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Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is unfortunately rather challenging 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 assistance. First, tinnitus is occasionally an indication of an underlying condition that requires medical assistance. In these cases tinnitus can be cured by dealing with the underlying problem.

Second, numerous tinnitus therapies are presently 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.

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

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

1. Find out what makes your tinnitus worse – each case of tinnitus is distinct. That’s why it’s important to maintain a written record to determine specific 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 worsen tinnitus symptoms. Studies also show that smokers are 70 percent more likely to acquire some type of hearing loss compared to non-smokers.

3. Limit consumption of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – although some studies have questioned the assertion that caffeine makes tinnitus worse, you should track the effects yourself. The same goes for alcoholic beverages; there are no conclusive studies that prove a clear connection, but it’s worth monitoring.

4. Use masking sounds – the sounds of tinnitus may become more noticeable and disturbing when it’s quiet. Try playing some music, turning on the radio, or using a white-noise machine.

5. Use hearing protection – some cases of tinnitus are transient and the consequence of brief exposure to loud sounds, like at a concert. To avoid further injury—and chronic tinnitus—make sure to use 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 – easing your stress and boosting your mood can help diminish 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 subsequently makes it more challenging to sleep, which makes the symptoms worse, and so on. To ensure that you get an adequate amount 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 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 methods from other people who suffer from the same symptoms.

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

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