If you ask around, chances are you’ll discover a friend or relative has chronic tinnitus, which is a persistent “ringing in the ears” or “sound in the head” with no external source. Those with tinnitus may experience any number of auditory sounds, like whistling, buzzing, chirping, hissing, or humming. The sounds may come and go or worse—they may be constantly there. It’s no fun having tinnitus.
Did you know about 60 million Americans have tinnitus? It’s especially prevalent in older people, past the age of 55. Most assume it means they’re “going deaf,” but that is generally not the case.
So how do you deal with tinnitus? You could try various drugs, supplements or herbs like ginkgo biloba, or even acupuncture, but chances are they won’t help. For tinnitus, it may be better to get professional therapy that involves helping a person build their coping skills so the sound(s) in their head become less bothersome over time. If you suffer with tinnitus, ask a doctor about “cognitive behavioral therapy” or “tinnitus retraining therapy.” Some people have had success with masking devices, which use low-level white noise to essentially cancel out the tinnitus sound(s). Even something as simple as listening to music on the radio can alleviate the annoyance of tinnitus—getting a person’s brain to concentrate on music sounds instead of the persistent tinnitus “ringing in the ears.”
Tinnitus typically comes from your ears being exposed to really, really loud noises. If you shoot guns, for instance, you should always be wearing hearing protection, such as custom-made ear plugs from Electronic Shooters Protection, in order to protect yourself from hearing loss and the thing no one wants: tinnitus.