It's just not possible to concentrate if you're distracted by a sound all the time. It doesn't matter whether it's a whistling, beeping or buzzing in one or both ears.
Many people are plagued by such noises, but no one hears them but themselves. The tinnitus. In the following article you will find out what causes this and how it can be treated so that you may finally have peace again.
the essentials in brief
- Tinnitus can have various causes. The manifestations also vary from patient to patient. There is no universal antidote.(1)
- Some sufferers get used to the ringing in their ears. Others, on the other hand, suffer greatly from it. (2) In particularly severe cases, it can result in head injury, depression, or even total hearing loss.(8)
- Tinnitus is considered chronic if it has lasted for several months. In any case, it is advisable to consult a doctor to avoid drastic consequences.
Definition: what is tinnitus?
The word comes from Latin and is made up of the words tinnire (“to ring”) and auris (“ear”). Those affected perceive noises that cannot be traced back to external sound sources. Objectively, the noises don't even exist. (4) The noise is usually a buzzing, ringing, or swishing sound. It can be in one or both ears, persistent or partial.
Triggers in many cases are ear diseases, tension or stress. Complex connections between the brain and the ear are responsible for the development. (5)
Background: Possible causes of ringing in the ears
In order to be able to solve a problem, it is of course helpful to find out the cause in a first step. Tinnitus can have many different causes. We have listed a few of them for you below:
ringing in the ears due to stress
It is well known that stress can cause many unpleasant side effects. One of them is ringing in the ears. They can be caused not only by physical but also by mental stress(6)(7).
Only the person affected by tinnitus hears the disturbing noises. They are imperceptible to other people. (Image source: Chairul Fajar / unsplash)
Ringing in the ears due to muscle tension
Another cause of tinnitus can be tension in the throat and neck area. Such tension can be caused by incorrect posture or incorrect loading. The noise can also be amplified by leaning forward - if you sit in front of the PC a lot, you have to be particularly careful.
Tinnitus as a deficiency symptom
Ringing in your ears could also indicate that your body is not getting enough vitamins . They are essential for the body and the immune system . In this case, it is often about vitamin B12. The body cannot produce it itself , but needs it for a functioning nervous system . A deficiency makes the nerves more susceptible to damage, which can then trigger tinnitus(10).
Ringing in ears as a result of Corona
Research has shown that the corona virus can also affect our hearing. As a study(3) shows, many SARS-CoV-2 sufferers complained of persistent hearing problems or tinnitus after recovery.
While the exact relationships here need to be further investigated, other virus infections were already known to have negative effects on hearing. These include measles, mumps and inflammation of the meninges.
high blood pressure and ringing in the ears
However, tinnitus could also be an indicator of high blood pressure. A visit to the doctor is therefore recommended, especially if the noise does not subside, definitely. If the sounds are associated with the increased blood pressure, they are often accompanied by other symptoms such as headaches, dizziness or nosebleeds.
Treating tinnitus: This is how the annoying ringing in the ears can be silenced
So it turns out that you shouldn't just take the noise lightly. It could be a warning signal from your body to let you know that something is wrong.
You shouldn't just take the sounds lightly.
It is therefore advisable to consult an expert. In the following, we will explain who you can contact in the event of tinnitus and how it could possibly be treated.
Earplugs do not help with tinnitus. (Image source: Mark Paton/ Unsplash)
Which doctor to go to for ringing in the ears?
The ear, nose and throat doctor is recommended as the first point of contact. As a specialist in such problems, he will certainly be able to help you and find the cause of your symptoms. Depending on the situation, you may then be referred to other doctors or physiotherapists.
The doctor is also the one who will prescribe the right medication for you if necessary. There are many different ones here. We have listed a few types for you below.
Suitable remedies for tinnitus
Of course, there are many remedies for tinnitus. And that too in different versions. There is a lot in both conventional medicine and homeopathy. However, if you want to avoid going to the pharmacy altogether, it is best to try home remedies.
In a first step, if the noise is associated with pain, you can of course try a normal painkiller (e.g. ibuprofen, paracetamol or aspirin(9)). However, if the symptoms persist, the tinnitus is often treated with infusions. Drugs are added to the body to promote blood circulation. This can be, for example, polyhydroxyethyl starch, pentoxyfillin or glucocorticoids.
If you prefer to rely on natural active ingredients, a variety of homeopathic remedies can also help. Arnica pellets, among others, should be mentioned here. Means with the active ingredient of the ginkgo tree are also often recommended.
Home remedies can help with tinnitus that is caused by bacteria. Especially at an early stage, you could try the following remedies for noise in the ear:
|Onion||Due to the antibacterial effect, the onion is good for treating infections. Chop the onion, pour warm water over it and leave to cool. Then drip a few drops of the brew into your ear.|
|turmeric||The root has an anti-inflammatory effect. It could therefore help with tinnitus. However, you should not exceed the recommended daily requirement .|
|Ginger||Ginger could also help you. As a tea 3 times a day to increase blood flow to your ears, or chew a slice of ginger on its own. This can often relieve the symptoms.|
Tinnitus can come in different strengths and manifestations. It can also have various causes. But it is one thing in any case: a plague for those affected.
So if you are plagued by such annoying noises in your ears over a longer period of time, you should consult a doctor. They can advise you and help you finally get rid of the annoying noise.
Brendan Conlon, Berthold Langguth, Caroline Hamilton, Stephen Hughes, Emma Meade et al.; Bimodal neuromodulation combining sound and tongue stimulation reduces tinnitus symptoms in a large randomized clinical study (2020) Source
Alessandra Lugo, PhD; Natalia Trpchevska, MD; Xiaoqiu Liu, PhD; et al; Sex-Specific Association of Tinnitus With Suicide Attempts (2019) Source
Ibrahim Almufarrij & Kevin J Munro (2021) One year on: an updated systematic review of SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 and audio-vestibular symptoms, International Journal of Audiology, DOI: 10.1080/14992027.2021.1896793 Source
Schaaf, H., Eichenberg, C., Hesse, G. (2010): Tinnitus and suffering from tinnitus. In: Psychotherapeut, volume 3, p. 1
Andersson G, Bakhsh R, Johansson L, Kaldo V, Carlbring P. Stroop facilitation in tinnitus patients: an experiment conducted via the world wide web. Cyberpsychol Behav. 2005 Feb;8(1):32-8. doi: 10.1089/cpb.2005.8.32. PMID: 15738691. Source
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Schaaf H, Eichenberg C, Hesse G (2010) Tinnitus and suffering from tinnitus. Psychotherapist 55 Source
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Bum MJ. Aspirin abolishes tinnitus caused by spontaneous otoacoustic emissions. A case study. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989 Jul;115(7):871-5. doi: 10.1001/archotol.1989.01860310109034. PMID: 2736098. Source
Jastreboff PJ. Phantom auditory perception (tinnitus): mechanisms of generation and perception. Neurosci Res. 1990 Aug;8(4):221-54. doi: 10.1016/0168-0102(90)90031-9. PMID: 2175858. Source