Constant ringing in the ears is debilitating, but there are some things you can do to manage the symptoms. This self-help guide has been prepared by the expert audiologists at The Tinnitus Clinic, London.
Managing the symptoms of tinnitus
Does the ringing in your ears keep you awake at night? Does the constant noise frustrate you throughout the day? If you are looking to manage the symptoms of tinnitus yourself, either before or during your tinnitus treatment programme, you may find that these suggestions bring you some degree of relief.
Learning to relax can help relieve ringing in the ears
Living with tinnitus can be very stressful, and this constant tension can, in fact, worsen the condition. Therefore, learning to relax is an important first step in obtaining relief from tinnitus symptoms. There are a number of simple relaxation exercises that you can learn from books, CDs or classes that will help you relax your body and your mind. Some people find that aromatherapy, massage, reflexology, yoga, and tai chi have similar relaxing benefits, as can simply resting in a relaxing environment, perhaps with special aromas, dim lights, and soft music.
Avoiding silence can help to muffle tinnitus
In a quiet environment, your brain will try to hear any sound more clearly - including the sound of your tinnitus. Increasing the amount of background noise in your home or workplace can help distract you from listening out for this sound. The noise could include pleasant, low-level sounds from a television, radio, fan or ticking clock. You could also open a window and let in noise from outside. Alternatively, you could use sound generators that play natural sounds or white noise at a volume that is just below that of your tinnitus.
Wearing earplugs can make ringing in the ears sound worse
If you have tinnitus, you should not wear earplugs that make it more difficult to hear, except when exposed to very loud noises. They will not help your tinnitus: indeed, they will probably make it seem louder when you are wearing them as they create the sort of quiet environment we have recommended avoiding above.
Keeping active can reduce your focus on tinnitus
Keeping active and involved in your interests and hobbies can enhance your quality of life, taking your focus away from tinnitus. It may be that you want to try something new, rekindle an old interest or help out with the running of a tinnitus support group.
Avoiding certain foods may reduce the symptoms of tinnitus
It is also important to monitor your overall health and wellbeing. If you find that certain foods or drinks, activities or situations aggravate your tinnitus, you could consider cutting down on these or finding alternatives. This may mean making a few adjustments, but will mean that tinnitus doesn’t stop you carrying on with life in the way you want to.
For more information, download the full Tinnitus Self-Help Guide from The Tinnitus Clinic website.