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Ringing in the Ears (Tinnitus)

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Prevention

You may be able to prevent ringing in the ears if you:

  • Limit or avoid exposure to loud noises, such as music, power tools, gunshots, and industrial machinery.
    • Wear protective earplugs or earmuffs if you cannot avoid loud noises. Do not use wadded-up tissue or cotton balls. These do not protect adequately against loud noises, especially the more dangerous high frequencies, and they may become lodged in the ear canal.
    • Be careful when using stereo headphones. If music is so loud that others can hear it clearly or you can't hear other sounds around you, the volume is too high.
  • Cut back on or stop drinking alcohol and beverages containing caffeine.
  • Do not smoke or use smokeless tobacco products. Nicotine use may cause tinnitus by reducing blood flow to the structures of the ear. For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise may prevent tinnitus because it improves blood flow to the structures of the ear. For more information, see the topic Fitness: Getting and Staying Active.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Tinnitus occurs more frequently in obese adults. For more information, see the topic Weight Management.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 11, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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