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Tinnitus: What to do about ringing in the ears

September 26, 2011
  • By Carolyn Schatz, Former Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch

About the Author

photo of Carolyn Schatz

Carolyn Schatz, Former Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch

Carolyn R. Schatz was the editor of the Harvard Women’s Health Watch from 1999 to May 2012. Before joining HHP, Carolyn developed and produced science and medical stories for NBC News in New York. She received two … See Full Bio
View all posts by Carolyn Schatz


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February 10, 2012

ps. I can imagine insurance companies would be very difficult with this condition too…

Neil Hendry
February 10, 2012

It’s incredible just how many people suffer from tinnitus symptoms. 50 million is a colossal number and I read an article recently by from the ATA, that they are still a long way away from really understanding it……makes you wonder whether stressful modern lifestyles are part of the problem….we definitely need to relax more;)

February 5, 2012

Agreed, very nice article on the topic tinnitus.

I’m a DJ, being doing it for the past 5 years now, however when I leave a DJ set now I do get ringing in my ears, maybe lasting for a few hours or so, getting rather concerned as it does seem to be last a little longer every time I DJ.

I came across this webpage. It mentions that you can get herbal remedies for tinnitus, do they even work? I thought it was a natural healing process?

Jason Fox
February 3, 2012

I really appreciate the effort you’ve put into this piece of tinnitus management. Not everyone can afford the hearing aids or therapy, so it’s nice to see that you’re suggesting the use of noise-masking. Thanks for the contribution to our tinnitus community!


Eva Hart
January 19, 2012

There is a new song in the air. I discovered a cure for my mild case of Tinnitus. Because I found compassion and money was there when I had a major Surgery in past,I gave for free the cure for Tinnitus to all the Ear ENT Clinics at hospitals in San Francisco. I hope they’ll do the Research and FDA will approve it eventually. I submitted to SFGH my 6 month in depth closer
observation Report of Tinnitus. Also now a one year Report of Tinnitus and it’s patterns of sound waves and my CSW Tinnitus cure. I knew of sound waves. I play piano and knew Bach created counter melodies thus I
experimented with Bells and other sounds and found a sound my ear adjusts to easily and likes being so soft and gentle. Finding this right sound is like looking for a needle in a haystack thus it explains why it was not discovered sooner. However I discovered it early on when experimenting the counter soundwave right sound. Any doctor who reads this is welcomed to contact my doctors at San Francisco General Hospital for further details in my medical record to read about my CSW Tinnitus cure. You can contact me too. Eva L. Hart Sfc.

November 16, 2011

This provide some specific information relates to the tinnitus.

October 27, 2011

Great information and understanding. Sometimes masking works and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it can be as simple as lace of lipo-flavinoids.
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October 5, 2011

I heard there is something called music therapy. It is said that it can treat tinnitus by through hearing music and increase the music frequency or something.
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Sound Guy
September 30, 2011

Natural sounds have been proven very successful as an effective measure to treat Tinnitus. The Web site contains a vast collection of downloadable sounds, such as flowing water, rain, toads, wind, etc. I do not suffer from this condition, thus I cannot personally support the claim, but it’s worth the try!
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September 29, 2011

This is a more serious affliction for some of us who experience a very high shrill sound, with no escape, 24/7. Suicide sometimes looks pretty good. My tinnitus is not maskable so I wish there was something for people like me as I get pretty sick of hearing that same advice “mask it”….if only!

Mark V
September 29, 2011

It seems that I hear the ringing in my ears more when I am around the computer or the television. I always sleep with a fan on a night so I don’t have any problems with sleep.
Thanks for this article.

September 28, 2011

Hi Carolyn, thanks for this great post. I really enjoyed read it.

September 27, 2011

These articles never offer any new information. “Mask it with music or a fan”; heard it a thousand times. My T isn’t always maskable, and white noise, to me, is almost as annoying.

Dr. Russ Hornstein
September 27, 2011

Ringing in the ears as an ‘experience’ is due to the ringing in the ears area of the brain becoming active, to put it simply (as in the above picture). This can be due to mechanical factors, chemical factors or neurological factors. Neurologically, if this area comes to excitation threshold, the person experiences ringing in the ears. This can be due to excitation of this area (load noises) or decreased inhibition. The latter scenario is very often the case in older people as the global afferentation and integration of the cortex begins to fail. This can be treated very successfully through stimulating the parts of the brain which are presynaptically inhibitory to it.

New Jersey Hypnotist James Malone
September 27, 2011

Stress reduction and releasing the fear/panic associated with the tinnitus can improve your quality of life. If you search online you can find a free copy of e-book I wrote “Calm Your Tinnitus: The Less You Fear It, The Less You Hear It” which contains some ideas you may find helpful.

Brad McBride
September 26, 2011

FYI, I have some free Tinnitus masking MP3 downloads at my website. We don’t even ask for an email address. Just search my name and the word tinnitus.

September 26, 2011

Congratulations this is the best article on tinnitus I have seen

For tooth grinding I recommend draw a vertical line on a mirror and relax your jaw to make sure you open in the mid line and not to the side
To relax the jaw try count your breathing count four on inhale and six on exhale because you relax when you exhale

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