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, 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 sometimes 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 currently available that have proven to be particularly 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.

With that being said, some cases of tinnitus endure despite the best available treatments. Fortunately, there are some things you can do independently to lessen the severity of symptoms.

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

1. Uncover what makes your tinnitus worse – every case of tinnitus is distinct. That’s why it’s crucial to maintain a written log to uncover specified 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. Studies also show that smokers are 70 percent more likely to acquire some type of hearing loss in comparison to non-smokers.

3. Limit consumption of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – while some studies have challenged the assertion that caffeine makes tinnitus worse, you should track the effects yourself. It’s the same for alcoholic beverages; there are no definitive studies that demonstrate a clear connection, but it’s worth monitoring.

4. Try using 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 investing in a white-noise machine.

5. Use hearing protectionsome instances of tinnitus are short-term and the consequence of brief exposure to loud sounds, like at a live concert. To prevent additional injury—and chronic tinnitus—see to it that you wear ear protection at loud events.

6. Try meditation – results will 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 – reducing your stress and boosting your mood can help reduce the severity of tinnitus. Try meditation, yoga, or any other activity that calms your nerves.

8. Get more and better sleep – lack of sleep is a recognized trigger for making tinnitus worse, which then makes it harder to sleep, which makes the symptoms worse, and so on. To guarantee that you get plenty 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 contribute to lower tinnitus intensity. 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 techniques from other people suffering from the same symptoms.

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