Ringing in the ear can be a sign to pay more attention to what’s happening in your body, just as ringing a bell can signal a warning. Ringing in the ear, also known as tinnitus, begins in your inner ear because of the loss of sensory hair cells in the inner ear or cochlea.
Tinnitus or ringing in the ear presents itself with buzzing, hissing, ringing, clicking, and whooshing sounds. These sounds can be heard in one or both ears, soft or loud, occasional or constant. They are often more noticeable at night when the surroundings and environment are quiet. You should find a hearing specialist if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Hearing Disorders, about 10% of the US adult population has experienced tinnitus for at least 5 mins.
It’s not a life-threatening condition but a symptom of other problems rather than a disease. Still, it can debilitate and be life-altering.
Why does the ringing seem random?
For some people, ringing in the ear can be a minor episode that lasts only a few minutes, and then it’s gone. It’s pretty normal to experience ringing in your ear as long as it doesn’t last for too long.
When you experience occasional tinnitus, you likely won’t need medical treatment (unless accompanied by dizziness, vertigo, or headaches). The ringing might last for 30 seconds and fade away almost immediately.
But if it happens regularly, gets worse, or refuses to go away? In that case, you need to see an audiologist. Constant ringing in the ear can be an indicator of hearing loss. Hearing loss has a better outcome if you are treated immediately, as it can lead to depression, anxiety, and fatigue.
Why is the Ringing worse at night or when quiet?
During the day, tinnitus is less noticeable because of everyday activities and noise. But at night, when it’s as quiet, tinnitus grows louder and more disturbing when you try to fall asleep. Moderate to severe ringing in the ear can make your sleep cycle miserable.
The lack of noise often creates confusion in the brain when it tries to respond, making tinnitus more intense and disturbing.
Also, closing your eyes at bedtime diminishes visual stimulation, reducing attention to only the auditory canal.
How Can I Get a Better Nights’ Sleep?
We have some good news for you if you want to fall asleep more easily at night. Below are things you can do to help you fall asleep despite your tinnitus.
Stop Resisting the Ringing
Focusing on your tinnitus for too long can make you develop stress and anxiety. The more frustrated you get because of the unending ringing in your ear, the more emotional you get. Instead, try to focus on something else that makes you feel happy and less aware of your tinnitus.
Some people meditate or have white noise to distract them.
Follow your Usual Bedtime Schedule
Many people with a constant ringing in their ears make a series of changes to their bedtime schedule. So you need to find a schedule that works best for you and stick with it. To create a healthy sleeping habit, you must condition your body to feel sleepy at bedtime.
Some things you can try to help you sleep well include:
- Putting your phone or laptop away,
- Dimming the lights
- Lying down 30 minutes before bedtime, and
- Going to bed at the same time each night.
Ringing in the ear is often related to stress and anxiety. You can develop these habits to ease your stress level before bedtime. They include:
- Listen to soothing music
- Take a warm bath
- Stretch or do yoga
- Read a book in a quiet environment
- Meditate or prayer
Pay attention to what you eat
According to experts, alcohol and sweetened drinks often trigger tinnitus. You need to monitor and steer clear of foods and drinks which trigger tinnitus or ringing in your ear. Caffeinated drinks like coffee should be limited.
Most people need hearing aids to help reduce the constant ringing or whooshing sounds in their ears. If you haven’t given hearing aids a try, a hearing professional can help you see if this is a solution for you.
These devices are non-invasive and can solve hearing loss issues, including minimizing your tinnitus symptoms.
Get Your Hearing Tested Today
A professional audiologist can help determine what’s causing your tinnitus by conducting a series of tests. This will begin with a physical examination and then move on to auditory testing. They can help evaluate and control your tinnitus in several ways.
- Therapy to help your brain adjust to tinnitus.
- Suggest various cognitive-behavioral therapies to deal with thought patterns that can make tinnitus worse.
- Recommend the best hearing aid for your condition.
If you’re experiencing tinnitus and want to be fully evaluated, contact our hearing specialists at Hearing Associates of Las Vegas for testing and treatment of tinnitus and hearing loss. We can diagnose and help you begin the process of sleeping better at night.