Ringing in the ears, medically known as tinnitus, is a common problem, especially in old age. Unlike its name, ringing in ears may also be experienced as whistling, buzzing, chirping, hissing, humming, roaring and sometimes shrieking. These sounds may seem to arise within one or both ears or inside the head. It may be constant, intermittent, steady or pulsating.

Living with tinnitus or ringing in the ear is not easy. In fact, it can be distracting and downright annoying at times; an unusual sound is constantly stalking you for no reason. And the worst part is that there is no specific treatment for ringing in the ear, especially if it is long-standing. Quite discouraging, right? 

But don’t worry, this condition can be easily managed at home by some simple lifestyle modifications. Read on to know what these are and how you can include them in your routine.

You will also get to know ways to prevent tinnitus, in case you want to save another ear from tinnitus or educate your loved ones about it. 

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  1. What is tinnitus: Science behind it
  2. How to stop ringing in ear
  3. Tips to prevent tinnitus
  4. When to see a doctor for tinnitus

Tinnitus is not exactly a disease but a symptom of some underlying health condition, which can be either mental or physical. Though the exact cause is not known yet, it may be due to a disturbance in brain function or the functioning of your ear.

According to an article published by Harvard Medical School, in most cases, tinnitus is just a noise of unknown origin. Most of us experience tinnitus at least once in our lives for example after being around loud noises for long like in a concert. Tinnitus may also occur because of thyroid abnormalities, old age, sinus infections, or a head injury. However, in some cases, these noises arise from the person’s own body. Interestingly, your body constantly produces internal sounds, also known as somatic sounds throughout the day. Though, the human body is designed in such a way that we focus more on the external sounds, totally ignoring the somatic noises. Tinnitus is the feeling of active sound inside the ear or head in the absence of an external source of the sound.

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Stopping tinnitus is not an easy job, it requires a multi-directional approach to conquer, often taking a long time to get rid of completely. Though, sometimes it may just subside on its own. It all depends on the reason behind the production and perception of the ringing sound. Let us discuss what all you can do pace up recovery:

Get treatment for the underlying cause to stop tinnitus

The first step towards the treatment of tinnitus should be to elicit the cause of the condition. For this, you might need to consult a specialist. Here are some conditions that may be linked to tinnitus:

  • Ear wax blockage: Outer ear blockage is one of the most common causes of ringing in ears. If you tend to suffer from blocked ear condition make sure to get your outer ear checked for any blockages caused by excessive accumulation of wax as it needs to be removed. For this, an ENT specialist will be your professional consultant. 
  • You can also do it at yourself by using some simple home remedies. However, our ears are really sensitive to injury; be extra careful while using any remedy. Never pick your ear with a cotton bud, pen, pencil or some sharp object. (Read more: Home remedies for ear wax removal)
  • Treating the heart disease or blood vessel disease: Various sounds arise from heart and blood vessel pathologies, which may be perceived as a ringing in the ear. If you hear a rhythmic beating or thumping sound in the ear it may be linked to a cardiovascular condition. Check-in with a cardiologist at the earliest. He/she will make a diagnosis by hearing it through the stethoscope and provide you with certain treatment modalities through medications, surgeries and others to alleviate the symptoms which will simultaneously make ringing sound disappear
  • Change your medication: A number of drugs such as NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen), medicines for blood pressure, anti-malarial drugs, anticonvulsant drugs (drugs for seizure) and some antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, tetracycline) lead to ringing in ears. If you are on any of these drugs, talk to your doctor about changing your medication with their alternatives.

Noise suppression to stop tinnitus

Once you identify the underlying condition and start your treatment, you can try some easy noise-masking remedies to suppress the ringing sound. This can be done in one of the following ways: 

  • White noise: Internal sounds or ringing in the ear can be really apparent at night time or while sitting in silence. Creating a background sound in such cases will create a great difference. It could be in the form of sound coming from a fan or an air conditioner in summers and the sound of cold mist humidifier or blower in winters
  • Hearing aids: Hearing aids are small electronic devices which are worn on the outside of ears. These could be of a great deal of help for people suffering from hearing loss along with ringing in ears. Hearing loss usually exacerbates tinnitus When an individual is unable to perceive outer sound internal sounds are more audible. By helping such people perceive external sounds, hearing aids reduce the symptoms of tinnitus
  • Ear protection aids: When suffering from tinnitus, it is really important to avoid loud noises at all costs as they may worsen the situation. Make sure to wear ear protection aids or noise-cancelling devices every time you go out

