Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is unfortunately rather challenging to diagnose and treat. While researchers are hard at work to discover a cure, a great deal about the causes and characteristics of tinnitus remain unknown.
If you have tinnitus, it’s vital to first seek professional assistance. First, tinnitus is occasionally an indicator of an underlying condition that requires medical assistance. In these cases tinnitus can be cured by taking care of the underlying problem.
Second, a variety of tinnitus therapies are currently available that have proven to be very effective, including sound masking and behavioral therapies that help the patient to adjust to the sounds of tinnitus. Hearing aids have also been proven to be effective in many cases.
Even so, some cases of tinnitus persist despite the best available treatments. Fortunately, there are some things you can do on your own to lessen the severity of symptoms.
Here are 10 things you can do to manage your tinnitus.
1. Learn what makes your tinnitus worse – every instance of tinnitus is unique. That’s why it’s important to maintain a written record to determine specified triggers, which can be specific kinds of food, drinks, or medications. In fact, there are a number of medications that can make tinnitus worse.
2. Stop smoking – smoking acts as a stimulant and restricts blood flow, both of which can make tinnitus worse. Studies also show that smokers are 70 percent more likely to develop some type of hearing loss compared to non-smokers.
3. Reduce intake of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – while some studies have challenged the assertion that caffeine makes tinnitus worse, you should keep track of the effects yourself. The same goes for alcoholic beverages; there are no definitive studies that present a clear connection, but it’s worth monitoring.
4. Try using masking sounds – the sounds of tinnitus may become more conspicuous and bothersome when it’s quiet. Try playing some music, turning on the radio, or using a white-noise machine.
5. Utilize hearing protection – some instances of tinnitus are short-term and the consequence of short-term exposure to loud sounds, like at a concert. To prevent additional damage—and chronic tinnitus—make certain to use ear protection at loud events.
6. Try meditation – outcomes might vary, but some individuals have found meditation and tinnitus acceptance to be effective. Here’s an article by Steven C. Hayes, PhD, the co-founder of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
7. Find ways to relax – easing your stress and revitalizing your mood can help lessen the intensity of tinnitus. Try meditation, yoga, or any activity that calms your nerves.
8. Get more sleep – lack of sleep is a recognized trigger for making tinnitus worse, which then makes it more difficult to sleep, which makes the symptoms worse, and so on. To guarantee that you get an adequate amount sleep, try using masking sounds at night when dozing off.
9. Get more exercise – researchers at the University of Illinois found that exercise may contribute to lower tinnitus severity. Exercise can also lower stress, enhance your mood, and help you sleep better, all of which can help with tinnitus relief.
10. Enroll in a support group – by signing up with a support group, you not only get emotional support but also additional tips and coping techniques from other people who suffer from the same symptoms.
What have you found to be the most reliable method of coping with tinnitus? Let us know in a comment.