Signs and Symptoms
1. Noise such as ringing, roaring, buzzing, humming, hissing, or whistling that only you can hear.
2. It can be discontinuous or continuous, and can vary in loudness or pitch. It’s most noticeable when background noise is low.
What to do now
Though there’s no cure for some cases of chronic tinnitus, but there are steps you can take to get relief:
1. Cover the unwanted noise with a tape recording of soothing music or sounds, if you have trouble sleeping.
2. Exercise regularly. This may bring some relief by increasing blood circulation to the head.
3. Avoid alcohol, smoking, and caffeine. They can make tinnitus worse.
4. Try a tinnitus masker, a small electronic instrument, wron in the ear like a hearing aid, that produces a contending but pleasant sound.
When to call a doctor
Call for an immediate appointment:
1. If you have sudden or total hearing loss.
2. If you have tinnitus and dizzy feeling.
3. If you have tinnitus and pain or pus in your ear.
4. If the noise distresses you.
5. If you suspect your tinnitus is the symptom of another health problem.
6. If tinnitus interferes with your concentration, daily activities, or sleep.
How to prevent it
1. Get adequate rest, avoid stress, and practice relaxation techniques.
2. Cut down on salt in your diet. Salt can cause fluid to build up in your middle ear, increasing the risk of tinnitus.
3. Wear earplugs or earmuffs if you are exposed to loud noise. (Cotton balls are not sufficient because they don’t block enough sound. They can also become lodged deep in the canal).
4. Don’t turn up the volume when wearing earphones.
5. Teach your children about the potential damage from loud music.