Woman holding her hand to her head in discomfort

Tinnitus is unfortunately rather challenging 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 vital to first seek professional help. First, tinnitus is occasionally a manifestation of an underlying condition that requires medical assistance. In these cases tinnitus can be cured by addressing 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 many cases.

That being said, some cases of tinnitus persist in spite of the best available treatments. Thankfully, there are some things you can do independently to lessen the severity of symptoms.

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

1. Learn what makes your tinnitus worse – every instance of tinnitus is unique. That’s why it’s vital to maintain a written record to determine specific triggers, which can be certain 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 worsen tinnitus symptoms. Research also shows that smokers are 70 percent more likely to develop some form of hearing loss as compared to non-smokers.

3. Reduce consumption of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – even though some studies have questioned the assertion that caffeine makes tinnitus worse, you should monitor the effects yourself. The same goes for alcoholic beverages; there are no definitive studies that prove 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 using a white-noise machine.

5. Utilize hearing protection – some cases of tinnitus are transient and the consequence 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 – results will 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 and unwind – easing your stress and boosting your mood can help diminish the intensity of tinnitus. Try yoga, meditation, or any activity that calms your nerves.

8. Get more sleep – lack of sleep 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 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 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 signing up with a support group, you not only get emotional support but also additional tips and coping strategies from other people who suffer from the same symptoms.

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

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.