Tinnitus is unfortunately rather difficult to diagnose and treat. While scientists 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 imperative to first seek professional help. First, tinnitus is sometimes a symptom of an underlying condition that requires medical attention. In these cases tinnitus can be cured by addressing the underlying problem.
Second, several tinnitus therapies are currently available that have proven to be particularly 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 persist despite the best available treatments. Thankfully, there are some things you can do independently to minimize the severity of symptoms.
Here 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 maintain a written record to identify specific 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. Quit smoking – smoking acts as a stimulant and restricts blood flow, both of which can worsen tinnitus symptoms. Studies also show that smokers are 70 percent more likely to develop some form 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 monitor 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 uncomfortable when it’s quiet. Try playing some music, turning on the radio, or using a white-noise machine.
5. Use hearing protection – some instances of tinnitus are temporary and the result of brief exposure to loud sounds, like at a concert. To avoid additional injury—and chronic tinnitus—see to it that you wear ear protection at loud events.
6. Try meditation – outcomes might 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 – reducing your stress and enhancing your mood can help diminish the severity of tinnitus. Try yoga, meditation, or any activity that calms your nerves.
8. Get more sleep – sleep deficiency is a recognized 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 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 found to be the most reliable technique of dealing with tinnitus? Let us know in a comment.