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Tinnitus

Living With Tinnitus

Last modified: 
25/04/2012 - 15:27

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Although tinnitus often can not be "cured," the following general measures may be helpful in alleviating symptoms:

  • Avoid nervous anxiety or stress, as these stimulate an already "sensitive" hearing system.
  • Obtain adequate rest and avoid fatigue.
  • Avoid the use of stimulants to the nervous system, including coffee (caffeine), alcohol, and smoking (nicotine).
  • Sleep with the head propped up in an elevated position. This may usually be accomplished with the use of one or two extra pillows. This also lessens head congestion and tinnitus may become less noticeable.
  • Be aware that tinnitus is usually more noticeable after retiring for the night and the surroundings are more quiet. Any noise in the room, such as a ticking clock or softly playing radio, helps to mask tinnitus and make it less irritating.
  • Use a tinnitus masker if you've found one helpful
  • Some people benefit by using a hearing aid since it amplifies outside noise (like masking)
  • Avoid situations that can further damage hearing (excessive noise), and protect your ears from injury and occupational hazards. Use protective ear wear when appropriate.
  • Some people are considerably helped by alternative therapies
  • Counseling may be beneficial, especially if people are afraid that they have a serious or progressive disease, such as a brain tumor. Some people worry they may have a mental illness, since the noise is "in their head." Reassurance by a specialist helps to calm such fears and anxieties.
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From Andrew Maynard - Chair of the University of Michigan Department of Environmental Health Sciences, with help from David Faulkner - 2013 Master of Public Health graduate.