Tinnitus is unfortunately rather challenging to diagnose and treat. While researchers are hard at work to discover 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 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, several tinnitus therapies are presently available that have proven to be very 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.
Even so, some cases of tinnitus linger despite the best available treatments. Fortunately, there are some things you can do on your own to minimize the severity of symptoms.
Below are 10 things you can do to manage your tinnitus.
1. Uncover what makes your tinnitus worse – every instance of tinnitus is distinct. That’s why it’s critical to keep a written log to determine specific triggers, which can be particular kinds 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 make tinnitus worse. Studies also show that smokers are 70 percent more likely to acquire some form of hearing loss compared to non-smokers.
3. Limit intake of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – while some studies have questioned the assertion that caffeine makes tinnitus worse, you should track the effects yourself. The same goes for alcoholic beverages; there are no conclusive studies that demonstrate a clear link, but it’s worth monitoring.
4. Use masking sounds – the sounds of tinnitus may become more conspicuous and irritating 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 temporary and the result of brief exposure to loud sounds, like at a concert. To avoid further injury—and persistent tinnitus—see to it that you wear ear protection at loud events.
6. Try meditation – outcomes will 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 and unwind – alleviating your stress and boosting your mood can help minimize the severity 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 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 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 signing up with a support group, you not only get emotional support but also additional tips and coping strategies from others who suffer from the same symptoms.
What have you found to be the most effective method of coping with tinnitus? Let us know in a comment.