Living with tinnitus can be frustrating, but minor adjustments to your daily living habits may help make your diagnosis more tolerable. Use these tips, along with any treatment or hearing aids recommended by your doctor, to help live a more satisfying life with tinnitus.
AVOID POSSIBLE TRIGGERS
- Drinks with caffeine, such as cola, coffee, tea, and energy drinks
ADD SOOTHING SOUNDS TO SILENCE
Use these distraction techniques to cover up the ringing in your ears; tinnitus can sometime be more bothersome in quiet settings.
- Play soft music in the background.
- Listen to the radio.
- Turn on a fan.
- Try a white-noise machine.
PLAN TIME TO RELAX EVERY DAY
A tinnitus diagnosis can cause anxiety, but stress and worry can exacerbate your symptoms. Try different relaxation techniques until you find the best solution for you. Just 15 minutes of relaxation can significantly improve your mood. Consider using a quiet background noise with activities usually done in silence, such as meditation, to help mask tinnitus symptoms. Try these relaxation methods:
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Guided imagery
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Fatigue can make tinnitus symptoms even worse. Losing sleep due to tinnitus can also become a vicious cycle. Practice good sleep habits for more restful sleep.
- Make your bedroom dark and cool.
- Use a fan or white-noise machine if your bedroom is too quiet.
- Set aside seven to nine hours for sleep at night.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Develop a bedtime routine, such as taking a relaxing warm bath right before bedtime.
- Make sure your bed and pillows are comfortable and supportive.
- Avoid exercise, food, and alcohol 2 to 3 hours before going to sleep.
Try to exercise at least three to five times a week. Always ask your doctor for guidance if you are beginning a new exercise regimen. Walking can be a great way to start. Exercise can help:
- Lower stress
- Improve your sleep
- Fight depression.
JOIN A SUPPORT GROUP
Sharing your experiences and listening to others also dealing with tinnitus can help you feel less alone. You may learn new approaches for coping with tinnitus.
PROTECT YOUR HEARING
Exposure to loud noise is a common cause of tinnitus. Use these methods to preserve your hearing:
- Keep music at the lowest comfortable volume below 50% when using earbuds or headphones.
- Wear ear plugs at concerts, loud restaurants, or other loud events. If you can’t hear someone standing an arm’s length away, it’s loud enough to cause hearing damage and make tinnitus worse.
- Use ear plugs or earmuffs when cutting the grass, using power tools, or using snow or leaf blowers.
- Always use ear protection in a noisy workplace.
TREAT OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS
Tinnitus can be a side effect of some illnesses. Staying up to date on treatments may ease the ringing in your ears. Ask your doctor if any of these conditions could be causing your tinnitus:
- Thyroid disorders
- High blood pressure
- Lyme disease
- Ear wax buildup
- Jaw misalignment
- Traumatic brain injury
Also ask your doctor if tinnitus could be a side effect of any of the medications you take.
GETTING USED TO TINNITUS
Learning to ignore your symptoms can be challenging at first but can really help you cope with your diagnosis. Try not to notice the ringing or buzzing by keeping distracted with work and favorite activities. Learn which coping techniques work best for you and incorporate them into your day daily life. Over time, you may become used to tinnitus and your symptoms may not bother you as much.