What are the causes and remedies for tinnitus?

Symptom Database

Tinnitus is a condition characterized by the perception of sound in the absence of any external source. It is often described as a ringing, buzzing, or hissing sound in the ears. Tinnitus can be a frustrating and distressing condition, affecting millions of people worldwide. In this article, we will explore the causes of tinnitus and discuss various remedies and treatment options available for managing and alleviating its symptoms.

Tinnitus Causes

Tinnitus can have various underlying causes, and understanding these causes is crucial in finding effective relief. Some common causes of tinnitus include:

  • Exposure to loud noise: Prolonged exposure to loud noises, such as attending concerts or working in noisy environments, can damage the delicate hair cells in the inner ear, leading to tinnitus.
  • Hearing loss: Age-related hearing loss or damage to the auditory system can result in tinnitus.
  • Earwax blockage: Accumulation of earwax can cause tinnitus by obstructing the ear canal and affecting sound transmission.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as Meniere’s disease, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, and high blood pressure, can contribute to the development of tinnitus.
  • Medications: Some medications, including certain antibiotics, antidepressants, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can trigger tinnitus as a side effect.

Tinnitus Symptoms

Tinnitus can manifest in different ways, and its symptoms can vary from person to person. Common symptoms of tinnitus include:

  • Ringing, buzzing, hissing, or roaring sounds in the ears
  • Perception of sound that is not present in the environment
  • Difficulty concentrating or sleeping due to the constant noise
  • Increased stress, anxiety, or depression

Tinnitus Relief

While there is no known cure for tinnitus, there are several strategies and remedies that can provide relief and help manage its symptoms. Here are some natural tinnitus remedies and treatment options:

Sound Therapy

Sound therapy involves using external sounds to mask or distract from the tinnitus noise. This can be achieved through the use of white noise machines, fans, or soothing music. Sound therapy can help reduce the perception of tinnitus and promote relaxation.

Lifestyle Changes

Adopting a healthy lifestyle can have a positive impact on tinnitus symptoms. Avoiding exposure to loud noises, managing stress levels, getting regular exercise, and maintaining a balanced diet can all contribute to reducing the severity of tinnitus.

Earwax Removal

If excessive earwax is causing or exacerbating tinnitus, removing the blockage can provide relief. It is important to consult a healthcare professional for safe and proper earwax removal.

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)

TRT is a therapeutic approach that aims to retrain the brain’s response to tinnitus. It involves a combination of counseling and sound therapy to help individuals habituate to the tinnitus sound and reduce its impact on daily life.

Alternative Therapies

Some individuals find relief from tinnitus through alternative therapies such as acupuncture, hypnosis, or herbal supplements. While the effectiveness of these treatments may vary, they can be worth exploring under the guidance of a qualified practitioner.

Tinnitus Support and Therapy

Living with tinnitus can be challenging, and seeking support from others who understand the condition can be beneficial. Joining support groups or seeking therapy can provide a safe space to share experiences, learn coping strategies, and receive emotional support.


Tinnitus is a complex condition with various causes and no definitive cure. However, by understanding the underlying causes and exploring different remedies and treatment options, individuals can find relief and effectively manage their tinnitus symptoms. Whether through sound therapy, lifestyle changes, or alternative therapies, there are strategies available to help individuals live a fulfilling life despite tinnitus. Remember, it is essential to consult with healthcare professionals for proper diagnosis and guidance tailored to individual needs.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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