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What Causes Ringing in the Ears?|Ringing In The Ears Causes

Updated on October 24, 2015

Ringing In The Ears Cause

Ringing in the ears is known medically as tinnitus which is derived from the latin word 'tinnire', which means 'to ring.'

The sound can be heard in both ears or just the one. The sound is not caused by any external source but originates from inside the ear itself.

Although it is termed ‘ringing in the ear,’ the noise varies amongst sufferers and may actually sound like buzzing, whistling, ringing, humming, roaring, hissing or even pulsating.

It is usually during the evening / nighttime when these sounds are most prominent and irritating. Naturally, this is due to the fact that it is normally quieter at night and the ringing in the ears causes the noise to appear even more prominent.

If you are having problems getting to sleep, because your tinnitus is driving you crazy, then you may find it beneficial to use a tinnitus masker which 'drowns out' the tinnitus noises.

There are special machines, clocks, pillows and speakers that play soothing sounds which you can purchase. It is a matter of finding the best solution for you.

Although tinnitus is usually the consequence of an inner ear disorder, you may be referred for an MRI scan. This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.

Your specialist is simply ruling out any other possibilities.

Tinnitus affects millions of people across the world, in varying degrees and can be extremely distressing, having a negative impact on sufferers’ everyday life.

Main Causes of Ringing In The Ears

There are several contributory factors which either alone, or together, can cause ringing in the ears. Causes of tinnitus are:

  • Exposure to loud noise

  • Stress or trauma to head or ear

  • Hearing Loss

  • Ear Infections

  • Ear Related Diseases

  • Sinusitis or allergy

  • Medication Side Effects

Ringing In One Ear

Ringing in one ear only can often be a sign of Ménière’s Disease which is a long-term progressive condition of the inner ear. During an attack symptoms include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, hearing loss and tinnitus. There is also a blocked sensation in the affected ear.

Tinnitus in one ear may also be caused by a tumor. For this reason, you should never ignore tinnitus and should always get it medically diagnosed.

Cure For Ringing Ears

In the vast majority of cases there is no cure for ringing in the ears. However, it is advisable to seek medical treatment as the tinnitus may be being caused by a treatable condition such as excessive wax in the ear or an ear infection.

Similarly, if your tinnitus is linked to a specific medication then you should speak to your medical practitioner about alternatives.

Even though there is no known medical cure for ringing in the ears, the symptoms can be managed in many different ways.

Ringing In Ears Cause - Ménière’s Disease

There is no cure for Ménière’s Disease. However, there are ways in which you can relieve and manage the symptoms. This include a low sodium diet to minimise fluid retention as well as avoidance of foods that trigger an attack.

Medications are also available to help minimise nausea and dizziness. Surgery is available only as a last resort as the risks of causing profound deafness are extremely high. This tinnitus treatment should be discussed with your doctor due to the risks of surgery.

Ringing In The Ears Cause And Treatment

Tinnitus Maskers

Tinnitus Maskers are similar to hearing aids except that they emit sound in order to "mask" the noise of the tinnitus. Some sufferers notice, for example, that their tinnitus diminishes if they are near running water or in the shower. Consequently, there are some noises which will almost counteract others.

An audiologist determines the pitch and frequency of your tinnitus and supplies a sound that is more bearable than the tinnitus. A lot of sufferers are reluctant to simply swap one noise for another and also do not like the prospect of wearing a hearing type device. Nonetheless, Maskers are effective for some and can provide relief.


Stress oftens play a major role in persistent tinnitus and therefore, it is important that you develop strategies for coping with stress. Complementary therapies such as aromatherapy, homeopathy and hypnotherapy may help as well as utilising relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation. Joining a yoga class may also help you keep your anxiety and stress levels in check.


Sleep can be difficult when you have tinnitus. Therefore, you should avoid alcohol and any other stimulants such as tea and coffee before bedtime. You may also find it beneficial to listen to a relaxing cd which will help mask the sound of the tinnitus. There are specific speaker pillows which you can purchase for this purpose. Herbal remedies are also available which help promote sleep.


Diet may also play its part in the frequency and intensity of bouts of tinnitus and there are several promoted on the internet such as the anti candida diet (sugar, yeast, vinegar avoidance) and the full body detox (to eliminate body toxins).


Gingko Biloba is said to help some tinnitus sufferers as it is used for general circulatory disorders and may promote blood supply to the ear.

Lipoflavonoid For Tinnitus

You may have encountered lipoflavonoid tablets being sold on the internet for tinnitus relief. In the 1960s, a study showed that lipoflavonoid was effective for some types of tinnitus and, in particular, for sufferer's of Ménière's Disease. Whilst lipoflavonoids are unlikely to be effective for tinnitus sufferers whose tinnitus is noise induced or age related, it is considered that it may be helpful for those who experience tinnitus as a result of other inflammatory conditions or allergies.

Lipoflavonoid tablets are available to purchase, relatively cheaply, from reputable stores such as Amazon. The tablets are manufactured by DSE Healthcare Solutions and the company develops products for specific health conditions. The claims for the lipoflavonoid tinnitus medication are listed below.

Lipoflavonoid For Tinnitus Product Features

  • Relieves ringing in the ears, loss of hearing and dizziness
  • Improves circulation in the inner ear
  • Relieves symptoms of Meniere's disease which includes ringing in the ears (tinnitus), dizziness and loss of hearing

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Ménière's Disease - Why I’m Spinning Around! Discover how I cope living with Ménière's disease.

Herbal Remedies For Tinnitus - Natural herbal remedies have been used for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of human ailments. With so many to chose from, discover which herbal supplements are most likely to help with your tinnitus symptoms.


Please note that this hub is not intended for use as a source of professional, psychological or medical advice but is provided solely for informational purposes.

Readers are advised to seek the services of competent professionals in these fields.

Please Leave Any Tips For Coping With Tinnitus

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    • Wintermyst profile image

      Wintermyst 6 years ago

      Good article. Yeah I have had it for fifty years. My ears still ring and sometimes the ringing gets so high it knocks me sideways. I have learned to live with it.

    • onceuponatime66 profile image

      Jackie Paulson 6 years ago from USA IL

      I am amazed of what I learned about this ringing in the ears. It is helpful and insightful. I am working with a man who is in his 70's who always complains of this exact thing. He finally went to the doctor. I will have to show him this article

    • Marketing Merit profile image

      C L Grant 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you for the comments...much appreciated. Just to add that I was diagnosed with Ménière’s Disease 4 years ago so do understand how debilitating and depressing tinnitus can be.

      I also find that I have problems hearing when there is a lot of background noise although tests indicate that my hearing is fine thus far.

      I am still researching holistic methods of coping with tinnitus so will continue to update this hub as I progress.

    • The Pink Panther profile image

      The Pink Panther 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Great hub! I hate it when my ears ring :(

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