Tinnitus is unfortunately very challenging to diagnose and treat. While researchers are hard at work to discover 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 help. First, tinnitus is sometimes 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 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.
Even so, some cases of tinnitus endure in spite of the best available treatments. Thankfully, there are some things you can do independently 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 instance of tinnitus is distinct. That’s why it’s critical to maintain a written log to identify specified triggers, which can be specific 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 make tinnitus worse. Research also shows that smokers are 70 percent more likely to acquire some type of hearing loss compared to non-smokers.
3. Minimize consumption 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 thing goes for alcoholic beverages; there are no definitive studies that show a clear connection, but it’s worth monitoring.
4. Try using masking sounds – the sounds of tinnitus may become more conspicuous and bothersome when it’s quiet. Try playing some music, turning on the radio, or purchasing 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 live concert. To prevent additional injury—and chronic tinnitus—make sure to use 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 – easing your stress and revitalizing 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 known 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 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 contribute 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 strategies from others suffering from the same symptoms.
What have you found to be the most effective method of dealing with tinnitus? Let us know in a comment.