Tinnitus is regrettably very difficult to diagnose and treat. While scientists are hard at work to identify a cure, much about the causes and characteristics of tinnitus remain little-known.
If you have tinnitus, it’s vital 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 adapt to the sounds of tinnitus. Hearing aids have also been proven to be effective in several cases.
With that being said, some cases of tinnitus persist in spite of the best available treatments. Thankfully, there are some things you can do independently to minimize the severity of symptoms.
Here are 10 things you can do to manage your tinnitus.
1. Find out what makes your tinnitus worse – every case of tinnitus is unique. That’s why it’s important to keep a written record to uncover specified triggers, which can be particular kinds of food, drinks, or medications. In fact, there are several different 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 acquire some type of hearing loss as compared to non-smokers.
3. Limit intake of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – while some studies have questioned the assertion that caffeine makes tinnitus worse, you should observe the effects yourself. The same thing goes for alcoholic beverages; there are no definitive studies that show a clear link, but it’s worth monitoring.
4. Try using masking sounds – the sounds of tinnitus may become more noticeable and disturbing when it’s quiet. Try playing some music, turning on the radio, or purchasing a white-noise machine.
5. Utilize hearing protection – some cases of tinnitus are temporary and the consequence of short-term exposure to loud sounds, like at a live concert. To avoid additional injury—and persistent tinnitus—see to it that you wear ear protection at loud events.
6. Try meditation – results will vary, but some individuals have found meditation and tinnitus acceptance to be highly 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 enhancing your mood can help reduce the intensity of tinnitus. Try yoga, meditation, or any activity that calms your nerves.
8. Get more sleep – sleep deficiency is a recognized trigger for making tinnitus worse, which subsequently makes it more difficult to sleep, which makes the symptoms worse, and so on. To guarantee that you get plenty of sleep, try using masking sounds at night when dozing off.
9. Get more exercise – researchers at the University of Illinois discovered that exercise may lead to lower tinnitus severity. Exercise can also reduce stress, improve 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 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.