Tips For Self-Managing Your Tinnitus

Woman holding her hand to her head in discomfort

Tinnitus is unfortunately very challenging to diagnose and treat. While scientists are hard at work to discover a cure, much about the causes and characteristics of tinnitus remain unknown.

If you have tinnitus, it’s crucial to first seek professional help. First, tinnitus is occasionally an indicator of an underlying condition that requires medical attention. 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, including 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.

That being said, 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.

The following are 10 things you can do to independently manage your tinnitus.

1. Uncover what makes your tinnitus worse – each case of tinnitus is distinct. That’s why it’s critical to keep a written log to uncover specific triggers, which can be specific types of food, drinks, or medications. In fact, there are several different 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 acquire some type of hearing loss as compared to non-smokers.

3. Limit intake 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. The same goes 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 perceptible and bothersome 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 transient and the consequence of short-term exposure to loud sounds, like at a concert. To avoid further damage—and persistent tinnitus—make sure 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 – 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 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 guarantee that you get enough sleep, try using masking sounds at night when dozing off.

9. Get more exercise – researchers at the University of Illinois discovered that exercise may contribute 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. Enroll in a support group – by signing up with a support group, you not only get emotional support but also additional tips and coping methods from other people who suffer from the same symptoms.

What have you discovered to be the most reliable technique of dealing with tinnitus? Let us know in a comment.

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