First: Find the underlying problem
A treatable medical condition might be behind the sound you’re hearing, says oto-neurologist Michael J. A. Robb, MD, a past director of the American Tinnitus Association. An ear infection, Ménière’s disease, blood flow problems, or even dental issues could cause you to hear the noise, he says. Make sure you rule out all the possibilities with a doctor before accepting tinnitus as part of your life. (Here are some things your ears are trying to tell you about your health.) Below, you’ll find tinnitus cures to try.
Feeding your brain more sound calls attention away from the ringing in your ears. “If you were in a restaurant and had candles on the table, you’d see them but wouldn’t be focusing on them,” says LaGuinn Sherlock, Au.D., research audiologist and former director of the Board of the American Tinnitus Association. “But if the lights went off, you’d have to pay attention to them because there’s a sharp contrast between light and dark.” For a similar reason, your tinnitus could reduce or go away entirely while you have white noise playing in the background.
If you find white noise annoying—a bothersome sound will leave you aggravated instead of relieved—play a bit of music for a tinnitus cure. Neutral tunes will give your brain something else to focus on, like white noise does. You can pick any genre, but stick to instrumental versions. “Lyrics are words, words have meanings, and the brain gets distracted more easily,” says Norma R. Mraz, AuD, director of Mraz Audiology Consulting in Alpharetta, GA. “With instrumental versions with no lyrics, your focus can be the task at hand.” Here are other effects classical music has on the body.