Picture of a journal and tea with a roseOur parents taught us a lot of great things over the years, how to tie our shoes, catch a ball, how to brush our teeth, and how to resolve conflict.

But they may have also taught us some home remedies that just don’t work. Society and websites often reinforce these “magical cures,” harming the people they want to help.

If you have tinnitus, you’ll do anything to stop that persistent ringing, thumping, buzzing or other sounds. But if you can’t separate fact from fiction, it’s impossible to get real relief.

Thankfully, there are some proven remedies for tinnitus you could start using now to reduce or stop this painful annoyance.

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a form of hearing loss. While you may think of hearing impairment as merely an inability to hear sound, that is not often the case. Hearing loss more often changes how people hear and what they hear.

In the case of tinnitus, a constant sound is super-imposed over everything you hear. It makes it hard to understand conversations, enjoy music or even sleep.

Over 50 million Americans have some form of tinnitus.

Castor Oil for Tinnitus

One of the oldest and perhaps most trusted home remedies for tinnitus is castor oil. It’s the “fix all” in a bottle. It can be used for everything from arthritis to skin blemishes, the proponents say.

It’s very inexpensive. They tell you to soak a cloth and lay that cloth over your ear. This is supposed to make the tinnitus stop.

Castor oil may have some therapeutic value for some conditions. But hearing cannot be naturally treated or restored. Once hearing is damaged, it doesn’t heal like other parts of your body.

There is no scientific proof to show that remedies like this can somehow fix the cause of tinnitus. The American Tinnitus Association notes that you can find all kinds of claims on the Internet, but because nobody has been able to measure any kind of impact, they say it’s likely a placebo effect.

When people think something works, sometimes they convince themselves that it works.

But the great news is that they are reliable and proven ways to treat tinnitus.

Tinnitus “Remedies” that Do Work

The first thing to do is to schedule an appointment with an audiologist. Get your hearing tested. Effective tinnitus management typically requires the use of several treatment options. These treatments work together to provide some or complete relief.

These include:

Hearing Aids

Hearing aids not only amplify sound. They have various settings that can affect how sound reaches the inner ear to ease tinnitus symptoms.

Cochlear Implant

This implanted device sends sound signals through to the brain and can reduce tinnitus.

Sound Therapy

An audiologist can develop a tone that mimics the sound and volume of your tinnitus. You listen to this tone during sessions. After a series of sessions, you actually train your brain to ignore the tone. In most cases, unless the person focuses on the sound, they don’t hear it.

Another form of sound therapy involves having the patient listen to a wide range of tones that exclude the sound your tinnitus makes.

Behavioral & Psychological Therapy

Certain mental conditions like depression and anxiety can make tinnitus unbearable. Receiving therapy or medications for the condition can often relieve tinnitus.

Deep-breathing, exercise, meditation, yoga, and other stress-relieving techniques may also help tinnitus if depression or anxiety is the cause.

Keeping a Tinnitus Journal

Experts are now recommending that tinnitus sufferers keep a journal. Make a note of what triggers your tinnitus. What makes it worse? What makes it better?

Some people find that food and drink with high caffeine, sugar, salt or alcohol make the condition worse. If you pay attention, you can avoid certain foods or activities.

You may think you already know what makes the tinnitus worse, but once you start writing it down, you can start to see the patterns clearly.

Share your observations with your audiologist next time you go in for an appointment. This information can help a professional design a more customized tinnitus management plan.