Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is unfortunately rather difficult to diagnose and treat. While scientists are hard at work to identify a cure, a great deal about the causes and characteristics of tinnitus remain little-known.
If you have tinnitus, it’s crucial to first seek professional assistance. First, tinnitus is sometimes a symptom of an underlying condition that requires medical assistance. In these cases tinnitus can be cured by addressing the underlying problem.
Second, numerous tinnitus therapies are presently available that have proven to be very effective, such as 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 linger despite the best available treatments. Thankfully, there are some things you can do on your own to minimize the severity of symptoms.
Below are 10 things you can do to independently manage your tinnitus.
1. Learn what makes your tinnitus worse – every instance of tinnitus is unique. That’s why it’s vital to keep a written record to uncover specific triggers, which can be certain types of food, drinks, or medications. In fact, there are quite a few medications that can make tinnitus worse.
2. Stop smoking – smoking acts as a stimulant and restrains blood flow, both of which can make tinnitus worse. Research also shows that smokers are 70 percent more likely to develop some form of hearing loss compared to non-smokers.
3. Minimize consumption of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – even though some studies have challenged the assertion that caffeine makes tinnitus worse, you should observe 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. Use masking sounds – the sounds of tinnitus may become more noticeable and uncomfortable 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 brief exposure to loud sounds, like at a live concert. To avoid further damage—and persistent tinnitus—make sure to use ear protection at loud events.
6. Try meditation – outcomes will 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 and unwind – alleviating your stress and elevating your mood can help minimize the severity of tinnitus. Try meditation, yoga, or any other activity that calms your nerves.
8. Get more sleep – lack of sleep is a recognized trigger for making tinnitus worse, which then makes it harder to sleep, which makes the symptoms worse, and so on. To ensure that you get adequate 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 reduce stress, enhance your mood, and help you sleep better, all of which can help with tinnitus relief.
10. Join a support group – by joining a support group, you not only get emotional support but also additional tips and coping techniques from others suffering from the same symptoms.
What have you discovered to be the most reliable technique of coping with tinnitus? Let us know in a comment.