How Tinnitus Can Affect Your Quality of Life

a woman with a headache

Communication and comfort are both essential components of everyday life. When you are experiencing the effects of tinnitus, consult with your hearing health professional to receive the best options for living your best life. They will guide you towards the most appropriate treatments for your specifications and lifestyle. Some of the offerings may include hearing aids with a masking feature, sound machines, tinnitus retraining therapy and varying lifestyle modifications.

Hearing aids

Choosing a quality hearing aid with a masking feature will essentially cover up or obscure the noise that you hear internally from tinnitus. While this device will not eliminate the sounds or ringing, it is proven to be effective for people who experience both diminished hearing and tinnitus. A hearing aid with a masking feature acts like a regular hearing aid with the added benefit of white noise from the masking feature to help reduce the ringing sounds. A hearing health professional will help fit you with the best device for your needs.

Sound machines

Depending upon what type of sound machine you choose, it can provide either a static sound, such as with a white noise machine or a variety of soothing environmental sounds. Sound machines offer sounds from nature that include rain, wind rushing through leaves or ocean waves. Some may even include traffic or insect sounds. Devices such as fans and humidifiers can offer the same effects with the added benefit of their original purpose.

As these are generally not portable devices that you will have on your person at all times, they are better suited for when you need to obscure the ringing that occurs with tinnitus. Often, sound machines are used at night when other ambient noises in your environment are at lower levels.

Tinnitus retraining therapy

Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) is a program conducted over time and managed by a hearing health professional. The program is designed with the individual client in mind and includes counseling as well as masking therapy. 

Lifestyle modifications

There are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to decrease the effects of tinnitus that you may be experiencing in your daily life:

  • Medication alterations: When seeking assistance for tinnitus remediation, be sure to tell your hearing care provider of any medications you are currently taking as certain medications may cause tinnitus. Be sure to list both prescription and over-the-counter medications or supplements. Your provider may recommend stopping, reducing or switching medications.
  • Quitting smoking and drinking alcohol: Consuming excessive amounts of nicotine and alcohol may be a contributing factor in the reduction of blood flow in your ears. Your hearing care provider may recommend limiting or completely stopping the intake of nicotine and alcohol to reduce the symptoms of tinnitus.
  • Earwax removal: A hearing health professional will check your ears for excessive earwax buildup. Removing any blockage may help decrease the symptoms of tinnitus.

Ensure that you can hear those around you with comfort and ease. Maintain your active and healthy lifestyle by consulting with a hearing health professional to find the best solution for when you experience tinnitus.