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Methods to Manage Tinnitus

Woman with Hand to Ear

Tinnitus treatment deals with ways of managing it. A lot of times, certain adjustments in lifestyle and health and diet can be most beneficial.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the following lifestyle adjustments can be made to help in lessening the distress of the symptoms of tinnitus: “Avoid possible irritants. Reduce your exposure to things that may make your tinnitus worse. Common examples include loud noises, caffeine and nicotine.  Cover up the noise. In a quiet setting, a fan, soft music or low-volume radio static may help mask the noise from tinnitus. Manage stress. Stress can make tinnitus worse. Stress management, whether through relaxation therapy, biofeedback or exercise, may provide some relief. Reduce your alcohol consumption. Alcohol increases the force of your blood by dilating your blood vessels, causing greater blood flow, especially in the inner ear area.”

Ways to manage tinnitus

Other ways you can manage your tinnitus have been discussed in earlier articles – like cognitive behavioral therapy and tinnitus retraining therapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy uses techniques such as cognitive restructuring and relaxation to change the way patients respond. During CBT, patients keep a diary and perform 'homework' to help with their coping skills. Therapy is normally short time.

Tinnitus retraining therapy is based on the idea that tinnitus is from abnormal neuronal activity. The goal is to get the auditory system to get used to the tinnitus signals – which makes them less noticeable or bothersome. TRT includes individual counseling and sound therapy.

TRT was first developed in the eighties by Emory University neuroscientist, Dr. Pawel Jastreboff.  It was implemented with strict protocols. In the sound therapy part, a device is put in the ear that will make low-level noise and environmental sounds that correlate with the patient's tinnitus. Treatment may last one to two years.

Other methods to relieve tinnitus

Another way to manage tinnitus would be a masking device. These devices can be worn like hearing aids, and tend to generate low-level white noise – high-pitched ‘shhh’ noises. This can help make less noticeable tinnitus for a short time.  Biofeedback and stress management is another way to resolve the symptoms.

In a matter of time, if these tips are applied, managing your tinnitus can make it something you can live with during doctor's treatments. As always before beginning any lifestyle adjustments, health adjustments or dietary adjustments, talk to a qualified healthcare professional.  

Tinnitus is not a disorder that should take your life away. Just a few tweaks and you can still enjoy your everyday living.