Tinnitus is a multi-faceted system. People with tinnitus experience a perception of ringing, roaring, hissing, or clicking sounds. Over 50 million Americans (1 in 5 people) are affected by tinnitus.
Tinnitus can’t be cured, but there are treatments that make it less of a distraction. The approach taken depends on the underlying condition responsible for the ringing in your ears. Here are some tips for managing your tinnitus:
Determine what worsens your tinnitus. For some people, drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages, eating salty or spicy foods, or taking various drugs like Aspirin may contribute to tinnitus symptoms. One way to figure out what causes your tinnitus is to keep a log of your activities, tracking when you experience symptoms and how severe they are.
Stop smoking. Smoking affects blood flow to the sensitive nerve cells in your inner ear and acts as a stimulant in your body, which leads to tinnitus for many.
Play relaxing or distracting sounds. While white noise machines can help distract from tinnitus, you don’t need to purchase an electronic device created solely for this purpose. Many people are able to find relief by playing music or using a fan, air conditioner or humidifier. If you do choose to use a noise generator, we suggest the selected sound is relaxing and played at a soft volume.
Get a good night’s sleep. Fatigue worsens tinnitus for many people. This problem can become cyclical if your tinnitus worsens to the point where it prevents you from falling asleep at night. Establish a regular nighttime routine and try to go to bed at the same time; this helps “train” your body into relaxing.
Find relaxation or stress reduction techniques that work for you. Stress and anxiety can cause tinnitus as well as worsen existing tinnitus. Even 15 minutes a day of relaxation can help.
We encourage you to seek help if you are experiencing symptoms of tinnitus. Our audiologists can perform a diagnostic evaluation of both physiologic and behavioral assessments to help determine the cause of your tinnitus and provide helpful solutions that are catered to your specific needs.