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Tinnitus is the medical term for noises in the ear. Depending on the individual, the sounds heard may be ringing, roaring, clicking or hissing. The sounds can be a nuisance or they may interfere with hearing, sleeping or working. Tinnitus that is accompanied by pain is likely caused by something in the ear. Home remedies may improve the pain, but the underlying cause may require other treatment.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
The American Tinnitus Association suggests avoiding several foods that may trigger tinnitus. These foods are especially capable of increasing blood pressure or changing other bodily functions. To identify the possible tinnitus trigger, an individual should eliminate one potentially problematic food at a time and see if symptoms improve. Examples of foods to eliminate one by one include:
- artificial sweeteners
Some over-the-counter and prescription medications may cause tinnitus and should be eliminated to evaluate their potential role in tinnitus. Individuals should consult a medical professional before stopping prescription drugs for this purpose.
Protect the Ears
Tinnitus can be a result of loud or persistent noises. Individuals who are surrounded by these sounds should wear appropriate earplugs to reduce ear damage and pain, according to the American Tinnitus Association. Tinnitus may improve after several days or weeks of wearing hearing protection.
Mask the Sound
When tinnitus makes sleeping or concentrating difficult, MayoClinic.com suggests masking the sound with other noises 2. Quiet static, low-volume music or a fan may be just enough noise to make tinnitus unrecognizable. A trained professional can take this method a step further and help a patient become desensitized to the noise. This process involves the use of an individualized headset that emits music and sounds that stimulate the nervous system and auditory receptors to diminish an individual's awareness of inner ear noises.
Tinnitus that is accompanied by ear pain may be due to an infection in the ear or another foreign object. Foreign objects, including wax buildup, may need to be removed by a medical professional. A warm compress made by wetting a cloth with hot water and applying it to the affected ear can help loosen hardened wax and temporarily reduce pain.
Allergies, colds and ear infections can cause ear pressure that is painful and can result in tinnitus. Several oils can be placed into the ear to help reduce ear pain. This may have minimal effect on tinnitus unless it is caused by the ear pain itself. Warmed olive oil or an essential oil such as lavender oil can be dropped into the affected ear a few times a day to help diminish pain. The oil should be warmed by placing the vial into a glass of hot water for 15 to 20 minutes.
- ear image by Connfetti from Fotolia.com