Tinnitus is regrettably 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 assistance. First, tinnitus is occasionally a manifestation of an underlying condition that requires medical attention. In these cases tinnitus can be cured by dealing with the underlying problem.
Second, a variety of tinnitus therapies are currently 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.
That being said, some cases of tinnitus endure despite the best available treatments. Fortunately, 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 manage your tinnitus.
1. Learn what makes your tinnitus worse – every case of tinnitus is unique. That’s why it’s important to keep a written log to identify specific triggers, which can be certain 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 form of hearing loss as 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 track the effects yourself. It’s the same 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 noticeable and uncomfortable when it’s quiet. Try playing some music, turning on the radio, or buying a white-noise machine.
5. Use hearing protection – some cases of tinnitus are temporary and the consequence of short-term exposure to loud sounds, like at a live concert. To avoid further damage—and persistent tinnitus—see to it that you wear ear protection at loud events.
6. Try meditation – outcomes might 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 – reducing your stress and enhancing your mood can help minimize the severity of tinnitus. Try yoga, meditation, 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 an adequate amount of 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 severity. Exercise can also reduce stress, enhance 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 techniques from other people suffering from the same symptoms.
What have you found to be the most effective technique of dealing with tinnitus? Let us know in a comment.