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Tinnitus is unfortunately rather difficult to diagnose and treat. While researchers are hard at work to discover a cure, a great deal 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 manifestation of an underlying condition that requires medical attention. In these cases tinnitus can be cured by addressing the underlying problem.

Second, numerous tinnitus therapies are presently available that have proven to be highly effective, such as sound masking and behavioral therapies that help the patient to adjust to the sounds of tinnitus. Hearing aids have also been proven to be effective in several cases.

That being said, some cases of tinnitus linger in spite of the best available treatments. Fortunately, there are some things you can do on your own to lessen the severity of symptoms.

Here are 10 things you can do to manage your tinnitus.

1. Uncover what makes your tinnitus worse – each instance of tinnitus is unique. That’s why it’s important to maintain a written log to uncover specific triggers, which can be specific 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. Minimize consumption of alcohol or caffeinated drinks – even though some studies have challenged the assertion that caffeine makes tinnitus worse, you should keep track of the effects yourself. It’s the same for alcoholic beverages; there are no definitive studies that present a clear link, but it’s worth monitoring.

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

5. Utilize hearing protection – some cases of tinnitus are transient and the consequence of brief exposure to loud sounds, like at a concert. To avoid further injury—and persistent tinnitus—make sure to wear ear protection at loud events.

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

7. Find ways to relax and unwind – alleviating your stress and boosting your mood can help lessen the intensity of tinnitus. Try yoga, meditation, or any activity that calms your nerves.

8. Get more and better sleep – lack of sleep is a recognized trigger for making tinnitus worse, which subsequently makes it more difficult to sleep, which makes the symptoms worse, and so on. To ensure that you get enough 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 intensity. Exercise can also lower stress, enhance your mood, and help you sleep better, all of which can help with tinnitus relief.

10. Enroll in a support group – by signing up with a support group, you not only get emotional support but also additional tips and coping strategies from others suffering from the same symptoms.

What have you found to be the most effective method of dealing with tinnitus? Let us know in a comment.