Who knows when the damage to my ears happened? It may have been at one of the loud concerts I attended while in college. Or it may have happened during childhood, when we used to watch jets take off and land from an open-air airport. No matter when it happened, it’s still annoying. I am one of 50 million people in the U.S. who live with tinnitus.
The noise associated with tinnitus sounds different to different people. For me, the sound is a high-pitched ringing sound. It sounds similar to what you would hear if a mosquito was flying close to your ear. The sound is at its worst when it’s quiet, which made it difficult for me to fall asleep. While there is no cure for tinnitus, there are things I have found that help to minimize the ringing in my ears.
Alternative Medicine Therapy
Alternative therapies that have been suggested to help with tinnitus include acupuncture, biofeedback, sound therapy, etc. Because my tinnitus only bothers me when I’m somewhere that is fairly quiet, I haven’t felt the need to aggressively seek out a lot of different solutions to this problem.
While my tinnitus is not a debilitating issue for me, one night it bothered me enough that I searched online for anything that might help. Once I had a list of things that could help, I decided to try a few of the simple, easy suggestions.
Foods That Helped
The first thing I decided to try was some of the different foods that have been suggested to decrease tinnitus. Of the recommended foods I tried garlic, burdock root, pineapple, and kelp. I have noticed that my tinnitus decreases significantly when I eat garlic, burdock root, or kelp. I haven’t noticed any real change when I eat pineapple.
Recommendations That Helped
Through trial and error I found one thing that helped me that was not on any list. I have found that if I am dehydrated my tinnitus is worse. I monitor my salt and caffeine intake and I also ensure I drink water throughout the day. Making sure I’m hydrated has helped to decrease the ringing sound.
One of the other suggestions I found in my internet search regarded chewing gum. Some websites suggested that people chew gum to decrease tinnitus while others said not to chew gum to decrease tinnitus. I was a gum chewer, so I decided to see what would happen if I stopped chewing gum. For me, not chewing gum lessened the ringing in my ears.
Lastly, when I asked my doctor for suggestions on what I could do about my tinnitus, he suggested using some kind of constant background noise (white noise) to block out the ringing. I had an electric fan, so I decided to use the fan when I went to sleep. The sound of the fan did (mostly) block out the ringing and it did make it easier for me to fall asleep.
While some things have helped with my tinnitus, and others have not, trying different combinations of recommendations has allowed me to live with the ringing in my ears with minimal changes to my lifestyle. Making these few, simple changes have really made a difference in my quality of life, and in the quality of my sleep.
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