Have you ever felt like you had a constant ringing in one or both of your ears? This condition is known as tinnitus, and it can be enormously frustrating. Now, there’s quick internet trick that claims to stop the irritating sound that’s spreading fast. It might be the relief sufferers have been looking for, but the jury is out as to whether it actually works. Reddit and Twitter, specifically, have been abuzz recently with this easy cure.
So what exactly is the life hack to getting rid of those pesky sounds? According to the original Reddit post, the solution is to place your palms over your ears, and to “thump the soft spot at the back of your head with your fingers.” This should resonate as though your head is the inside of a drum. Do this for 15–30 seconds and your tinnitus is said to go away, at least for a while.
Many people are skeptical, saying the trick seems too simple to solve something that many people have suffered from for years. One person on Twitter claimed to have had tinnitus since 1996; he was hearing six to eight different noises, all day long. He tried the solution doing the rounds, and, just like that, he was suddenly free from the constant sound.
Though it may seem to be an internet hack, this “cure” is actually a version of an article by Dr. Jan Strydom on how to stop ringing in the ears. “One should always understand that we are all different so that it is impossible to suggest a single form of treatment that will work in every case and for every person,” Dr. Strydom clarifies. However, he adds that the technique he describes has often shown to be effective in many cases of tinnitus. Strydom’s instructions begin (as does the internet version of the technique) by telling one to place the palms of their hands over their ears, with their fingers at the back of their head. But then his version varies from the more muddled version that is currently circulating. “The middle fingers point towards each other and are on the base of the skull just above the point where the skull ends,” writes Strydom. “Now lift the index fingers and place them on top of the middle fingers and then snap the index fingers off the middle fingers so that they beat the skull like a drum. In fact, with your hands covering your ears, the sound may be quite loud and may indeed sound like the beating of a drum.”
Though it seems this trick works for many, it’s important to note that any strange hissing, humming, clicking, throbbing, or whooshing sounds should first be checked out by a medical professional, preferably in person, before trying any technique for tinnitus, from the internet or elsewhere. There are many different ways that tinnitus can occur, and also many different reasons for the experience of this constant, internal sound in the ears. For a lot of people, because tinnitus is most often associated with hearing loss, wearing a hearing aid is the first line of treatment that sometimes solves the problem. But the condition can also be the result of a myriad of other causes, such as a side-effect of medication, a neurological issue, or a structural abnormality. Also, it seems that researchers are coming up with different kinds of cures, too. The University of Aukland is excited about recent results from a study that uses cellphone-based technology with a self-help app that produces white noise to stop tinnitus. According to the study, the group that used the app showed significant improvement within 12 weeks.
But what is the basis for the solution that Strydom suggests? Sometimes, it seems, tinnitus can also be caused by tension in the jaw and neck. Treatment of muscle tension can also be a possible solution to the annoying accompanying ringing in the ears. The explanation as to why Strydom’s technique might relieve tinnitus in some cases, is that the suboccipital muscles are often overworked or strained because of constant computer and technology use. Constantly bending your neck to stay on top of work, your texts, or your social media feeds takes its toll on the muscles that support your neck and spine, and this can lead to tension headaches, and tinnitus. Tapping the suboccipital muscles, as with Strydom’s technique, causes these muscles to relax and contract, offering tension relief and, hopefully, relief for tinnitus, too.
You can read the original post on Reddit, and see what others have to say about this simple fix for tinnitus.
People on Twitter and Reddit are sharing a quick trick that some claim will cure tinnitus, a condition that manifests as a constant ringing or similar sound in the ears.
Watch the YouTube video that demonstrates Dr. Strydom’s technique: