Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is regrettably very 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 little-known.
If you have tinnitus, it’s critical 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, a variety of tinnitus therapies are currently available that have proven to be very 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.
Even so, some cases of tinnitus linger in spite of the best available treatments. Thankfully, there are some things you can do independently 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 case of tinnitus is distinct. That’s why it’s important to keep a written record to uncover specific triggers, which can be particular 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 restrains blood flow, both of which can worsen tinnitus symptoms. Research also shows that smokers are 70 percent more likely to develop some type of hearing loss in comparison to non-smokers.
3. Reduce intake of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – although some studies have challenged the assertion that caffeine makes tinnitus worse, you should observe the effects yourself. It’s the same 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 conspicuous and uncomfortable when it’s quiet. Try playing some music, turning on the radio, or investing in a white-noise machine.
5. Use hearing protection – some instances of tinnitus are transient and the consequence of brief exposure to loud sounds, like at a concert. To prevent further injury—and persistent tinnitus—make sure to wear ear protection at loud events.
6. Try meditation – outcomes will 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 and unwind – reducing your stress and elevating your mood can help minimize 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 more difficult to sleep, which makes the symptoms worse, and so on. To ensure that you get plenty 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 lead to lower tinnitus intensity. Exercise can also lower 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 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.