10 Tips for Tinnitus Relief

Woman holding her hand to her head in discomfort

Tinnitus is unfortunately very difficult 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 unknown.

If you have tinnitus, it’s vital to first seek professional help. First, tinnitus is sometimes an indicator of an underlying condition that requires medical attention. In these cases tinnitus can be cured by dealing with the underlying problem.

Second, several tinnitus therapies are presently available that have proven to be highly 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 persist despite the best available treatments. Fortunately, 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 – every instance of tinnitus is distinct. That’s why it’s vital to keep a written log to determine specified triggers, which can be certain types of food, drinks, or medications. In fact, there are a number of medications that can make tinnitus worse.

2. Stop 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. Minimize intake of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – even though some studies have questioned the assertion that caffeine makes tinnitus worse, you should observe the effects yourself. It’s the same for alcoholic beverages; there are no conclusive studies that prove a clear link, but it’s worth monitoring.

4. Try using masking sounds – the sounds of tinnitus may become more noticeable 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 transient and the consequence of short-term exposure to loud sounds, like at a concert. To avoid additional injury—and persistent tinnitus—make sure to wear ear protection at loud events.

6. Try meditation – outcomes can 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 – easing your stress and revitalizing your mood can help diminish the severity of tinnitus. Try meditation, yoga, or any activity that calms your nerves.

8. Get more and better sleep – lack of sleep is a known trigger for making tinnitus worse, which then makes it more difficult to sleep, which makes the symptoms worse, and so on. To guarantee that you get adequate 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 methods 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.

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