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Tinnitus is regrettably very challenging to diagnose and treat. While researchers are hard at work to discover a cure, much about the causes and characteristics of tinnitus remain little-known.

If you have tinnitus, it’s important to first seek professional help. First, tinnitus is sometimes a symptom of an underlying condition that requires medical assistance. In these cases tinnitus can be cured by taking care of the underlying problem.

Second, numerous tinnitus therapies are currently available that have proven to be very effective, including sound masking and behavioral therapies that help the patient to adapt to the sounds of tinnitus. Hearing aids have also been proven to be effective in several cases.

Even so, some cases of tinnitus endure in spite of the best available treatments. Fortunately, there are some things you can do on your own to lessen the severity of symptoms.

The following are 10 things you can do to independently manage your tinnitus.

1. Learn what makes your tinnitus worse – each case of tinnitus is unique. That’s why it’s crucial to keep a written log to identify specified triggers, which can be particular kinds of food, drinks, or medications. In fact, there are quite a few medications that can make tinnitus worse.

2. Stop smoking – smoking acts as a stimulant and restrains blood flow, both of which can make tinnitus worse. Studies also show that smokers are 70 percent more likely to acquire some type of hearing loss compared to non-smokers.

3. Limit intake of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – while some studies have challenged the assertion that caffeine makes tinnitus worse, you should keep track of the effects yourself. The same goes for alcoholic beverages; there are no conclusive studies that prove a clear connection, but it’s worth monitoring.

4. Try using masking sounds – the sounds of tinnitus may become more perceptible and irritating when it’s quiet. Try playing some music, turning on the radio, or investing in a white-noise machine.

5. Utilize hearing protection – some cases of tinnitus are short-term and the consequence of brief exposure to loud sounds, like at a live concert. To avoid further damage—and chronic tinnitus—see to it that you wear ear protection at loud events.

6. Try meditation – outcomes might vary, but some individuals have found meditation and tinnitus acceptance to be effective. Here’s an article by Steven C. Hayes, PhD, the co-founder of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

7. Find ways to relax – easing your stress and enhancing your mood can help diminish the intensity of tinnitus. Try yoga, meditation, or any other activity that calms your nerves.

8. Get more and better sleep – sleep deficiency is a known trigger for making tinnitus worse, which then makes it more difficult to sleep, which makes the symptoms worse, and so on. To guarantee that you get a sufficient amount of sleep, try using masking sounds at night when dozing off.

9. Get more exercise – researchers at the University of Illinois discovered that exercise may lead to lower tinnitus severity. Exercise can also reduce stress, enhance your mood, and help you sleep better, all of which can help with tinnitus relief.

10. Join a support group – by signing up with a support group, you not only get emotional support but also additional tips and coping strategies from other people who suffer from the same symptoms.

What have you found to be the most reliable technique of coping with tinnitus? Let us know in a comment.