Woman holding her hand to her head in discomfort

Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is unfortunately very difficult to diagnose and treat. While scientists are hard at work to identify a cure, a great deal about the causes and characteristics of tinnitus remain unknown.

If you have tinnitus, it’s vital to first seek professional assistance. First, tinnitus is sometimes a symptom of an underlying condition that requires medical attention. In these cases tinnitus can be cured by taking care of the underlying problem.

Second, numerous tinnitus therapies are presently available that have proven to be very effective, including sound masking and behavioral therapies that help the patient to adjust to the sounds of tinnitus. Hearing aids have also been proven to be effective in many cases.

With that being said, some cases of tinnitus persist despite the best available treatments. Thankfully, there are some things you can do on your own to minimize the severity of symptoms.

Here are 10 things you can do to independently manage your tinnitus.

1. Learn what makes your tinnitus worse – every case of tinnitus is distinct. That’s why it’s critical to keep a written log to determine specified triggers, which can be particular kinds of food, drinks, or medications. In fact, there are a number of medications that can make tinnitus worse.

2. Quit smoking – smoking acts as a stimulant and restrains blood flow, both of which can make tinnitus worse. Studies also show that smokers are 70 percent more likely to acquire some form of hearing loss compared to non-smokers.

3. Limit consumption of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – although some studies have challenged the assertion that caffeine makes tinnitus worse, you should observe the effects yourself. The same thing goes for alcoholic beverages; there are no definitive studies that demonstrate a clear connection, but it’s worth monitoring.

4. Use masking sounds – the sounds of tinnitus may become more conspicuous and bothersome when it’s quiet. Try playing some music, turning on the radio, or purchasing a white-noise machine.

5. Use hearing protection – some cases of tinnitus are short-term and the consequence of short-term exposure to loud sounds, like at a live concert. To prevent additional injury—and persistent tinnitus—make sure to wear ear protection at loud events.

6. Try meditation – outcomes might vary, but some individuals have found meditation and tinnitus acceptance to be highly effective. Here’s an article by Steven C. Hayes, PhD, the co-founder of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

7. Find ways to relax – reducing your stress and elevating your mood can help minimize the severity of tinnitus. Try meditation, yoga, or any activity that calms your nerves.

8. Get more and better sleep – sleep deficiency is a recognized trigger for making tinnitus worse, which then makes it more difficult to sleep, which makes the symptoms worse, and so on. To ensure that you get a sufficient amount of sleep, try using masking sounds at night when dozing off.

9. Get more exercise – researchers at the University of Illinois discovered that exercise may contribute to lower tinnitus intensity. Exercise can also lower stress, enhance your mood, and help you sleep better, all of which can help with tinnitus relief.

10. Join a support group – by joining a support group, you not only get emotional support but also additional tips and coping techniques from other people suffering from the same symptoms.


What have you found to be the most effective technique of dealing with tinnitus? Let us know in a comment.