Q:Grandma, I have ringing in my left ear. It’s very annoying especially when I am working at the office. I often get distracted from my tasks. I need some quick remedies if possible.
A: Dear C, Ringing in the ears, or “tinnitus” in medical terms, impacts around 50 million people in the United States alone. The most common causes of this ear disorder include presbycusis (hearing loss that occurs with aging), acoustic trauma (from noise exposure), ear infections, and medications. Tinnitus is usually not a sign of a major medical problem, but it can significantly reduce the quality of life of individuals suffering from the condition. If medically unattended, this condition gets worse in time. This is also the cause of deafness that affects many adults in their late senior years.
If what you are experiencing is affecting your life drastically, buoy up because there are several things you can do to reduce the symptoms and prevent the condition from coming back. Below are some effective home remedies for ringing ears that you can try.
HOME REMEDIES FOR RINGING EARS
1. Avoid loud noises – Excessive noise exposure can exacerbate tinnitus. To prevent further auditory damage, try to avoid going to loud places. Use earplugs if you can’t avoid loud noise. 
2. Control stress – There is strong evidence that stress magnifies the symptoms of tinnitus. Although stress is an inevitable part of life, you can take steps to reduce stress and ultimately help prevent your condition from worsening. Get enough sleep, watch your favorite movies, or find a hobby that you enjoy. 
3. Avoid foods that aggravate the condition – Be a detective and keep track of foods that trigger your tinnitus. Tinnitus is usually aggravated by salt, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. Lessen your consumption of these products if you can.
4. Include magnesium- and zinc-rich food in your diet – The minerals zinc and magnesium have been proven to treat tinnitus. Consume foods that are rich in zinc and magnesium and you should start noticing an improvement in symptoms. 
5. Go natural – A variety of herbal preparations have been advocated to treat tinnitus. Ginkgo biloba, bayberry bark, burdock root, goldenseal, hawthorn leaf and flower, and myrrh gum are found to be effective in helping treat the condition. 
6. Review your current medications – Certain medications are known to trigger tinnitus. List down the medications you are currently taking (over-the-counter, prescription, supplements) and review them with your doctor. Products containing aspirin, as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), should be especially mentioned.
7. Quit smoking – If you want to get rid of the condition, stop smoking tobacco (including smokeless tobacco products). Nicotine has been found to worsen tinnitus by reducing blood flow to the structures of the ear.
8. Engage in regular exercise – Physical activity improves blood flow to the ear. However, extended periods of exercise (such as bicycle riding) that keep your neck in a hyperextended position should be avoided. 
9. Practice relaxation techniques – These techniques include meditation, biofeedback or yoga. Stress and fatigue need to be managed because they seem to make tinnitus worse.
10. Play soft music – Quiet rooms seem to make tinnitus more distracting. Playing some soft music in the background or the so called white noise can help. When you want to fall asleep or you want to find some peace and quiet, try using a fan, or a machine that makes pleasant sounds such as ocean waves.