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How can tinnitus be treated?

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Quick Answer

The most effective treatment for tinnitus is to eliminate the underlying cause, such as removing earwax or treating a blood vessel condition that is causing the tinnitus. If an underlying cause cannot be identified, noise suppression devices or medications may deliver relief, reports Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Tinnitus sometimes occurs due to impacted earwax or a vascular condition. With impacted earwax, simply removing the impacted earwax can decrease symptoms. Vascular conditions may require medication or surgery. Additionally, tinnitus is often a side effect of a medication, so a physician may recommend stopping or reducing the drug to alleviate tinnitus symptoms, says Mayo Clinic.

When an underlying cause for tinnitus is unknown, a physician may recommend an electronic device to suppress tinnitus symptoms. White noise machines, which produce simulated noises, such as ocean waves, are often effective. Fans, humidifiers and air conditioners may also help to reduce symptoms, reports Mayo Clinic.

Hearing aids can be useful, as are masking devices worn in the ear that produce a low level of white noise to drown out tinnitus noises. Tinnitus retraining involves wearing a device that plays individually programmed music to mask patient-specific tinnitus. Medications such as tricyclic antidepressants and alprazolam can help reduce the severity of tinnitus symptoms, notes Mayo Clinic.

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