10 Tips For Self-Managing Your Tinnitus

Woman holding her hand to her head in discomfort

Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is unfortunately rather difficult to diagnose and treat. While researchers are hard at work to identify a cure, much about the causes and characteristics of tinnitus remain little-known.

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

Second, several tinnitus therapies are presently available that have proven to be particularly effective, including sound masking and behavioral therapies that help the patient to adapt 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. Fortunately, there are some things you can do on your own to lessen the severity of symptoms.

Below are 10 things you can do to manage your tinnitus.

1. Uncover what makes your tinnitus worse – every instance of tinnitus is unique. That’s why it’s vital to maintain a written log to uncover specified triggers, which can be certain kinds of food, drinks, or medications. In fact, there are a number of medications that can make tinnitus worse.

2. Stop smoking – smoking acts as a stimulant and restrains blood flow, both of which can worsen tinnitus symptoms. Research also shows that smokers are 70 percent more likely to acquire some form of hearing loss compared to non-smokers.

3. Limit intake of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – even though some studies have questioned the assertion that caffeine makes tinnitus worse, you should monitor the effects yourself. It’s the same for alcoholic beverages; there are no definitive studies that show a clear link, 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 using a white-noise machine.

5. Utilize hearing protection – some cases of tinnitus are temporary and the consequence of short-term exposure to loud sounds, like at a concert. To avoid further injury—and chronic tinnitus—see to it that you use ear protection at loud events.

6. Try meditation – results will 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 enhancing your mood can help diminish the intensity 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 challenging to sleep, which makes the symptoms worse, and so on. To ensure that you get the right 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 reduce stress, improve 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 methods from others who suffer from the same symptoms.


What have you discovered to be the most effective method of coping with tinnitus? Let us know in a comment.