Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is unfortunately very difficult to diagnose and treat. While researchers are hard at work to identify a cure, much about the causes and characteristics of tinnitus remain unknown.
If you have tinnitus, it’s vital to first seek professional help. First, tinnitus is occasionally a symptom of an underlying condition that requires medical assistance. In these cases tinnitus can be cured by dealing with the underlying problem.
Second, numerous tinnitus therapies are presently available that have proven to be particularly effective, such as 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.
Even so, some cases of tinnitus persist in spite of the best available treatments. Thankfully, there are some things you can do on your own to lessen the severity of symptoms.
Here are 10 things you can do to independently manage your tinnitus.
1. Learn what makes your tinnitus worse – every case of tinnitus is distinct. That’s why it’s important to keep a written log to determine specified triggers, which can be certain 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 make tinnitus worse. Research also shows that smokers are 70 percent more likely to acquire some form of hearing loss compared to non-smokers.
3. Minimize consumption of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – while some studies have challenged the assertion that caffeine makes tinnitus worse, you should monitor the effects yourself. It’s the same for alcoholic beverages; there are no conclusive studies that demonstrate a clear connection, but it’s worth monitoring.
4. Try using masking sounds – the sounds of tinnitus may become more perceptible and uncomfortable 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 transient and the result of short-term exposure to loud sounds, like at a live concert. To avoid further damage—and persistent tinnitus—see to it that you use ear protection at loud events.
6. Try meditation – outcomes can 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 and unwind – easing your stress and elevating your mood can help diminish the intensity of tinnitus. Try yoga, meditation, or any activity that calms your nerves.
8. Get more and better 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 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 reduce 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 methods from other people suffering from the same symptoms.
What have you discovered to be the most reliable technique of dealing with tinnitus? Let us know in a comment.