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Living With Tinnitus: How To Find Relief

Discover some tips that can help you live with tinnitus.

What is tinnitus?

Do you hear a constant ringing, whooshing, roaring or hissing in your ears? You may be living with tinnitus, which causes you to perceive sounds without any external stimulus. And you aren't alone: Tinnitus affects around 15 to 20 percent of the world's population.

Tips for Tinnitus

Tinnitus isn't a medical condition itself—it's a symptom of an underlying problem, like hearing loss or trauma to the ear. While there's currently no cure for tinnitus, you can manage your tinnitus in a number of ways. The tips below are designed to help you cope with tinnitus and fully enjoy your life. 

Immediate tinnitus relief might be as simple as turning on the radio. Adding more noise may seem counterintuitive, but you’re more likely to focus on tinnitus-related sounds in a quiet environment. Background noise like soft music or nature sounds will help distract you from the ringing.

Stress and anxiety can make your tinnitus worse. Try to minimize the effects as much as possible using techniques like deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation or yoga, all of which can help you relax and treat your tinnitus. Similarly, regular exercise relieves stress and boosts your overall wellness. Exercise for tinnitus treatment doesn’t need to be high-impact; You might find that a simple walk outside can help alleviate the stress and tension caused by the ringing in your ears.

Some people report a correlation between their diet and tinnitus symptoms. Though the science hasn't been solidified, there is a chance that consuming alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and high-sugar foods might affect your tinnitus. If you suspect this is the case, try removing the possible trigger food from your diet for a couple of weeks.

A specific type of tinnitus―pulsatile tinnitus―is closely connected to the blood vessels. High blood pressure can make symptoms of this type of tinnitus more noticeable. Healthier food choices, along with regular exercise, can help lower blood pressure and reduce the severity of pulsatile tinnitus symptoms. 

Certain therapeutic options can help minimize tinnitus symptoms and their impact on your life. As you navigate living with tinnitus, you might find certain therapies beneficial.

For example, behavioral therapies target your emotional reaction to tinnitus and aim to eliminate negative emotional responses, like anger or depression. The most popular of these therapies is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It’s designed to help reduce negative thought patterns and can improve your overall quality of life. Other behavioral therapy techniques used to treat tinnitus include acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), tinnitus activities treatment (TAT), tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) and progressive tinnitus management (PTM).

Sound therapy has many applications, one of which is the use of external sounds to treat tinnitus symptoms. Generally, you can approach sound therapy for tinnitus in two ways: masking and habituation. Masking is the use of sound to cover up or drown out tinnitus symptoms, and habituation combines sound with behavioral therapy to retrain the brain to ignore tinnitus.

Sound masking can also be done with hearing aids with tinnitus masking. It's a common and effective sound masking option, and even without tinnitus masking features, some patients report that using hearing aids lessens the severity of their tinnitus. If you don’t require hearing aids for a hearing loss, you might want to consider one of the many commercially available sound masking devices or apps that are available. These devices generally use calming sounds or a white, pink or brown noise to cover up tinnitus symptoms.

Several organizations run tinnitus-related support groups across the country, both in-person and online. Connecting with other people living with tinnitus can help you gain perspective on your condition, stay on top of the latest treatment options and find emotional support. Consider searching for a support group in your community; many people find strength in numbers when dealing with health issues that affect your day-to-day life. Fellow group members might have the same questions about tinnitus that you have, which you can explore together.

Find tinnitus relief today

If you experience tinnitus, don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor or hearing instrument specialist about how you can best manage the symptoms.

Even though tinnitus can't be cured, it shouldn't stop you from living your life to the fullest. These tinnitus tips can help you cope with various levels of tinnitus severity; you just have to find the one that works for you. If tinnitus is interfering with your life, contact your Miracle-Ear specialist today to find the right solution for tinnitus relief.

If you are one of the 20 million or so Americans experiencing or living with tinnitus, don’t hesitate to book an appointment speak with your doctor or Miracle-Ear hearing specialist today about finding tinnitus relief. Seeking expert medical advice can help you get back to living a full life, despite your tinnitus. 

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