If you frequently experience a ringing or buzzing noise in your ears, you may be suffering from a condition known as tinnitus. Those with tinnitus may also experience a roaring, buzzing, whistling or hissing noise that can interfere with hearing real sounds. This condition can be extremely frustrating, and it often occurs with depression, anxiety and stress.

What Causes Tinnitus?

A common cause of tinnitus is damage to the middle or inner ear. The middle ear picks up sound waves and prompts the inner ear to transmit impulses to the brain. You aren’t able to hear until the brain accepts these signals and translates them into sounds. It the inner ear becomes damaged, the way your brain processes sounds may change.

Exposure to loud sounds on a regular basis, such as jackhammers, chainsaws or other heavy equipment can cause tinnitus, as can regularly blaring music through headphones. Tumors in the ear or on the auditory nerve may also cause ringing in the ears, as well as the use of certain medications. Medical conditions that can create a ringing in the ears include age-related hearing loss, muscle spasms in the ear, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, head and neck injuries, and an overabundance of earwax.

Tinnitus is usually treated by getting to the root of the problem and treating the underlying medical conditions that are responsible. Drug therapy is considered an option. If you’re suffering from ringing in the ears and you’re looking for a more natural way to treat it, you might want to consider one of these five alternative treatments:

1. Gingko

Ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest living tree species, and it boasts a long history of medicinal use. It has been known to improve blood flow to the outer parts of the body, specifically the brain and head, making it an effective treatment for tinnitus.

2. Eustachian Tube Drainage

This technique is used to relieve congestion in the tube located behind the eardrum by draining the fluid in the ear. It can be used to treat tinnitus that is caused by congestion of the ears, nose or throat. Here are several at-home ways to unclog the inner ear.

3. Supplements

Zinc and Vitamin B12 supplements are believed to be effective at treating tinnitus due to aging, especially for those who are deficient. A B12 deficiency is reported in many people who develop tinnitus. Talk to your doctor about taking either of these supplements to help manage your symptoms.

4. White Noise

White noise can be used as a way to reduce symptoms of tinnitus by suppressing the constant noise that it causes. Tinnitus is most prevalent when there is little to no background noise, so using a white noise machine that plays environmental sounds such as ocean waves can reduce sounds from the ear. A fan, air conditioner, humidifier or dehumidifier might also help.

5. Acupuncture and Acupressure

Several studies have shown the positive effects of acupuncture for tinnitus. This treatment focuses on fixing the obstruction in the ear’s channels. One visit probably won’t do the trick. Multiple sessions may be required for improvement.

h/t: healthy holistic living