The only thing more annoying than the ringing in your ears is being unable to make it stop. Tinnitus is a term that describes the persistent presences of phantom sounds, which can manifest in many forms including ringing, buzzing or whooshing. There is still no proven cure for tinnitus; however, there are many ways individuals can manage their symptoms.
- Get a hearing exam. In most cases of tinnitus, there is also some degree of hearing loss. Sometimes, these two conditions can be treated simultaneously through digital hearing aids. Some listening devices are equipped with sound therapy technology. Your audiologist can perform a hearing test and provide sound therapy recommendations.
- Reduce your stress. Studies indicate that stress can worsen tinnitus symptoms. This can serve as a downward spiral, as tinnitus can also increase stress levels. Finding a way to de-stress—such as exercise, meditation or deep breathing—can help reduce the noise.
- Eliminate risk factors. Smoking, high caffeine intake and regular alcohol consumption may increase the sensation of the sounds.
- Get moving. Exercising three to five times per week can help increase blood flow in your head and ears, which may help reduce unwanted sounds. Additionally, exercise can eliminate some of the issues that develop due to tinnitus, including stress and depression.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. One of the most established forms of tinnitus treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy. A psychologist can work with you to teach you to cope with tinnitus symptoms and therefore reduce your reaction. For many people, this has allowed them to cope with their condition and return to their lives as normal.
- Check your meds. If you regularly take over-the-counter medicines, you may be increasing your risk of tinnitus. Many common over-the-counter medications are ototoxic and can be harmful to your auditory system. Share your medications with your physician. He or she may be able to provide safe alternatives.
If you’re frustrated with the ringing in your ears, contact an audiology professional. As experts in the arena of hearing health, audiologists can provide thorough diagnostics and personalized treatment options to manage your condition. To find a premier audiologist in San Diego, contact our team today at (858) 279-3277!