It is natural to be concerned about what is happening, but there are lots of things you can do to help yourself and to reduce the impact of tinnitus.
The Tinnitus First Aid Kit will help you take those first steps.
What should I do?
Stay calm and do not panic. It does get better for many people.
One thing to bear in mind, however tempting it is: Do not use ear plugs in normal, everyday situations hoping to block out the tinnitus noise. They could have the opposite effect. However, you should wear them when you are around loud noise. As this website isn’t a substitute for medical advice, we suggest that you consult with your doctor about your tinnitus. Ideally, this person will be interested and well informed about tinnitus – or can refer you to someone who is – perhaps an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist or an audiologist.
Although tinnitus rarely means that there is anything seriously wrong, it is wise to see
your doctor if you have it. Below are some suggestions to help until you can
arrange that appointment.
You will probably feel better when you learn more about tinnitus by looking through the links on this site. Hopefully, learning that tinnitus is very common, not dangerous, and that you are not alone will help.
Basic sound therapy
If the noises seem louder at quiet times, such as during the night, it may help to have some gentle background or natural sounds from a CD or sound generator. You can access free, audiologist-designed sounds here.
Stress and anxiety can make your tinnitus seem louder. Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, or yoga can help you reduce the loudness of your tinnitus, and lessen its impact on you.
In addition to the self-help techniques we have already mentioned,
the following strategies can be very helpful in managing tinnitus.
Treat any hearing loss
Tinnitus can be caused by hearing loss. Visit a hearing care professional to see if hearing aids (or a combination hearing aid/sound generator) can help you hear better and treat your tinnitus.
Some people notice their tinnitus more when they are tired. Being well rested can help ease physical and emotional stress, which may lessen the perceived loudness of tinnitus.
Sound Enrichment Therapy
Listening to radios, apps, desktop devices, and/or wearable sound generators can help reduce the loudness of tinnitus, provide distractions, and encourage habituation.
If you are experiencing tinnitus because of a physical injury to your head or neck, have accompanying sudden hearing loss, and/or extreme anxiety or depression, please seek medical advice immediately. You should also seek medical advice if you have tinnitus that pulses with your heartbeat, have ear pain or drainage from your ear, and/or vertigo.
Keep in mind
Staying well physically and mentally is key to managing your reactions to tinnitus. Try to eat healthily, drink alcohol in moderation, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. Keeping your body healthy and mind active and occupied with an enjoyable or interesting activity will also help. Tinnitus is very variable. Just because it is bothersome today does not mean it won’t be better tomorrow.