Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is unfortunately very challenging to diagnose and treat. While researchers are hard at work to discover 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 occasionally an indicator 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 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.
With that being said, some cases of tinnitus linger despite the best available treatments. Fortunately, there are some things you can do on your own to lessen the severity of symptoms.
The following are 10 things you can do to manage your tinnitus.
1. Find out what makes your tinnitus worse – each instance of tinnitus is unique. That’s why it’s crucial to keep a written record to determine specified triggers, which can be particular types 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 restricts blood flow, both of which can worsen tinnitus symptoms. Research also shows that smokers are 70 percent more likely to acquire some form of hearing loss in comparison 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 observe the effects yourself. The same thing goes for alcoholic beverages; there are no definitive studies that present 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 investing in a white-noise machine.
5. Utilize hearing protection – some instances of tinnitus are transient and the result of brief exposure to loud sounds, like at a concert. To avoid additional injury—and persistent tinnitus—make certain to wear ear protection at loud events.
6. Try meditation – results might vary, but some people 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 – alleviating your stress and enhancing your mood can help reduce the severity of tinnitus. Try meditation, yoga, or any 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 ensure that you get an adequate amount of 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, improve your mood, and help you sleep better, all of which can help with tinnitus relief.
10. Enroll in a support group – by joining 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 discovered to be the most effective method of coping with tinnitus? Let us know in a comment.