Tinnitus is unfortunately rather challenging 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 critical to first seek professional help. First, tinnitus is sometimes an indicator of an underlying condition that requires medical assistance. In these cases tinnitus can be cured by dealing with the underlying problem.
Second, numerous 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.
With that being said, some cases of tinnitus linger in spite of the best available treatments. Thankfully, there are some things you can do on your own to lessen the severity of symptoms.
Here are 10 things you can do to independently manage your tinnitus.
1. Find out what makes your tinnitus worse – every case of tinnitus is unique. That’s why it’s critical to maintain a written record to uncover specified triggers, which can be specific types of food, drinks, or medications. In fact, there are a number of 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. Studies also show that smokers are 70 percent more likely to develop some type of hearing loss as compared to non-smokers.
3. Minimize intake of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – even though some studies have challenged the assertion that caffeine makes tinnitus worse, you should observe the effects yourself. The same thing goes for alcoholic beverages; there are no definitive studies that prove a clear link, but it’s worth monitoring.
4. Use 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. Utilize hearing protection – some cases of tinnitus are short-term and the result of brief exposure to loud sounds, like at a live concert. To prevent further injury—and persistent tinnitus—make sure to wear ear protection at loud events.
6. Try meditation – outcomes can vary, but some individuals 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 – alleviating your stress and elevating your mood can help lessen the intensity of tinnitus. Try yoga, meditation, or any activity that calms your nerves.
8. Get more sleep – lack of sleep is a recognized 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 a sufficient amount of 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 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 techniques from others who suffer from the same symptoms.
What have you found to be the most effective method of dealing with tinnitus? Let us know in a comment.