Tinnitus is regrettably very difficult to diagnose and treat. While scientists 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 imperative to first seek professional help. First, tinnitus is occasionally an indication of an underlying condition that requires medical attention. 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 highly 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 several 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 minimize the severity of symptoms.
Below 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 critical to keep a written record to uncover specific triggers, which can be specific kinds of food, drinks, or medications. In fact, there are several different 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. Studies also show that smokers are 70 percent more likely to acquire some type of hearing loss compared to non-smokers.
3. Limit consumption of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – while some studies have challenged 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 connection, but it’s worth monitoring.
4. Try using masking sounds – the sounds of tinnitus may become more perceptible and disturbing when it’s quiet. Try playing some music, turning on the radio, or investing in a white-noise machine.
5. Use hearing protection – some cases of tinnitus are transient and the consequence of brief exposure to loud sounds, like at a concert. To avoid further injury—and persistent tinnitus—make sure to wear ear protection at loud events.
6. Try meditation – results can 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 – easing your stress and boosting your mood can help diminish the severity 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 more challenging to sleep, which makes the symptoms worse, and so on. To ensure that you get adequate 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, enhance 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 found to be the most effective method of dealing with tinnitus? Let us know in a comment.