Tinnitus is regrettably rather challenging to diagnose and treat. While scientists are hard at work to identify 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 an indication of an underlying condition that requires medical attention. In these cases tinnitus can be cured by taking care of the underlying problem.
Second, a variety of tinnitus therapies are presently available that have proven to be particularly effective, including 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.
With that being said, some cases of tinnitus endure in spite of the best available treatments. Fortunately, there are some things you can do independently to lessen the severity of symptoms.
Below are 10 things you can do to independently manage your tinnitus.
1. Learn what makes your tinnitus worse – every case of tinnitus is unique. That’s why it’s critical to maintain a written record to uncover specific triggers, which can be certain types of food, drinks, or medications. In fact, there are quite a few 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. Studies also show that smokers are 70 percent more likely to acquire some type of hearing loss as compared to non-smokers.
3. Reduce consumption of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – although some studies have challenged the assertion that caffeine makes tinnitus worse, you should keep track of the effects yourself. It’s the same for alcoholic beverages; there are no definitive studies that show a clear connection, but it’s worth monitoring.
4. Use 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 buying a white-noise machine.
5. Use hearing protection – some cases of tinnitus are temporary and the consequence of brief exposure to loud sounds, like at a live concert. To avoid additional damage—and persistent tinnitus—make sure to use 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 – easing your stress and enhancing your mood can help reduce the intensity of tinnitus. Try yoga, meditation, or any activity that calms your nerves.
8. Get more and better sleep – sleep deficiency is a known trigger for making tinnitus worse, which subsequently makes it harder to sleep, which makes the symptoms worse, and so on. To ensure that you get an adequate amount sleep, try using masking sounds at night when dozing off.
9. Get more exercise – researchers at the University of Illinois discovered that exercise may lead to lower tinnitus intensity. 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 strategies from other people who suffer from the same symptoms.
What have you found to be the most reliable method of coping with tinnitus? Let us know in a comment.