Tinnitus is a condition identified by a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears. It is caused primarily by exposure to loud noise, which can damage the sensory nerves in the ears. For some people it may only last a few minutes or a few hours following a loud event (such as a concert or motorsports event). For others, it can be a chronic condition that never goes away, usually as a result of years of noise exposure.
For many chronic sufferers, it can be very irritating, even affecting one’s ability to get to sleep. There is no cure for tinnitus, however there can be ways of coping with the ringing, as well as reducing the severity of it. Here are just five tips that could help you to overcome tinnitus.
Get a hearing aid
Many people associate hearing aids with deafness, but they can also be used to help treat tinnitus by increasing the volume of external noises to cover up the ringing. If you’ve already got a hearing aid for hearing loss, you may want to consider replacing it with a new one that’s also catered to tinnitus – there are many sites where you can learn more about this. Always see an audiologist to ensure that you get the right hearing aid.
Use background noise to help your sleep
When it comes to getting to sleep at night, having some kind of background noise can help many people to block out the tinnitus whether it’s a ceiling fan or relaxing music. There are even apps developed to help people with tinnitus to get to sleep.
Drink less coffee
Caffeine increases blood pressure. This has been found to make tinnitus worse for many people, often making the ringing louder and more noticeable. Cutting out caffeinated drinks like coffee could help to reduce the ringing (you could always switch to decaf).
Clean your ears out
An earwax build-up is also likely to contribute to ringing in the ears. Consider cleaning this earwax out using some ear drops. Try to avoid using cotton buds as these can often cause more damage to the ear canals, while also pushing ear wax further into the ear. If you can’t get the earwax out yourself you may also be able to get your ears professionally cleaned out.
CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) could be worth looking into if tinnitus is having an impact on your mental health. This form of therapy teaches people to learn meditation techniques that can help people to block out the noise or simply help people to become more comfortable with it. You can find more information on CBT for tinnitus online.