Woman holding her hand to her head in discomfort

Tinnitus is regrettably 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 little-known.

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, several tinnitus therapies are currently available that have proven to be highly 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.

With that being said, some cases of tinnitus persist in spite of the best available treatments. Fortunately, there are some things you can do independently to minimize the severity of symptoms.

Here 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 important to keep a written record to determine specific triggers, which can be specific 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. Research also shows that smokers are 70 percent more likely to acquire some type of hearing loss 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 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. Try using masking sounds – the sounds of tinnitus may become more conspicuous and bothersome when it’s quiet. Try playing some music, turning on the radio, or buying a white-noise machine.

5. Use hearing protection – some instances of tinnitus are short-term and the result of short-term exposure to loud sounds, like at a concert. To prevent further injury—and persistent tinnitus—see to it that you use ear protection at loud events.

6. Try meditation – outcomes might 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 – easing your stress and enhancing your mood can help minimize the intensity of tinnitus. Try meditation, yoga, or any other activity that calms your nerves.

8. Get more sleep – sleep deficiency 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 the right 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 intensity. Exercise can also lower stress, enhance your mood, and help you sleep better, all of which can help with tinnitus relief.

10. Enroll in a support group – by joining a support group, you not only get emotional support but also additional tips and coping methods from others 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.