Changes to your daily life and surroundings may make it easier to live with tinnitus -- the ringing, hissing, or buzzing sounds in your ears that other people don't hear. These approaches should be used along with any treatments or hearing aids suggested by your doctor.
How to Talk With Your Doctor About Tinnitus
Have you noticed a buzzing, ringing, hissing, or clicking sound that only you can hear? If so, you may have tinnitus. It can be mild or loud, and affect one or both ears.
Tinnitus is not a disease. It's a problem in your hearing system. It's usually not a sign of anything serious, though you should see your doctor to get it checked out.
What Your Doctor Needs to Know About Tinnitus
How tinnitus affects your life is important for diagnosis...
Learn what makes tinnitus worse for you. Some people report that certain foods, drinks, or drugs can make their symptoms worse. Not everyone is affected the same way, so try to avoid triggers one at a time and keep a written log.
You may not need to avoid every possible trigger. Instead, notice which things affect your symptoms.
Some possible triggers include:
Drinks with caffeine such as cola, coffee, tea, and energy drinks
Kick the habit, if you smoke.Smoking can make tinnitus worse in two ways. It harms blood flow to the sensitive nerve cells that control your hearing. It also acts as a stimulant in your body. This can make the ringing in your ears sound louder.
Add soothing sounds to silence. Tinnitus may bother you more when it's quiet. So try these tips to distract yourself from the ringing in your ears:
Play soft music in the background
Listen to the radio
Turn on a fan
You can also try a white-noise machine. These devices create the sounds of ocean waves, rainfall, or a running stream.
Plan time to relax every day. It's normal to feel anxious and annoyed when you first develop tinnitus or when it flares up. But stress and worry can make your symptoms worse.
Try different ways to relax until you find what works best for you. Even 15 minutes of deep relaxation can ease stress and improve your mood.