Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is regrettably very 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 unknown.
If you have tinnitus, it’s critical 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, several tinnitus therapies are presently available that have proven to be particularly effective, including 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 endure despite the best available treatments. Thankfully, there are some things you can do on your own to reduce the severity of symptoms.
The following are 10 things you can do to independently manage your tinnitus.
1. Learn what makes your tinnitus worse – each case of tinnitus is unique. That’s why it’s crucial to keep a written log 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 worsen tinnitus symptoms. Research also shows that smokers are 70 percent more likely to acquire some type of hearing loss compared to non-smokers.
3. Minimize intake of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – even though some studies have questioned 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 link, but it’s worth monitoring.
4. Use masking sounds – the sounds of tinnitus may become more noticeable 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 cases of tinnitus are temporary and the result of brief exposure to loud sounds, like at a concert. To prevent additional injury—and persistent tinnitus—make sure to wear ear protection at loud events.
6. Try meditation – results 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 – alleviating your stress and improving your mood can help lessen the intensity of tinnitus. Try meditation, yoga, or any other activity that calms your nerves.
8. Get more sleep – sleep deficiency 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 sufficient sleep, try using masking sounds at night when dozing off.
9. Get more exercise – researchers at the University of Illinois discovered that exercise may contribute to lower tinnitus intensity. 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 strategies from others 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.