Personalized Hearing Care

Tips for Managing Tinnitus

a woman experiencing slight ear discomfort

Tinnitus is mainly caused by exposure to loud noise such as music or as a side effect of some non-prescription or prescription medications, however there are several different things that can contribute to its symptoms. Tinnitus can often be prevented in many cases with the right measures, from proper protection to acknowledging loud environments.

The following are some ways you can prevent or reduce the risk of tinnitus:

  • Make use earplugs if you are exposed to loud sounds. 
  • Avoid standing near speakers when you are listening to live music.
  • When listening to music through headphones, opt for noise-canceling headphones and ensure the volume is as low as possible.
  • When you are in a noisy surrounding, give your ears a rest by taking regular breaks.
  • Try to minimize your stress levels since tinnitus may start when you are stressed or anxious.
  • If you use hearing aids or earplugs, ensure they are always clean. Do not stick things like cotton buds since they can cause infections which may lead to tinnitus.

If you are living with tinnitus, the following management and treatment methods can be useful.

Tinnitus retraining therapy

Tinnitus retraining therapy is subject to the brain’s natural ability to habituate a signal, to sieve out on a subconscious level to prevent it from reaching a conscious perception. Habituation does not need a conscious effort.

Individuals habituate several auditory sounds like computer fans, air conditioners and gentle rain, among many others. The common thing about these sounds is that they have no importance; hence, their perception is not loud; therefore, the brain can screen them.

Tinnitus retraining therapy involves two parts:

  • The individual who has tinnitus plays some neutral sound source sound everywhere they go. They also wear in-the-ear sound producers.
  • The individual who has tinnitus receives personal counseling.

This treatment form may take 12-24 months, and it has proven to be highly successful.

Use of hearing aids

f you lose your hearing ability, the brain develops changes in how it processes the frequencies of sound. A hearing aid is a tiny electric device that uses an amplifier, a speaker and a microphone to enhance the external noise volume.

The use of hearing aids can moderate the neuroplastic changes in the brain’s capability to process sound. If you are living with tinnitus, you may note that the better you hear, tinnitus is less noticeable.

According to research conducted in 2007, 60% of people living with tinnitus experience some relief when using hearing aids.

Use of sound-masking devices

Sound-masking devices produce pleasant external noise that partly drives out the inner tinnitus sounds. The design of these devices ensures that they fit in the ear. The devices can play nature noise, pink noise, music, white noise or other ambient sounds.

Some individuals prefer the external sound level to be faintly louder than their tinnitus, while others prefer the masking sound to sink out the ringing fully. Some individuals use commercial sound machines whose structure assists people to fall asleep or relax. You can opt for headphones, music, television or a fan.

Avoid smoking and limit the consumption of alcohol and caffeinated drinks

Smoking restraints blood flow, and it also acts as a stimulant. This can make the tinnitus signs worse. Research also indicates that smokers are 70% more likely to develop some hearing loss forms than people who do not smoke.

Although there has been a debate on whether caffeinated drinks make the tinnitus situation worse, you should observe the impacts yourself. The same case applies to alcoholic drinks. Since there is no conclusive research that can prove a clear connection, you should be mindful of the effects.

Earwax removal

If your tinnitus results from excessive earwax, your audiologist can clean your ears using a small instrument called a curette, or they can also gently flush it out using warm water.

Tinnitus is a manageable and treatable. If you have tinnitus, all you need to do is to visit a reputable tinnitus audiologist. Lowe Audiology strive to provide the most complete care for you, whether you’re dealing with hearing loss, tinnitus or simply need to have your hearing tested again. 

Our practice provides diagnostic and hearing healthcare services like hearing instrument evaluations, standard audiometry, tinnitus therapy, otoacoustic emission testing, sales and rehabilitative and preventative counseling. To learn more about Lowe Audiology and the various ways you can get the relief you deserve, contact us today at 260-222-7925.