How is Tinnitus Treated?
A simple treatment for tinnitus is not available currently. Many times, treating the hearing loss can help reduce your tinnitus. By allowing the brain to access sounds with hearing technology, it alleviates your brain from searching for sounds that don’t exist. Having extra sounds around the house may also be beneficial to the brain. These extra sounds can mask out the tinnitus but more importantly, it can give input to the brain to distract it or bring attention away from the tinnitus. When sleeping or sitting in a quiet space, turn on some sort of noise like a fan, humidifier, television, or music. There are sound machines and some free cell phone apps that are also available. Some of the tinnitus apps will play nature sounds, white or pink noise, breathing exercises, and also visually provide some relaxing images.
Mindfulness techniques and slowing down the neural pathways may also be beneficial. Activities like meditation or yoga may calm down the brain and also your reaction to the tinnitus. Small actions like closing your eyes and breathing slowly can also help. For more mindfulness techniques, inquire with your audiologist.
Other times, the tinnitus may require some lifestyle changes. Try eliminating the exacerbating factors and slowly reintroducing them one-by-one into your life. If you see that the tinnitus becomes worse with one of the factors, then it may be beneficial to completely eliminate the factor if possible. If you feel the tinnitus is associated with your medications, discuss this with your primary care physician to see if there are other medical alternatives.
If more extensive tinnitus treatment is required, discuss this with your audiologist. If you feel that the tinnitus is getting to a level where self-harm may be inevitable, then immediately contact a medical professional.