If you suffer from tinnitus, or persistent ringing in the ears, you know that this condition can often feel crippling and extremely frustrating. Tinnitus is not a hopeless condition, however, and there are specific steps you can take to manage it.
1. Identify food triggers. Salt can be one of the worst culprits because it reduces blood flow to the head, including your ears, eyes and brain. Saturated fat is another contributor to decreased blood flow so Keep an eye on labels of what you normally eat. Try to eat more healthy fats like Omega 3 fatty acids in fish, nuts, vegetables and avocado. MSG is converted into glutamate, which intensifies tinnitus and will usually be labeled as monosodium glutamate. Avoid it if you can. And then there's sugar. Americans are way too indulgent when it comes to sugar and it can really elevate your tinnitus symptoms. If you have a sweet tooth, try to satisfy it using fruit, especially fruit that is high in fiber.
2. Stress can often exacerbate tinnitus, but before you start taking any over-the-counter medications for stress or anxiety, please see your doctor. Sometimes meditation helps. I find that while I meditate, my mind is completely off the ringing in my ears. Another thing that makes sense to try is playing some soft, soothing music at night while trying to sleep. Before I did this, the ringing and buzzing in my ears actually kept me awake. You might also consider getting a white noise machine, which can be used at night or even during the day, depending on what you do for a living.
3. Avoid alcohol, as it can often make ringing in the ears worse. For some people, it doesn't seem to have any effect, but for others, they report that when they consume alcohol their tinnitus seems to be more prevalent. It's hard for me to measure that particular one, since I don't drink alcohol.
4. Try apple cider vinegar. I use it three times a day not just for tinnitus but for the general overall health benefits it provides, which are too numerous to mention here. Do an online search for benefits of apple cider vinegar and you'll see what I mean. Personally I recommend the Bragg brand because it's organic and has the “mother” in it. The mother contains the natural enzymes and minerals which are important for our bodies' optimal health. Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar can be purchased in the health food section of most supermarkets and the recipe for the daily health drink is right on the bottle.
5. If you feel that you just can't live with your tinnitus any longer, consider counseling to learn ways to cope. There are health care professionals who deal with this condition specifically so seek the right one, even if you have to go through many. There are also countless websites that can give you insight from others who have this condition. Just be careful and use your common sense when approaching any health issues.
Understanding tinnitus and the conditions that can exacerbate it can often feel like a relief. So take charge of your condition and make choices to help manage this condition!
Regina Arnold is a freelance writer and photographic artist who also suffers from tinnitus and understands how challenging this condition can be.