Tinnitus is a ringing or buzzing noise in one or both ears that may be constant or come and go. The buzzing sound comes from no external source, and has been described in many different ways: whistling, chirping, hissing, humming, roaring, or even shrieking. Most people are familiar with tinnitus after a loud concert or after being exposed to an abnormally loud sound, but true tinnitus never really goes away, and can include changes in pitch, partial hearing loss, and severe migraines.
Tinnitus affects about 15%-20% of the population, but it isn’t a condition itself — it's a symptom of an underlying condition. For those with hypermobility spectrum disorder or Ehlers Danlos syndromes, tinnitus has shown to be more common due to the instability of the bones in the middle ear as well as in the cervical neck, and often comes hand in hand with headaches and severe neck pain. Some patients have also reported increased tinnitus while having a POTS flare up.
There are many different ways to help manage tinnitus. The easiest and most common remedy is a white noise machine, or any sound maker. Whether you prefer ocean waves, rainforest, thunder, or just the classic white noise, the extra stimuli to your ears will help block out the buzzing!
It is also important to stay away from possible irritants. Reducing your exposure to loud noises, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol have all shown to help decrease tinnitus. Also, some medications such as aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs can cause tinnitus that goes away when the medication is discontinued or lowered in dosage. In addition, managing stress through relaxation therapy or exercises can help provide some relief.
If your tinnitus becomes unmanageable, be sure to consult with your primary care physician or other medical professionals in regards to your medical concerns. This text cannot and should not replace advice from the patient's healthcare professionals. Any person who experiences unusual symptoms or feels that something may be wrong should seek individual professional help for evaluation and/or treatment..