Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is unfortunately rather difficult to diagnose and treat. While researchers 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 assistance. First, tinnitus is occasionally a symptom of an underlying condition that requires medical assistance. In these cases tinnitus can be cured by taking care of the underlying problem.
Second, several tinnitus therapies are currently available that have proven to be highly 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.
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.
The following are 10 things you can do to manage your tinnitus.
1. Learn what makes your tinnitus worse – every instance of tinnitus is unique. That’s why it’s crucial to maintain a written record to identify specified triggers, which can be particular kinds of food, drinks, or medications. In fact, there are quite a few medications that can make tinnitus worse.
2. Quit 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. Minimize intake of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – although some studies have challenged the assertion that caffeine makes tinnitus worse, you should track the effects yourself. The same goes for alcoholic beverages; there are no definitive studies that demonstrate a clear connection, but it’s worth monitoring.
4. Use masking sounds – the sounds of tinnitus may become more conspicuous and disturbing 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 short-term and the consequence of brief exposure to loud sounds, like at a concert. To avoid further damage—and persistent tinnitus—make certain to use ear protection at loud events.
6. Try meditation – results 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 and unwind – easing your stress and improving your mood can help reduce the intensity of tinnitus. Try meditation, yoga, 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 enough sleep, try using masking sounds at night when dozing off.
9. Get more exercise – researchers at the University of Illinois found that exercise may contribute to lower tinnitus severity. Exercise can also reduce stress, improve 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 techniques from others who suffer from the same symptoms.
What have you discovered to be the most reliable method of dealing with tinnitus? Let us know in a comment.