Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is unfortunately very difficult to diagnose and treat. While researchers are hard at work to discover a cure, much about the causes and characteristics of tinnitus remain unknown.
If you have tinnitus, it’s crucial to first seek professional help. First, tinnitus is sometimes an indicator of an underlying condition that requires medical attention. In these cases tinnitus can be cured by dealing with the underlying problem.
Second, a variety of 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 despite the best available treatments. Fortunately, there are some things you can do independently to lessen 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 critical to keep a written log to identify specific triggers, which can be particular kinds of food, drinks, or medications. In fact, there are a number of medications that can make tinnitus worse.
2. Quit 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 as compared to non-smokers.
3. Minimize consumption of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – although 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 conclusive studies that show a clear link, but it’s worth monitoring.
4. Use masking sounds – the sounds of tinnitus may become more perceptible and disturbing when it’s quiet. Try playing some music, turning on the radio, or investing in a white-noise machine.
5. Utilize hearing protection – some cases of tinnitus are temporary and the consequence of brief exposure to loud sounds, like at a concert. To prevent additional damage—and persistent tinnitus—make certain to wear ear protection at loud events.
6. Try meditation – outcomes might vary, but some people 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 – alleviating your stress and improving your mood can help diminish the severity of tinnitus. Try yoga, meditation, or any other activity that calms your nerves.
8. Get more and better sleep – lack of sleep is a known trigger for making tinnitus worse, which subsequently makes it more challenging 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 lead 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 suffering from the same symptoms.
What have you found to be the most reliable technique of dealing with tinnitus? Let us know in a comment.