If you are looking for ways to manage your tinnitus yourself, either before or during treatment, you may find some of the suggestions below bring you some degree of relief.
They are based on The Tinnitus Clinic’s ‘Tinnitus Self Help’ brochure, which is also available as a pdf download.
By following this self help guide,you can start to self-manage your tinnitus and reduce its emotional impact.
It is very common to worry about tinnitus, and for this to cause tension which seems to worsen the condition. Therefore, learning to relax is an important part of the relief process. There are a number of simple relaxation exercises that you can learn from books, CDs or classes, which will help you relax your body and your mind. Some people find that aromatherapy, improved posture, massage, reflexology, craniofacial therapy, yoga, and tai chi have similar relaxing benefits, as can simply resting in a relaxing environment, perhaps with special aromas, dimlights, and soft music.
Increasing the amount of ‘background noise’ in your home or workplace can help lessen your focus on your tinnitus tone. This noise could include pleasant low-level sounds from a television, radio, or recorded music, from a fan, a ticking clock or from outside through an open window. Alternatively, you could use sound generators that play natural sounds or white noise at a volume that is just below that of your tinnitus. In a totally quiet environment your brain will try to hear any sound more clearly - including the sound of your tinnitus. It is, therefore, important to try to avoid complete silence, especially when you are trying to sleep at night.
If you have tinnitus, you should not wear any kind of earplugs that make it more difficult to hear, except when exposed to very loud noises. They will not help your tinnitus: indeed, they will probably make it seem louder when you are wearing them as they create the sort of quiet environment we have recommended avoiding above.
Keeping active and involved in your interests and hobbies can enhance your quality of life, taking your focus away from tinnitus. It may be that you want to try something new, rekindle an old interest or help out with the running of a tinnitus support group.
It is also important to monitor your overall health and wellbeing. If you find that certain foods or drinks, activities or situations aggravate your tinnitus, you could consider cutting down on these or finding alternatives. This may mean making a few adjustments, but will mean that tinnitus doesn’t stop you carrying on with life in the way you want to.