Hearing Aids
Hearing loss can make tinnitus worse, as you lose audio input from the real world and are trapped with the phantom noise of your tinnitus. As there is a strong overlap between hearing loss and tinnitus, it is important to have your hearing evaluated when you have long-term tinnitus.
Even if you don’t have hearing loss, hearing aids can be used to assist in managing your tinnitus. They can act as wearable sound generators and play soothing sounds that can assist in keeping your tinnitus at bay.
Opt For Sound Generator Treatment
There are also sound generators which you can use at night to help drown out the ringing in your ears. The basic sound generator you can use may simply be a soothing audio program you set on a timer to help you drift away to sleep.
However, for more severe tinnitus, a proven treatment system like the Levo system can be programmed to help retrain your brain. With this sound generator treatment, your brain re-learns how to process and file your tinnitus so that you are no longer acutely aware of it.
Attend Tinnitus Support Groups
It can help to attend a tinnitus support group, either in-person or participate in an online forum. Not only can you learn what has helped others—and what makes your tinnitus worse—but you can enjoy a community of people who understand your struggles.
Unfortunately, there is no cure at this time for tinnitus, so treating and managing your tinnitus triggers is the best way to address the phantom ringing in your ears.
When Should You Visit A Hearing Specialist
Tinnitus that lasts longer than a week can indicate that there is an issue with your hearing, or that you at least need intervention to correct the ringing in your ears. If your tinnitus has not calmed down since you first noticed it, it is time to visit your local hearing specialists.
So, if you are ready to take control of your tinnitus, contact us today to start working with our hearing health care professionals.