Distract yourself to stop tinnitus

Another way to combat tinnitus is by distracting yourself from the troubling ringing sound and dragging your concentration on something else. There are several good ways you can do this:

  • Listen to soothing music: You might have heard about the famous saying “music can heal every pain”; well, it stands true for tinnitus too. Music is the best way to distract and focus at the same time. Make yourself a list of soulful music and listen to it every now and then. It will soothe your mind, body and soul along with helping develop your spirit to fight with the condition
  • Sound therapy: Sound therapy uses music vibrations to heal. While it may or may not completely suppress your condition, it would definitely help you distract. It also relaxes the mind and body, helping reduce stress. Whale sounds, wind chimes and rainfall sounds are some of the most common sounds used in this therapy. No, you don't need to join certain community or course for this, there are few apps available online, just download them and make the best use of sound therapy whenever you are in need

Stress management to stop tinnitus

There is no doubt that constant ringing in the ear makes the individual stressed, which leads to anxiety and sometimes depression too. Moreover, stress itself can aggravate the symptoms of tinnitus. So, to keep your stress levels in check you need to develop some healthy habits like:

  • Meditation: Encourage yourself to meditate regularly. Mediation will not only help you to destress from tinnitus, it connects the mind and body thereby rejuvenating the soul and making you feel calm and quiet. Don’t have time for chanting and meditation? Try mindfulness instead. Clinical studies suggest that mindfulness meditation is quite effective in the management of tinnitus symptoms and produces better effects than conventional meditation or relaxation techniques. Just put aside 5 minutes in your routine and be present in the moment. You can do it while doing house chores while travelling or while walking. Do not practice this while driving
  • Yoga: Yoga is quickly emerging as an alternative way of management for various diseases. It has the capacity to help you with a few underlying causes of tinnitus too thereby reducing the symptoms. Clinical studies indicate that regular practice of yoga helps reduce stress and the symptoms of subjective tinnitus. Even if it does not help provide symptomatic relief, yoga will certainly aid in calming your mind and reducing the discomfort 

Avoid caffeine to stop tinnitus

If you are someone who is quite prone to develop the ringing sound in the ear and a heavy coffee drinker as well, sadly, you would have to give up the habit. It is believed that caffeine content increases blood pressure and makes the ringing sound more noticeable. Considering caffeine as an aggravating factor, limiting the consumption of caffeine or caffeine-containing drinks like coffee would ease the symptoms to a large extent.

Here are some tips that may help protect your ears and prevent tinnitus:

  • Avoid close contact with loud sounds: While watching movies or shows, don't sit or stand close to the soundbox. Maintain a considerable distance to protect your hearing organ from damage
  • Avoid long exposure to loud sounds: Just like your brain, your ears also need small breaks to overcome damaging stimulus. Provide your ear with some amount of relief while going through any sort of high-intensity noise shows or concerts
  • Clean your ear regularly: Make yourself a habit of cleaning your ear every now and then with an approved wax removal technique or by professional help
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It's always a wise decision to consult a doctor to avoid any health risk or to correct the underlying health condition responsible for the tinnitus. Here are some red flags which indicate the need to seek a doctor’s help:



  1. Health Harvard Publishing. Harvard Medical School [Internet]. Tinnitus: Ringing in the ears and what to do about it. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  2. David M Nondahl et al. Tinnitus and its Risk Factors in the Beaver Dam Offspring Study . Int J Audiol. 2011 May; 50(5): 313–320. PMID: 21309642
  3. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. [Internet]: Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Tinnitus
  4. Rush University Medical Center. Why Are My Ears Ringing?. Chicago, IL [Internet]
  5. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. [Internet]: Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Hearing Aids
  6. British Tinnitus Association, Sheffield. Home tinnitus treatments to try for ringing in the ears. [Internet]
  7. Arif M et al. A randomised controlled study of mindfulness meditation versus relaxation therapy in the management of tinnitus. J Laryngol Otol. 2017 Jun;131(6):501-507. PMID: 28357966
  8. Sümbüle Köksoy et al. The Effects of Yoga in Patients Suffering from Subjective Tinnitus . Int Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2018 Jan; 22(1): 9–13. PMID: 29379573
  9. British Tinnitus Association, Sheffield. How to stop ringing in the ears. [Internet]
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