Most people will experience ringing in their ears occasionally, but sometimes it can be a longer-lasting problem that can have a dramatic impact on our daily lives and well-being. Sometimes treatment can help to eliminate tinnitus. However, in other cases it is necessary to find ways to manage your condition if it isn’t possible to eliminate the problem. If you suffer from frequent or persistent tinnitus, then you should see a doctor to find out the cause and to get advice on the best treatment options.
Treating the Causes of Tinnitus
Sometimes it is possible to prevent ringing in your ears by treating the cause of the problem. Treatable causes of tinnitus include impacted earwax, blood vessel conditions, and side effects from medication. The doctor may be able to help by removing earwax, treating the underlying condition, or suggesting a change of medication.
Although medication can’t cure your tinnitus, there are some drugs such as antidepressants that doctors can recommend to reduce the symptoms. However, there can be a risk of side effects from these medications, so they are usually only prescribed for severe tinnitus and when other options haven’t helped.
Tinnitus is less noticeable when there are other sounds to mask it. Sound therapy generally uses white noise to provide constant background noise or sounds such as ocean waves or rain. You can use white noise machines in your home or wear a small device in your ear to provide low-level white noise wherever you go. Another option is a tinnitus retraining device, which plays specially chosen tones instead of white noise. In time and usually in combination with counselling, it can help you to adapt to your tinnitus so that you find it less intrusive. If you have hearing problems as well as tinnitus then you might benefit from wearing hearing aids. Being able to hear more of what is going on in your environment can help to make the ringing in your ears less noticeable.
Relaxation techniques can help you to deal with your tinnitus and since the symptoms can sometimes be aggravated by stress, learning how to relax can also help to improve your condition. Different techniques work for everyone, so you might find that anything from meditation to simply taking a walk can make it easier to live with tinnitus. Other lifestyle changes such as reducing your caffeine and alcohol intake or getting more sleep may also help reduce your stress levels and alleviate your tinnitus.
Support and Counselling
Talking to someone about how you feel can also make a big difference. Experts such as CBT therapists may also be able to suggest techniques to manage the effects of your condition. As well as talking to a doctor or counsellor, you might also find that it helps to talk to other people who are affected by tinnitus, through a support group or an online forum. You might be able to pick up some more tips on managing your tinnitus or simply to feel less alone once you’ve spoken to someone who has had similar experiences.