Tinnitus, the condition in which a phantom ringing, buzzing, or humming is heard in the ears, is thought to affect 15 percent of all people. Each person experiences tinnitus differently, and its symptoms can range from mildly annoying to downright disabling. However, despite how widespread it is, there is oftentimes no cure.
That doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to minimize the effects of tinnitus. There are many simple things you can do right at home, without any cost or inconvenience. If you experience tinnitus regularly, consider these do-it-yourself tips to ease the discomfort and push the annoying sounds into the background.
In a quiet environment, you’re more likely to focus on tinnitus as there are no other sounds competing with the internal noise. Playing music, nature sounds like rain or ocean waves, or white noise can help distract you from tinnitus and instead focus on more soothing sounds. Listening to an audio book or podcast can also occupy your mind and keep you from focusing on the internal sounds.
Learn breathing and meditation techniques
Another way to combat the inner sounds is to find inner peace. Performing various breathing exercises can have a calming effect and help alleviate the stress and tension caused by tinnitus. Along those lines, meditation can further help relax your mind and body. But, as mentioned above, you might want to play calming music or ambient noise.
While exercise is always good for your overall health, it can also alleviate the effects of tinnitus. Exercise is known to reduce stress, which can be helpful in dealing with negative emotions. It also increases blood circulation, which is beneficial since some forms of tinnitus are associated with low blood supply to the cells of the inner ear. Like breathing exercises, meditation, and background noise, a regular exercise routine provides another distraction to keep you from thinking about the phantom sounds.
Falling asleep can be difficult when you’re thinking about your tinnitus, so it’s important to find ways to have a more restful sleep. Try to avoid stimulants like caffeine and nicotine at night, and consider reading a book before bed to help your mind relax. Just remember to avoid too much time in front of the TV, computer, or phone, as looking at screens before bed can make it more difficult to fall asleep. Soothing noises like those mentioned above can also be helpful, masking the tinnitus and providing a more relaxing soundscape.
While a cure for tinnitus remains elusive, the above tips can help you ease the discomfort. Still, these methods might not work for everyone. If tinnitus continues to have a debilitating effect on your life, talk to a hearing care professional. They can recommend additional tinnitus treatments, such as hearing aids that play soothing noises or can be programmed to the exact pitch of your tinnitus and relegate it into the background.