Tinnitus is a common condition that affects as many as half a million people around Australia and throughout Perth.
Characterised by ringing, buzzing, or whistling in the ears, this challenging condition can be a source of significant distress for those who experience it. While tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss, it can also be caused by various other factors, such as stress, exposure to loud noises, and certain medications.
Regardless of the underlying cause, tinnitus can be a challenging condition to live with and can impact many aspects of daily life, including work, sleep, and relationships.
Although there is no cure for tinnitus, there are many effective treatments available that can help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life.
In this article, we will discuss the causes of tinnitus, the various treatment options available, and some self-care strategies that you can use to help manage your symptoms. With the right support and treatment, you can learn to live with tinnitus and enjoy life to the fullest.
Once the underlying cause of your tinnitus has been identified, your specialist can help you develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs.
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Common tinnitus treatments
This involves using white noise or other soothing sounds to help mask the ringing in your ears and make it less noticeable. Many people find that sound therapy is effective in reducing the severity of their symptoms and improving their quality of life.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a type of therapy that can help you manage the psychological impact of tinnitus. Your therapist can help you identify and challenge negative thoughts and beliefs about your tinnitus and develop coping strategies to manage your symptoms.
In some cases, medications may be prescribed to help reduce the symptoms of tinnitus. These may include anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, and muscle relaxants.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)
TRT is a type of therapy that involves retraining your brain to ignore the sounds associated with tinnitus. Your therapist will work with you to gradually reduce your awareness of the ringing in your ears and help you focus on other sounds in your environment.
In rare cases, surgery may be recommended if your tinnitus is caused by a structural problem in your ear, such as a growth or an abnormality.
Self-care strategies to manage tinnitus
In addition to these treatments, there are many self-care strategies that you can use to manage your tinnitus and improve your quality of life.
Reduce your exposure to loud noises
Try to avoid loud noises as much as possible and use earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones when you can’t. This is especially relevant for those who work in environments with higher-then-safe decibel levels.
Learn more about WorkCover hearing tests if you believe you have suffered hearing loss at work.
Manage your stress
Stress can exacerbate the symptoms of tinnitus, so it is important to find ways to manage your stress levels. This may involve engaging in regular exercise, practising mindfulness, or taking up a hobby.
Get enough sleep
Getting adequate sleep is important for managing tinnitus and reducing the severity of your symptoms.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine
Both alcohol and caffeine can make tinnitus worse, so try to limit your consumption of these substances.
Lifestyle changes to help manage your tinnitus
Additionally, there are some remedies for tinnitus rooted in lifestyle changes. These may help you manage your tinnitus and improve your quality of life.
Exercise regularly: Exercise for tinnitus has been shown to have a positive impact on symptoms. Regular exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep quality, and increase blood flow to the ears.
Quit smoking: Smoking has been linked to tinnitus and can make your symptoms worse. Quitting smoking can help improve your overall health and reduce the severity of your symptoms.
Eat a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables can provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly. This can help reduce inflammation and improve overall health, which can, in turn, help manage your tinnitus.
Limit salt intake: Consuming too much salt can cause fluid retention and increase blood pressure, which can make tinnitus worse. Try to limit your salt intake and eat a diet that is low in processed foods.
Manage your hearing: If you are exposed to loud noises regularly, it is important to take steps to protect your hearing. This may include wearing earplugs, avoiding loud noises, or using noise-cancelling headphones.
Stay hydrated: Staying hydrated can help reduce the severity of your tinnitus. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help keep your body hydrated.
Alternative tinnitus therapies to consider
In addition to lifestyle changes, there are also some alternative therapies that you may want to consider if you struggle with tinnitus. Although these won’t get rid of tinnitus, they offer further options for those looking for alternative treatment options.
Acupuncture: Thin needles are inserted into precise body sites during acupuncture, an ancient Chinese medicine. Tinnitus symptoms have been shown to improve with this treatment.
Massage: Massaging the neck, head, and face can help improve circulation and reduce stress, which can, in turn, help manage tinnitus.
Herbal remedies: Some people have found relief from tinnitus by using herbal remedies, such as ginkgo, magnesium, and B vitamins.
Yoga and meditation: Practising yoga and meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can make tinnitus less noticeable.
How to treat tinnitus: The final word
It is important to remember that not all tinnitus treatments will work for everyone.
It is important to try different treatments and find what works best for you. Additionally, it is important to be patient and give your treatment plan time to work. Managing tinnitus can be a long process, but with the right support and self-care strategies, you can learn to live with your symptoms and enjoy life to the fullest.
Tinnitus can be a challenging condition to live with, but with the right support, it is possible to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. If you are struggling with tinnitus in Perth, don’t hesitate to reach out to a specialist for help. You can discover ways to cope with tinnitus and live life to the fullest with the right treatment plan and self-care techniques.
Call Hearing & Audiology with your hearing questions
At Hearing and Audiology, we have the best audiologists in Perth offering a range of hearing tests for adults, children, pensioners and veterans.
We also offer tinnitus assessments that are carried out in both quiet and noisy environments so that we can effectively determine particular types of hearing loss and the best hearing course of treatment.
Book an appointment with one of our specialist Perth Audiologists online or call (08) 9388 8003 today if you’ve noticed any signs of hearing loss.