Addressing medical issues
If you are taking an ototoxic drug (a drug that can be toxic to your hearing health), your doctor may recommend stopping your treatment and switching to a less toxic drug. If blood vessel problems or a tumor is diagnosed as the cause of a person’s tinnitus, treatment for the underlying problem may alleviate symptoms.
Trying on Hearing Aids
Hearing aids for tinnitus can help lessen tinnitus symptoms, especially for age-related hearing loss or cases where the brain is trying to fill a void in sound, says Dr. Chandrasekhar. “Putting hearing aids on to bring these sounds back in is very beneficial for both hearing loss and tinnitus,” she says, explaining that these types of heightened sounds can take up space so the brain doesn’t keep looking for signals.
Making lifestyle adjustments
Give your ears time to adjust from noisy areas to quiet areas, advises Dr. Hamidi. Avoiding tinnitus irritants such as nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and dehydration can also help ease symptoms. In some cases, adding vitamin B12 and other bioflavonoids to your diet or supplement regimen can be helpful for tinnitus.
retraining your brain
In some cases, tinnitus can be masked by the soft sounds produced by a fan, air conditioner, or other white noise machine. There are several free apps that provide tools and sounds to mask tinnitus. These tools can help train the brain to focus on the soothing outside sounds rather than the buzzing or humming caused by tinnitus. “Tinnitus retraining therapy is an amazing solution for many individuals with tinnitus,” says Dr. Hamidi.
Alternative treatments such as acupuncture have been shown to be effective in treating tinnitus, says Dr. Chandrasekhar.
Cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) can also help people deal with some of the side effects of tinnitus, which can include depression, anxiety and cognitive decline.
The American Tinnitus Association offers resources for people with tinnitus, including certified tinnitus health professionals, says Dr. Hamidi. In addition to speech therapists, certain therapists and primary care providers can potentially offer treatment for tinnitus and its symptoms – or at least help point you in the right direction.